Lisbeth Salander, computer hacker extraordinaire, social misfit and martial arts expert, is back in The Girl Who Takes an Eye for an Eye. The fifth in the Stieg Larsson’s Millennium series, Salander sentenced to prison for several months after she protects an autistic child in her typical law-breaking but righteous way. But even prison bars can’t stop Salander from assisting muckraking journalist Mikael Blomkvist as he investigates The Registry, a secret group of doctors conducting illegal experiments on twins. It’s all personal for Salander, who has an evil twin named Camilla.
The investigation is also a chance for Salander to learn more about her abusive past. But there are, as always, barriers in the way. A prison gang leader has put a hit order on her, the Russian mafia and religious fundamentalists are after her and Camilla is back and more treacherous.
Fans of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, the first novel in the Millennium series started by Stieg Larsson and, after his death continued by David Lagercrantz, will be happy that Salander and Blomkvist have teamed up again in this thriller set in Sweden.
For Lagercrantz, a well-established journalist and novelist, the chance to take over the Millennium series was an exciting opportunity. It was also rather daunting as Larsson’s Millennium trilogy sold more than 80 million copies worldwide.
“If I have a gift it is probably to have the ability to write in many ways,” says Lagercrantz. “My sister who is an actor sometimes calls me an actor-writer, I go in to roles. My journalism past helped me a lot. I always say if you want to write good journalism use literary techniques, and if you want to write good fiction use journalistic research. Of course, it helped me to understand the life of Michael Blomkvist. In my heart, I am always a reporter.”
To successfully channel the characters Larsson created, Lagercrantz read the original three books over and over and thought about the characters’ universe day and night.
“My key to writing the book was passion,” he says. “It was the thrill of my life.”
That passion showed. The Girl in the Spider Web, his first book for the series, was a best seller.
Beyond giving his readers an enjoyable story, Lagercrantz wants to help people become more tolerant and understanding than we currently are.
“It is so sad to see the society getting more and more divided,” he says. “Hate is obviously growing, thanks to terrible leaders, and if I can bring just some of us a little tiny bit closer I would be so happy.”