terça-feira, 7 de agosto de 2012

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets Nest

The last book to Stieg Larson's sequel - and just saying so is a pity. He is such an incredible writer and knows how to grip his reader that it is sad to know there won't be anymore stories coming from him. 
The good thing though of this being the last book is that you FINALLY get to the end and discover the whole story, all the tinest details, the truth about every sneaky (and non sneaky) character - and all by all the hidden secrets that are only revealed at the very end of a suspense novel such as this one. 
Besides reading all the three books I also watched all three movies as I felt it would be cool to "put a face to the figure". The movies are fantastic as well but nothing compared to the books (though this was to be excpected!) as there are just so many little things that go missing when you make a movie - just the fact that you can't narrate the character's thoughts is a huge thing. 
So for those who are looking for a gripping read (the kind that keeps you up all night, no kidding!) run to your nearest bookstore and make this book - I mean, these books - all yours!!!  


The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets' Nest (original title in SwedishLuftslottet som sprängdes, in English literally The Castle of Air That Was Blown Up) is the third and final novel in the best-selling "Millennium series"[1] by Swedish writer Stieg Larsson. The novel is the sequel to The Girl Who Played with Fire. It was published posthumously in Swedish in 2007 and in English in the UK in October 2009.
The US and Canadian editions, published on May 25, 2010, are titled The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest, with "hornet" in the singular form.[2][3]


The book begins as Lisbeth Salander is flown to Sahlgrenska Hospital. It picks up where The Girl Who Played with Fire left off.

[edit]In the hospital

After surgery, she is moved to an intensive care ward under guard, accessible only to police, doctors, nurses, and her lawyer, Annika Giannini (who is also Mikael Blomkvist's sister). Zalachenko, whom Salander injured with an axe, is two rooms away. Niedermann is on the run from the police after murdering a police officer and carjacking and kidnapping a woman during his escape. Niedermann seeks help from his old friends at the outlaw Svavelsjö Motorcycle Club, kills the treasurer and steals 800,000 kronor before disappearing.
Evert Gullberg, the founder and former chief of "the Section", a secret division of Swedish Security Service (Säpo) that harbored and protected Zalachenko, asks former Section associate Frederik Clinton to become acting head of the Section and plots to deflect attention away from the Section by silencing Salander, Blomkvist and Zalachenko.
They first form a working alliance with the unsuspecting prosecutor of Salander's case, Richard Ekström. Dr. Peter Teleborian, the psychiatrist who supervised Salander when she was previously institutionalized, provides Ekstrom with a false psychiatric examination and recommends that she be reinstitutionalized, preferably without a trial.
Gullberg, who has terminal cancer, murders Zalachenko in his hospital bed and then commits suicide. Section operatives stage a suicide for Gunnar Björck, the junior Säpo officer who had handled Zalachenko after the latter's defection, and who was Blomkvist's source of information about the Section. Other Section operatives burgle Blomkvist's apartment, mug Annika Giannini, and plant bugs in the homes and phones of Millennium staff. Undeterred, Blomkvist continues to investigate the Section for a Millennium exposé.


Blomkvist hires Dragan Armansky's Milton Security to handle countersurveillance. Armansky informs Säpo Constitutional Protection Director Torsten Edklinth about the constitutional violations. Edklinth, along with his assistant Monica Figuerola, begins a clandestine investigation into the Section. After Figuerola confirms the allegations, Edklinth contacts the Justice Minister and thePrime Minister who approve a full investigation by Constitutional Protection, and later invite Blomkvist to a confidential meeting in which they are to share information. They agree to Blomkvist's deadline—he intends to publish his findings about the state's manipulation of Salander's constitutional rights at the beginning of her trial. Meanwhile, Figuerola and Blomkvist have an affair.
Blomkvist convinces Salander's doctor, Dr. Anders Jonasson, to return her handheld computer. Blomkvist arranges to have a phone placed in a duct leading to Salander's room, allowing her to access the Internet and communicate.

[edit]Berger subplot

Erika Berger leaves Millennium to be editor-in-chief at Sweden's largest daily paper, the fictional Svenska Morgon-Posten (S.M.P.). Meanwhile, Henry Cortez, a reporter at Millennium, uncovers a story about a Swedish company manufacturing toilets that engages child labour in Vietnam. After a while he discovers that the boss of the firm is Magnus Borgsjö, who is also the major shareholder of S.M.P. and therefore Berger's boss. Blomkvist gives a copy of the story to Berger, and she decides to confront him. Berger also begins receiving graphic emails and threats. The stalker even breaks into Berger's home and steals scandalous private materials belonging to Berger. Berger engages Milton Security to help secure her home, and hires a Milton employee named Susanne Linder to help protect her home. With the help of Lisbeth, Berger's stalker is exposed as a fellow employee at S.M.P. and high school classmate of Berger, Peter Fredriksson. Linder confronts Fredriksson and recovers Berger's things. However, Fredriksson also stole the story that Blomkvist gave Berger, and anonymously e-mailed Borgsjö the story. Borgsjö orders Berger to suppress the story at Millennium. Berger decides to print the story in S.M.P. in Cortez's name, and then resigns from S.M.P. and returns to Millennium. Borgsjö and Fredriksson are forced to resign.
On the eve of Salander's trial, the Section, desperate to silence Blomkvist and destroy his credibility, hire two members of the Yugoslav mafia to murder him and Berger, while planting cocaine in his apartment. Figuerola and her fellow agents are able to intercept and foil their plans. Blomkvist and Berger go to a Milton safehouse until the trial. Berger intuits Figuerola's and Blomkvist's affair, and promises Figuerola to stay clear of Blomkvist as long as they are together.
Meanwhile, Salander is transferred to prison to start her trial.


