The Girl Who Played With Fire by Stieg Larsson

76%

29 Critic Reviews

...there are a few implausible coincidences, but Larsson makes us care too much about his characters to hold these flaws against him. The Girl Who Played With Fire is that rare thing - a sequel that is even better than the book that went before.
-Guardian

Synopsis

Coming September 2015: The Girl in the Spider's Web

Part blistering espionage thriller, part riveting police procedural, and part piercing exposé on social injustice, The Girl Who Played with Fire is a masterful, endlessly satisfying novel.
 
Mikael Blomkvist, crusading publisher of the magazine Millennium, has decided to run a story that will expose an extensive sex trafficking operation. On the eve of its publication, the two reporters responsible for the article are murdered, and the fingerprints found on the murder weapon belong to his friend, the troubled genius hacker Lisbeth Salander. Blomkvist, convinced of Salander’s innocence, plunges into an investigation. Meanwhile, Salander herself is drawn into a murderous game of cat and mouse, which forces her to face her dark past.


From the Trade Paperback edition.
 

About Stieg Larsson

See more books from this Author
Stieg Larsson, who lived in Sweden, was the editor in chief of the magazine Expo and a leading expert on antidemocratic right-wing extremist and Nazi organizations. He died in 2004, shortly after delivering the manuscripts for The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played with Fire, and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest.
 
Published July 20, 2009 by Vintage. 738 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Crime, Action & Adventure, Literature & Fiction, Education & Reference. Fiction
Bestseller Status:
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Peak Rank on Feb 13 2011
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Weeks as Bestseller
Bookmark Counts:
4
Want to Read
3
Have Read
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Critic reviews for The Girl Who Played With Fire
All: 29 | Positive: 24 | Negative: 5

Kirkus

Below average
Jun 01 2009

convoluted back story and the allusive, sometimes loopy structure of the present book.

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NY Times

Excellent
Reviewed by Michiko Kakutani on Jul 16 2009

an intricate, puzzlelike story line that attests to Mr. Larsson’s improved plotting abilities... that simultaneously moves backward into Salander’s traumatic past, even as it accelerates toward its startling and violent conclusion.

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Guardian

Good
Reviewed by Louise France on Feb 14 2009

...there are a few implausible coincidences, but Larsson makes us care too much about his characters to hold these flaws against him. The Girl Who Played With Fire is that rare thing - a sequel that is even better than the book that went before.

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Guardian

Excellent
Reviewed by Louise France on Feb 14 2009

The Girl Who Played With Fire is that rare thing - a sequel that is even better than the book that went before.

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Guardian

Below average
Reviewed by Mark Lawson on Jan 09 2009

he is underestimating his readers... too insistent and methodical when it comes to background detail.

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Blog Critics

Excellent
Reviewed by Zoltaire on Feb 03 2013

In a way, this is a better book than its predecessor. It is faster-paced, more suspenseful, has more depth, and contains more action scenes. Larrson takes us to Salander’s dark past that explains her introverted anti-social personality...I give The Girl Who Played with Fire five luminous stars.

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Blog Critics

Excellent
Reviewed by Rhetta Akamatsu on Jan 05 2012

full of intrigue and mystery, action and one astonishing revelation after another. Once again, you will be enthralled, and once again, you will find it very hard to put this book down until you finish it.

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Blog Critics

Excellent
Reviewed by Amanda on Apr 06 2010

The Girl Who Played with Fire is just as engrossing as its predecessor... Readers won't feel out of breath after finishing the book — just hungry for more of Salander's adventures.

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Book Reporter

Excellent
Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub on Jan 22 2011

If THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO was amazing, then THE GIRL WHO PLAYED WITH FIRE is astonishing...Please read THE GIRL WHO PLAYED WITH FIRE. Its 500-plus pages have the detail of a thousand, but you’ll read them with the speed and intensity of a short story...Very strongly recommended, if you hadn’t guessed already.

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LA Times

Excellent
Reviewed by Daniel Mallory on Jul 27 2009

a thriller with moral freight... a pulse-pounding follow-up to 'The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.'

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AV Club

Below average
Reviewed by Ellen Wernecke on Jul 30 2009

The Girl Who Played With Fire indulges itself by nudging its characters into the exact places where...the shock waves will reach them. The waiting through domestic dinners and unremarkable vacations is almost unbearable

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Entertainment Weekly

Below average
Reviewed by Rob Brunner on Jul 28 2009

a bit sloppy, too often falling back on annoying devices. Characters repeatedly turn up at key events through sheer coincidence, and Larsson clumsily foreshadows big events

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The Washington Post

Excellent
Reviewed by Dennis Drabelle on Jul 27 2009

a writer with two skills useful in entertaining readers royally: creating characters who are complex, believable and appealing... and parceling out information in a consistently enthralling way.

