Author: Stieg Larsson
Series: Millenium Trilogy, book 2
Published: 2006 (Sweden) 2009 (US)
Recommendation: Definitely worth reading if you have enjoyed The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.
Summary: After the events in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Lisbeth leaves the country for a long holiday abroad and Mikael Blomkvist returns to the Millenium. The Millenium is about to make another splash with an expose on sex trafficking when Dag Svensson and Mia Johansson who have investigated the issue get murdered. And the prime suspect in the murder is Lisbeth Salander.
Reactions: I started on The Girl Who Played with Fire as soon as I finished the first book of the series. Despite all the wrap up in the previous book, I was eager to find out what would happen to Lisbeth and Mikael next. And even though the author fills in some of the back story for the previous book, I would definitely recommend reading The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo first. It makes Lisbeth's motives in this book much clearer.
There is a new crime to investigate in The Girl Who Played with Fire and a new set of suspects. The common theme in both books are misogynists, but otherwise the plot is quite different from the previous book. After some introductory chapters the plot really takes off and I could not put the book down. I ended up reading the whole book in a day and I didn't go to sleep till 6am. (Vacations are useful for allowing that to be the case).
There is a lot more emphasis on Lisbeth this book, quite a few chapters follow her movements. At the same time the reader is held in suspense as to whether Lisbeth committed the crimes she is accused of. It's also interesting to follow the police investigation and the dynamics of the team searching for the murderer. I felt some of the characters were a little more clear-cut black-and-white in this book, i.e. some of the detectives, but they seemed to be a study in contrasts for this book.
The main reason this book ended up with a slightly lower rating than the first book in the series is the way the author wrapped up. The book ends with a somewhat of a cliff-hanger. While some plot lines are resolved, others are still up in the air at the end. I was slightly disappointed at that but the best I could do was preorder the next book of the series to be released in May 2010.
To sum it up, anyone who enjoyed the first book would also definitely enjoy this one. I am certainly waiting to find out what happens in the last installment and I hope Stieg Larsson does a good job of completing the trilogy.