The majority of books I have read for my 12 in 12 challenge in January have been part of a series – this seems to be a feature of crime writing. Book 5 is The Girl who Takes an Eye for an Eye by David Lagercrantz (translated from the Swedish by George Goulding) which is one of three books which carry on from a series started by Steig Larsson. This is not actually that unusual. Other writers are continuing Agatha Christie’s Hercule Poirot books, Dorothy L Sayers’ Lord Peter Wimsey books and we have heard this week that Lee Child is passing on the authorship of his Jack Reacher novels to his brother.
I have read the three original books in this series and two of the sequels. I can’t see a huge amount of difference between the two except that the later books perhaps emphasise the role of Lisbeth Salander more than that of the other characters and are concentrating more on her personal and past life.
This book is best read after the others to understand some of the back story and the characters. The author is still exploring Lisbeth’s family history and in this book a past medical experiment with dubious ethics is revealed because of attempts to cover it up. There is also a story about a woman prisoner and what has happened in her family. The book is fast paced and quite violent but Lisbeth and her friend Mikael uncover what is happening with little communication between the two. Although I am not naïve about medical interventions on people who do not give consent I still think that this storyline is quite farfetched but the author just about makes it work.
Although Lisbeth is the main character in this book she is confined to prison for quite a lot of it and so the prime movers in the plot are others. This doesn’t quite work because it does rather make Lisbeth powerless when the story is trying to prove that she isn’t.
I like these books well enough but they are not particular favourites of mine. This is an engaging read and I will go on to read the next one in the series.