The Girl Who Played with Fire by Stieg Larsson


Alyssa Gehrke

The Girl who Played with Fire is the second book in the Millennium series

The Girl Who Played with Fire is the second book in the Millennium series. It was originally published in 2006 in Swedish, republished in 2009 in English, and a movie about it was released in July of 2010. For more information about the author and the book series, revert back to The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo article. The book features a lot of the same characters, so if you haven’t read the first book, you will be lost in this book.

Mikael Blomkvist, publisher of the magazine Millennium, decides to run a story that will expose an underground sex trafficking operation. The night before it was published, the two reporters responsible for the article are murdered and the fingerprints that are found on the murder weapon belong to his friend, Lisbeth Salander. Blomkvist, not once believing that Salander is the murderer, starts investigating. Meanwhile, Salander goes on the run and is drawn into the murderous game of cat and mouse, which forces her to face her dark past. 

There are no innocents. There are, however, different degrees of responsibility. ”

— Stieg Larsson, quote from the book

I should say that this book is not all light and fluffy. It is intense, and can be graphic, it touches on subjects that people like to stray away from. It describes murders, and other scenes that are rated R in the movie and might make some people uncomfortable to read, but it’s these parts that show who the characters really are. Some of them are a display of their emotions and there personalities, and it helps you get to know what the characters motives are.

This book is different than the first one because in the first one, the main character is Mikael and Lisbeth is just kind of there. No one knows her story and she’s just the mysterious person that is there to help, but this book is an exploration of Lisbeth’s past and who she is now. Lisbeth is one of the most complex characters that I have read about, she is an intriguing, introverted, and smart person who can be dangerous when she wants to be. She has been through the ringer more than once, and she gets revenge against the people that have wronged her.

Even though the books differ in who the main characters are, they both start off a little slow paced and build up to all the action, the romance, the drama, and the lightning storm that comes in the middle of the book. It will grab you, making you not want to put the book down until you have read to the last page.

She saw the expression on his face as she moved the match towards the striking surface. She heard the scraping sound of sulfur. It sounded like a drawn-out thunderclap. She saw the match burst into flames.”

— Stieg Larsson, The Girl who Played with Fire

All of this action and the tension continually building up leads into a riveting ending that will you leave you on a cliffhanger forcing you to read the next book. Larsson touches on corruption of all levels, both with his characters and with the book. Anyone who is looking for an action packed book, then this is the one for you, and if you enjoyed the first book then you will enjoy this one as well. I would highly recommend this to anyone who is asking.

You can find this book at your local Barnes and Noble, Target, or on Amazon.

Alyssa Gehrke
I would give this story 10 out of 10 for their work