Wednesday, 4 November 2009
The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets’ Nest by Stieg Larsson
Thriller by Swedish reporter, ja?
You betcha. Third and last of the series by the late Stieg Larsson, founder of anti-racist magazine Expo and world authority on right-wing extremist groups. He handed a publisher the manuscripts of the three books and promptly dropped dead aged 50. The books have been an international sensation.
Nice for his heirs
Not, it turns out, for the woman who shared his life for 30 years. Under Sweden’s tight-fisted cohabitation laws, Eva Gabrielsson isn’t entitled to a single öre.
She’s going to write about it, apparently. But meanwhile…
Oh yah, the hornet’s nest
Hornets’, plural. Lisbeth Salander, our hero, starts the book in hospital with a brain injury and riddled with bullets.
Eee, no - it’s not about her?
Not for the first 250 pages or so; you can basically skip them. At that stage, ace reporter Blomkvist - Larsson’s fictional alter ego - smuggles in her Palm Tungsten, and she’s suckin’ diesel again.
Who are these eponymous hornets?
Basically, Sweden’s security services - they’ve been covering up after a cell of lunatic Russian defectors and psycho killers for years - and in the process they’ve had young Lisbeth confined to a mental hospital for much of her youth. Now, facing exposure, they have too much to lose.
So it’s a spy story?
Ironically, in the circs, it’s about suppression of women, and how male society closes ranks to enable violent men.
Salander’s a hacker, if I remember rightly
And her faceless friends, citizens of the online ‘Hacker Republic’, weigh in to help her, as do unconnected women - a newspaper editor, a lawyer, a security official and a policewoman. And Blomkvist, natch.
To be honest, not as great as the first two. But I’ll bet fans will read it just to find out what happens to Salander.
Stieg Larsson site