I‘m always appalled by people who say “I don’t read.” I just don’t understand that. How do you not read? How is it you don’t have the will to learn something new or challenge your brain? People who don’t read become Trump voters….as well as TRUMP himself! That should tell you something right there. But I digress!
Some years I plow through 40 books and some years I scarcely read 5. This year is in between because some of the books I’ve read are quite long. I started with The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich. That thing is a B.E.A.S.T. It’s 3,500 pages on iBooks. I still haven’t finished it but I plan to this year. Don’t worry, there won’t be a review.
However, for my summer reading, I usually choose something fun and fluffy.
Several years ago I read the Stieg Larsson Lisbeth Salander series. I became addicted to the series and even started reading the continuations by David Lagercrantz. If you don’t know, Larsson died before any of his books were published. He never saw the success.
The first three books, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played with Fire and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets Nest were an indictment on the Swedish political system and a platform for women’s rights as well as an exposé into human trafficking and mental health. They are powerful books but moderately easy reads once you figure out the multitude of characters.
Lagercrantz’s The Girl in the Spider’s Web picked up where Larsson left off. And while that book felt like a solid conclusion, The Girl Who Takes an Eye for an Eye proves there’s much, much more to the story.
While slow and stubborn at times, the book could actually be a segue into the story of Salander’s twin sister, a Russian mobster.
Larsson’s tedium with character detail (Does it really matter what kind of croissant or coffee or beer each character was consuming?) in the first three books was unnecessary and seemed to be nothing more than page filler. However, he was a master story teller and the books were beautifully written with stunning twists and enough gaps to leave sequels for decades to come.
And while Lagercrantz can sometimes do the same (as well as fumble through inane and obtuse dialog), he is actually a pretty good story teller. He has done an excellent job of continuing the storyline in a way I believe Larsson would have approved.
I don’t want to sit here and spoil any of this book for you but you’ll need to read all of the prequels to completely understand the story line. This is not a series you can just jump into and get. You must start at the beginning. But if you really like a good mystery, you’ll love these. And if not, well, I have a hard copy of Rise and Fall of the Third Reich I’ll loan you!