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Open Letters Monthly

Excellent
Reviewed by Irma Heldman

elegantly crafted, complex thriller... one of the most intriguing, mesmerizing, addictive, original female characters ever created

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Review (Barnes & Noble)

Above average
Reviewed by Donna Rifkind on Jul 28 2009

Joy is not the first emotion one would expect to feel while reading a long Swedish crime novel that deals with misogyny, sex trafficking, police corruption...Yet The Girl Who Played with Fire, the second novel in Stieg Larsson’s internationally bestselling Millennium series, turns a reader inside out with a joy that can’t be squashed...

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USA Today

Excellent
Reviewed by Dierdre Donahue on Jul 28 2009

the books' appeal... is a result of the author writing from the heart, not from a formula. Larsson clearly loved his brave misfit Lisbeth.

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PopMatters

Above average
Reviewed by Diane Leach on Aug 09 2009

At 514 pages, The Girl Who Played with Fire is one of the longest mysteries I’ve ever read...The Girl Who Played with Fire moves rapidly to its dénouement, keeping readers turning the pages as the investigations cross, overlap, and finally converge. For all that, the ending is abrupt, leaving me wondering about Larsson’s intentions.

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Socialist Review

Below average
Reviewed by Ingrid Lamprecht on Jan 01 2009

It's a shame that a female version of a hunted Jason Bourne can't be feminine and perfectly capable of solving a cover-up simultaneously without a breast size to match.

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Rhapsody in Books

Good
on Sep 06 2009

This book is much more of a nail-biter than the first of the trilogy. And the marvelous character of Lisbeth is expanded to take over the story. She is punky and spunky and smart and unforgettable.

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Readings

Above average
Reviewed by Martin Shaw on Nov 26 2008

At close to 600 pages, The Girl who Played with Fire is a thumping great read – though one of my colleagues devoured it in very nearly one sitting! I, too, was transported by such fine storytelling, with characters you really care about. It’s been described in a French newspaper as ‘more than a book, a drug’. And yes, I’m addicted!

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Book Chatter

Above average
Reviewed by Ti on Oct 29 2009

Tense at times with a very quick pace, this one will keep you on your toes...even though I had some nit-picky moments with this one, I still enjoyed it quite a bit. It took off right out of the gate and kept going and it didn’t disappoint in the end.

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Annette's Book Spot

Excellent
Reviewed by Annette Mills on Feb 23 2011

The Girl Who Played with Fire has a stunningly intricate plot. I loved this book...If you liked Dragon Tattoo, you should read this. If you like a complex, intelligent mystery-thriller, you should read this.

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Euro Crime

Good
Reviewed by Maxine Clarke on Jan 01 2009

The book is packed with incident, thrills, characters, rich details and plot revelations... the pace never lets up, emotions are intense, and there are no boring moments

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Pop Culture Nerd

Good
Reviewed by Pop Culture Nerd on Jul 28 2009

As with Tattoo, you’re getting a lot of bang for your buck here. This book is a thriller, police procedural, exposé on sex trafficking, and psychological study. The exploration of Salander’s psyche makes Fire an even more compelling book than Tattoo...

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A Separate State of Mind Blog

Above average
Reviewed by Elie Fares on Jul 17 2011

But the way the books is written and the near cinematic transitions between scenes builds an undying suspense with a terrifying ending. Yes, this book’s ending will leave you at the edge of whatever furniture you’re sitting on while reading. The ending gives the book its title.

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http://catholicmediareview.blogspot.com

Above average
Reviewed by Christine on Jul 18 2010

I like the characters, especially Lisbeth, Mikael and Lisbeth's friend Miriam Wu. The characters are used very effectively to tell the story. The 4 investigations are woven together very nicely, and Larsson does a particularly good job of building suspense as they progress...

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Relevant

Above average
on Mar 30 2010

Though the beginning is somewhat slow, Larsson uses this time to add extra depth to the characters of Salander and Blomkvist before unveiling his book’s complex plot. Once the mystery is introduced, he guides readers through each thread carefully, with characters stopping often to fill each other in on the latest developments.

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http://www.complete-review.com

Good
Reviewed by M.A.Orthofer on Aug 08 2009

The basic idea of the grand conspiracy that has set all this into motion -- and, in fact, that has made Salander into the screwed-up young woman she is -- is decent enough, but Larsson's roundabout way of revealing what is going on is rather awkward...The Girl who Played with Fire is a very readable thriller, but also a very flawed one.

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Material Witness Blog

Good
Jan 13 2009

It is brutal, bleak and emotionally bruising, but it is quite brilliantly told and never less than gripping

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Reader Rating for The Girl Who Played With Fire
87%

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Rated the book as 4 out of 5

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