The brilliant Girl with the Dragon Tattoo Millennium series continues 23

Community Reviews


View Profile

A young autistic boy sees his father shot dead; can his savant ability bring a criminal gang to book…?

A compelling read! For anyone who enjoys a thriller of greater than average depth, this is an excellent example. 

The Girl In The Spider’s Web is the fourth in the late Stieg Larsson’s Millennium series featuring the unique pairing, Lisbeth Salander and Mikael Blomkvist. Salander is a brilliant computer operator, a super hacker, while Blomkvist is an investigative reporter seeking his next inspiration.

The first three books were ‘written for relaxation’ by Larsson and published after his untimely death in 2004 at just 50 years of age; this latest offering was written by David Lagercrantz. A few years ago I read The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, the first in the series, and found it to my liking. Despite the change of penmanship, I believe the new work to be not only a natural extension of the original concept but equally well written.

The storyline contains many elements and many individuals, ranging between Russian criminals in the East and the US National Security Agency in the West but all link, naturally enough, through the Swedish characters. One of the most important of these is August Balder, 8 years of age, ASD, and a savant. August sees his father murdered and his computer stolen. The father, Hans, sensing he is in danger, deletes his life work on super intelligence and self-teaching algorithms, but a link may yet remain.

Just minutes before his death, Balder rings Mikael Blomkvist.

In the meantime, Salander is targeted by a group of ruthless hackers, cyber gangsters known as The Spiders (hence the name of the book).

There is a need for caution in saying too much about the book lest it be a spoiler.  Safe to say, there is a lot of intrigue, with Swedish police, Swedish intelligence, the NSA, and the involvement, association and motivation of the cast. The plot is busy but never loses direction or, more importantly, the reader’s interest. For someone of a technical bent, there are enough references to RSA encryption, quantum computing, Fermat’s little theorem – and more – to keep the active mind exercised… but never become a burden to the story.

Although the continuing of an author’s work by others is not unique (I can immediately think of five others, but there will be more) it is not always as successful as this. There has been an amount of controversy relating to The Girl In The Spider’s Web. Larsson’s family wanted it written and engaged David Lagercrantz; Larsson’s partner of 32 years, Eva Gabrielsson, did not. Sorry, Eva but I, for one, hope it will be a partnership that continues and goes from strength to strength. A healthy four stars!

The Girl In The Spider’s Web, by David Lagercrantz is published by Hachette Australia – click here to purchase from Dymocks.

John Reid

  1. I have read it, was fantastic !

    4 REPLY
    • Yes I have read them all, and I was a little apprehensive, about down loading this last one, but you would never know someone else finished the story !!

    • I’ve read the series and loved the Larsson books. I’ve read the 4th, and enjoyed it, but it doesn’t have that fast paced and spare writing which really hooked me into the stories. The characters are not as well written, but still good. There are some details there, which don’t come to anything, so shouldn’t be there but I’m glad I read it, but missed that Larsson sting.

  2. Not happy with this. Stieg’s girlfriend who apparently helped him write the books – was left ‘out in the cold’ by Stieg’s family upon Stieg’s untimely death. He dropped dead after walking up many stairs. His girlfriend Eva was given their apartment (ONLY) by Stieg’s family and they pocketed his fortune. I do not think this would happen in Australia. For forward thinking Sweden the laws were off on that one. Correct me if I am wrong anyone. Eve has been silent I understand – rather broken hearted one would think. They had been together about 32 yrs. I was hoping she would pick up the story and write some more – but maybe the legalities – driven by his family – stopped her. Apparently Stieg and Eva were already writing a fourth book. So all in all – I find this a very sad story and think the family stink. But then again – correct me if I am wrong anyone. I do think this is the case. My empathy is with the partner of 32 yrs. PS: A google search revealed this site and explains it better than I have.

    3 REPLY
    • I am pleased to hear Eva has kept a diary of the story after Stieg’s death and is in a book to be published. I will purchase that book and hope she does well – will be an interesting read. This book ‘The Girl in the Spider’s Web’ has not had any of Eva’s input and naturally nothing of Stieg as he is dead, as such must be in a completely different style. Btw, Stieg had been estranged from his father and his brother for many years prior to Stieg’s death!! I wonder if this book will do well – but it is Stieg’s family who have organised it off the back of their estranged son and sibling’s work. Yes – a sad story indeed. I wonder if the inheritance laws in Sweden regarding defacto partners have changed by now. I hope so.

    • Thanks for that info Merran, I loved Stiegs books and had forgotten all the tragedy involving his family. I would love to read Eva’s book when it’s released. Sad Stieg died so young, and sad his family don’t recognise Ava as his partner.

    • Christina – I believe it was because neither wanted to get married. I am not sure if the family recognised her as his partner or not – but at the very least they should have given her substantially more than their (Ava and Steig’s) damn apartment. Steig was not close to his family and who knows the depth of discord or why – and it is not important. I was very moved by Eva’s plight and remember it clearly. Eve said long ago they were greedy and I agree. I LOVED the books (phew) and loved the Swedish movies better than the US. What a shame he died – I will look forward to reading her book.

  3. I did not realise that this had been released! Thanks for the great review John. Now to Amazon!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *