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The Girl Who Played with Fire is the second book of Stieg Larsson’s Millennium Trilogy. It starts where The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo ended. Lisbeth Salander and Mikael Blomkvist are back and this time they’re trying to solve a mystery that’s personal to both of them.

Millennium is set to release an issue that exposes the sex trade industry. Along with magazine issue, they will also publish a book written by Dag Svensson, a freelancer who did the research on the illegal sex trafficking business.

Just as the magazine and book is about to be published, Dag is found murdered along with his girlfriend Mia Johansson, who has written a thesis on the subject as well. Also found dead in another part of the country is Nils Bjurman, Lisbeth’s abusive guardian. The police are investigating the three murders and initial evidence gathered all points to Lisbeth as the primary suspect.

Lisbeth evades the police. She also avoids Mikael who is trying to prove her innocence. While the tabloids brand Lisbeth as a psychotic lesbian Satanist, Mikael digs deeper into the mystery to disprove all the claims against her. And during the progress of his investigation, one name keeps on popping up – Zala.

As you might have guessed it, Lisbeth is The Girl Who Played with Fire. It’s good to read about a heroine that can kick ass as well as outthink most of us. Here’s a girl who is depicted by the media to be mentally incapable to take care of herself and yet she managed to elude the police, hack into several computers, and even managed to solve Fermat’s Last Theorem. In this book we get to know more about her and what “All the Evil” is all about.

I found The Girl Who Played with Fire more gripping than The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. But that doesn’t mean you have to skip the first one. You’ll appreciate the story more by reading the three Millennium Trilogy novels in order.

Aside from sex trafficking, The Girl Who Played with Fire tackled lots of relevant issues such as police corruption, media sensationalism, abuse of authority, just to name a few. Stieg Larsson’s novels settings might be in Sweden but it can happen in any part of the world.

I’ve already started with the third and last novel of the trilogy, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest. Hopefully it would tie up the loose ends of The Girl Who Played with Fire. I’m looking forward to more sleepless nights.

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