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The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest    by Stieg Larsson Amazon.com order for
Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest
by Stieg Larsson
Order:  USA  Can
Knopf, 2010 (2010)
Hardcover, CD, e-Book

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* * *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

The Girl Who Kicked a Hornet's Nest is the third and last of Stieg Larsson's exciting Millennium Trilogy. Unfortunately, Larsson died of a heart attack in 2004 so this series stands as his legacy. And what a legacy it is!

Larsson was a fine, meticulous writer who used his novels to rant about dubious, illegal, immoral and fascist activities of the government in his native Sweden. His point was that not all government officials are corrupt but that those who are continue to reach new heights in corruption.

Having read the first novel The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo but (so far) missed the second The Girl Who Played with Fire - I recommend reading the three books in sequence as bridging the gap between first and third took a bit of concentration to keep up with the story line.

As The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest opens, Lisbeth Salander lies near death in a Stockholm hospital having been shot more than once, with the most serious wound in the head. If she recovers, she will be arrested and will await trial for killing three people. Including her own father. She put an axe to his head.

Lisbeth is a computer genius. She has an electric rage, and a determination to think the worst of everyone. Growing up under horrendous conditions, she managed to accumulate a fortune. Her machinations to outwit authorities are priceless. Her ally is journalist Mikael Blomkvist, who is himself an extraordinary character. Both carry the trilogy to its very exciting conclusion.

The pages of this hard-to-put-down book crackle with action. The well-crafted plot oozes with happenings that take the breath away. The characters are almost rigid in their determination to accomplish their goals. It's a book to urge on your friends so that you will always have an enjoyable topic of conversation.

Sales of the series have been incredible. At least 3.5 million copies sold in Sweden. The first two books sold 4 million copies in the US alone. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo movie was the most successful release in Europe last year. On Larsson's hard drive are 200 pages of a fourth Millennium book. Dare we hope? Look for a Hollywood remake movie some time in the future with possibly Brad Pitt taking on the role of Mikael Blomkvist.

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