As I muddled through Stieg's , The Girl who Played with Fire, the 2nd volume of his trilogy, I sensed the same difficulty in keeping track of all his characters, Swedish names and places that I had in the first volume, the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo back in August of '09. Getting passed that is challenging. Are Steig's books as good as the critics say and are they as deserving of all the publicity that has been bestowed. I began to wonder. One could argue the popularity stems from the authors life and the tragedy of it's end. If you've read one, two or all three volumes or perhaps haven't read any of the trilogy, I encourage you to read, Kurdo Baksi's book, Our Days in Stockholm, previously mentioned in my blog. Stieg's life as Kurdo reveals, draws parallels to Stiegs books. His life as an investigative journalist and the subject matter for which he pursues is similar in nature, both illegal and immoral. Would Stieg welcome the publicity and the cinematic representation of his first two? My interpretation of Kurdo's slant would be no. But would he appreciate the attention his books bring to the subject matter. I think he would.
The first two books were a bit demanding, but hang on because in the end Steig gets down to business with the power and intensity of one of Lisbeth's ass-kickings and the reader comes to the realization that his novels are well worthy of the publicity and rave reviews-- hot as if you were playing with fire! What will Lisbeth do next, kick a hornet's nest?