The first review from Australia for Stieg Larsson’s ‘The Girl Who Played With Fire’ is out and is an insightful reflection on the novel as well as the state of thrillers –
It's fashionable at the moment -- maybe the influence of best-selling authors such as Lee Child and especially James Patterson -- to have everything in motion, hurtling towards the climax and resolution with carefully calculated cliff-hangers. Too many new authors seemed to have taken notice of Elmore Leonard's famous remark that he leaves out the bits that he knows readers will skip.
But Larsson is interested in more than the answers to the riddles his novels create. It's the process of solution that is the point. And his stories articulate a moral interpretation of the suffering and conflict he presents in what are really social crime novels.
On this level, The Girl Who Played with Fire is a police procedural in the tradition of newly resurgent Scandinavian crime fiction, especially the books of Henning Mankell, creator of Sweden's Inspector Wallander. That cop, carrying a Strinbergian weight of gloom, has been a mouthpiece for growing insecurity, anger and healthy insights about the relationship between the Swedish welfare state and democracy.
Read More from The Australian and the Shots Review of ‘The Girl Who Played With Fire’ here