On the third day of Salander's trial, Giannini systematically destroys Teleborian's testimony, proving: that the Section and Teleborian had conspired to commit Salander at age 12 to protect Zalachenko, that Salander's rights had been repeatedly violated, and that they were once again conspiring against her. During this time, Millennium's exposé of Zalachenko and his abuses against Salander and her family, along with a book entitled The Section, are released, becoming the story of the year. The same day, teams from Edklinth's unit arrest the ten members of the Section. Blomkvist and Edklinth provide evidence proving that Teleborian's recent "psychiatric assessment" of Salander was fabricated and that he was working with the Section to silence her. Teleborian is later arrested for possession of child pornography, which was found on his computer by Salander and her hacker friends, Plague and Trinity.


With the evidence and credibility of the prosecution shattered, the prosecutor drops all charges against Salander. Freed, Salander embarks on an overseas trip to forget the events. She spends several months at Gibraltar, among other things to pay a visit to the man managing the billions she had stolen from Hans-Erik Wennerström in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. She also tracks down Miriam Wu, who is studying at a university in Paris.
As Zalachenko's daughter, Salander inherits half of his properties and wealth, which she has no choice but to accept; the other half goes to her twin sister Camilla. Suspicious about an abandoned factory in her father's estate, she goes there to investigate and finds two dead women and Niedermann, who had been hiding there from the police. After a brief struggle and chase, Salander outwits Niedermann by nailing his feet to the plank floor with a nail gun. She is tempted to kill him herself, but instead leaves the warehouse and reports his location to the head of the Svavelsjö biker gang, who had previously attacked Salander. After the gang arrives, Salander directs the police to the warehouse with Niedermann and the bikers; she then watches as the police arrive and begin a stand-off with the bikers. She leaves before it is over, satisfied that both Niedermann and the biker have received payback. She later learns that Niedermann was killed by the bikers and that the head biker was shot by the police while resisting arrest.
Back at her apartment in Stockholm, Salander receives a visit from Blomkvist. The story, as well as the Millennium trilogy, ends with the two finally reconciling.

[edit]Characters from Larsson's life

  • Svante Branden helps Lisbeth Salander "by denouncing the fraudulent analysis of Dr. Peter Teleborian and the arbitrary internment to which he had subjected her." Stieg Larsson and his life partner Eva Gabrielsson were loaned a student room by the real Svante Branden who, after being neighbors with Larsson in Umeå, was a psychiatrist and a friend. In her book "There Are Things I Want You to Know" About Stieg Larsson and Me, Gabrielsson writes that the character and the person were a lot alike because Svante "was against every form of violation of human rights and freedom. When Stieg made him one of the heroes of The Millennium Trilogy, it was a way of paying homage to him." [5]
  • Anders Jonasson, the doctor who helps Salander significantly throughout her hospital stay is based on Anders Jakobsson, a longtime friend of Stieg Larsson and Eva Gabrielsson. His name was changed in the novel to Jonasson after he ran into Erland, Larsson's father, in a supermarket and told him how he felt about Gabrielsson being denied access to Larsson's estate after his death.[5]
  • Kurdo Baksi, Kurdish-Swedish publisher of Black and White magazine and collaborator of Stieg Larsson at the Expo Foundation is mentioned as a character in the books, along with his publishing house.


The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest was listed at the top of's bestseller list before arriving in bookstores, extremely unusual for an English-language book in translation.[6] Just as unusually, this book was not made available in paperback until February 21, 2012, or more than two years after its original English-language publication in October 2009,[7] probably because it still regularly appeared in Top 10 best seller lists as a hardcover book (e.g., rated #5 in the New York Times best seller list for the week ending January 29, 2012).[8]
The Millennium series is described in a New York Times review as "utterly addicting", and this, the third in the series, received a good review.[9] Salander is described as "one of the most original characters in a thriller to come along in a while". The combination of her resourcefulness, intelligence and apparent fragility underlies her ability to win the battle to have her re-institutionalized. The compelling character of Salander and her past, completely explained in the volume of the trilogy, is a counterpoint to Blomkvist's more mundane character, writes the reviewer. The novel itself is compared to John LeCarre's cold-war thrillers.[10] Writing for The Guardian, Kate Mosse declares that The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest is a "grown-up work for grown-up readers", which she says shows a well-presented plausible narrative.[11] The Los Angeles Times disagrees, describing the plots as "improbable", but notes the popularity of the series, referring to it as "an authentic phenomenon".[12] Writing for The Washington Post, Patrick Anderson claims the third in the series "brings the saga to a satisfactory conclusion".[4]
The overly long and complicated plot is criticized by Marcel Berlins writing for The Sunday Times.[13] The Los Angeles Times critic agrees, pointing at the implausibility of Larsson's plot, the weak writing and characterizations.[12]

[edit]Publication history

Larsson submitted the book to two Swedish publishers, with Norstedts Förlag accepting the manuscript for publication. Norstedts commissioned Steve Murray under the pen-name of Reg Keeland to undertake the English translation.[14]
Alfred A. Knopf bought the rights to the book, along with the preceding two volumes in the series, after Larsson's death in 2004.[15] The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets' Nest was published with a first print-run of 800,000 copies.[6]

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