Finally, The Girl Who Lived Twice, the sixth and last part in the renowned Millennium series has been published. The author David Lagercrantz has constructed an elegant plot that intertwines political scandals and international crime, with currently relevant topics like DNA technology, expeditions to the Himalayas, and Russian troll factories.
A homeless man is found dead in a park in central Stockholm. His identity is unknown, but in his pocket the police find a crumpled piece of paper with Mikael Blomkvist‘s phone number on it. Blomkvist cannot help being interested, but soon he realizes that he needs Lisbeth Salander to help him unravel the identity of the man. Unfortunately, Lisbeth has left the country and cannot be reached. She has followed the trail of her twin sister Camilla to Moscow, determined to once and for all settle the score with her. She has made up her mind: She shall be the hunter and not the hunted.
Watch the trailer here.
Stieg Larsson was a Swedish investigative journalist and researcher, specialized in anti-democratic, right-wing extremism and Nazi organizations. He wrote the three novels The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played with Fire and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet´s Nest at the beginning of the new millennium. Shortly after delivering the manuscripts to his publisher, he sadly and unexpectedly died of a heart attack in 2004. The books were published posthumously as the Millennium Trilogy, which instantly became a tremendous international success. His two protagonists, the super intelligent but asocial hacker Lisbeth Salander and the digging reporter Mikael Blomkvist, fascinated a whole world – and the public wanted more.
In 2013, the Swedish publisher contracted David Lagercrantz, a Swedish author and journalist, to continue the Millennium trilogy. It was a controversial decision, that aroused a lot of debate in media, whether it was fair or not to continue Stieg Larsson´s trilogy. And it was certainly a delicate mission for Lagercrantz, since the Millennium trilogy had been such a success and the main characters had made such an impact on readers all over the world.
The first sequel, The Girl in the Spider´s Web, was a fascinating story dealing with industrial espionage, artificial intelligence and the savant syndrome. The following book, The Girl Who Takes an Eye for an Eye, was about long forgotten secret pseudoscientific experiments as well as current phenomena as Islamism and honour violence.
David Lagercrantz tries to stay true to the main features of Stieg Larsson´s complex stories, but has chosen not to imitate Larsson´s style, rather to develop the more intellectual and scientific elements in his own way. I do miss the social pathos and commitment of Stieg Larsson, but Lagercrantz´ novels are more tight and straightforward – and just as suspenseful.
The main characters
The focus is still on Lisbeth Salander and Mikael Blomkvist, who continue the fight for justice – personal and societal. The character Mikael Blomkvist has become a bit more vague in the hands of David Lagercrantz, but that´s not very surprising since Blomkvist in a way was the alter ego of Stieg Larssson – an investigative journalist, addicted to his job and ready to sacrifice everything for his professional mission.
The crime-fiction phenomenon Lisbeth Salander is in the centre of the action, as well physically as in cyberspace. She must be one of the most original and eccentric heroines ever created – a rude, antisocial and revengeful fighter and super hacker. Still you cannot help liking and feeling for because of her survival instincts developed during a terrifying childhood and youth. She will certainly be an everlasting global heroine just like Pippi Longstocking (who was, by the way, one of Stieg Larssons role models), that teaches us all not to judge by appearance.
And if you happen to visit Stockholm, you may take a Millennium tour and follow in the footsteps of Lisbeth Salander and Mikael Blomkvist: