Book review: The Girl in the Spider’s Web by David Lagercrantz


She is the girl with the dragon tattoo—a genius hacker and uncompromising misfit. He is a crusading journalist whose championing of the truth often brings him to the brink of prosecution.

Late one night, Blomkvist receives a phone call from a source claiming to have information vital to the United States. The source has been in contact with a young female superhacker—a hacker resembling someone Blomkvist knows all too well. The implications are staggering. Blomkvist, in desperate need of a scoop for Millennium, turns to Salander for help. She, as usual, has her own agenda. The secret they are both chasing is at the center of a tangled web of spies, cybercriminals, and governments around the world, and someone is prepared to kill to protect it . . .

The duo who captivated millions of readers in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played with Fire, and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest join forces again in this adrenaline-charged, uniquely of-the-moment thriller.

I read the first three books of the Millennium trilogy when I was in college, back when it was still a trilogy and before the news that David Lagercrantz would take over. I actually bought The Girl Who Played With Fire first. It was an impulse buy based solely on the cover and I didn’t even realize it was the second in the series. Imagine my surprise when I got the syllabus for that semester’s lit class — lo and behold, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo was assigned reading.

The tables turned a couple weeks into said lit class. We were assigned slots for 75-minute presentations and I was assigned The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. I have a lot of anxiety and am, in general, very bad at public speaking, so I proceeded to have a bit of a meltdown as I tried to come up with 75 minutes of things I could say about that book. I did it, somehow, though I don’t remember a single sentence of what I said. Presumably, I did just fine, seeing how I passed the class. It probably helped that I really enjoyed that book.

I flew through the rest of the series and was thrilled when I heard that it would be continuing on through David Lagercrantz. I got this book for Christmas in 2016… and avoided it for the next year and a half or so. I’ve (obviously) finally picked it up and I’m just disappointed.

I’m not sure if it’s because I read the other books seven years ago. I’m not sure if it’s because of the change in author. I’m not sure if I’m maybe just not that into Swedish crime fiction anymore? But I was so bored while I read this book that I had to force myself to keep going. I kept zoning out and then I’d get to a part where it’s like, “THEN SHE TOOK HIS TROUSERS OFF AND TOLD HIM I’M GOING TO CUT YOU WITH A KNIFE” and I was like… Wait… What just happened…? How did we get here again?

There were a lot of characters in this book. Of course, I remembered Blomkvist and Salander. I didn’t remember a single other character. Or maybe the other characters weren’t in the previous books? Regardless, there’s a lot of time spent on characters that I cared very little about and hardly any time spent on the actual heroes of the story. Another issue that I had was that so much time was spent describing the scenery or the intricate details of Millennium’s operations that there was little time left over for the plot. This book felt so long, but what really happened? Not too much.

I’m glad that I can finally take this book off my TBR, but unfortunately, I have zero desire to read The Girl Who Takes an Eye for an Eye.

Final rating: ★★☆☆☆

#mm18: book to screen (the movie is set to release later this year)
#killingthetbr: one year, five months on shelf