Book Review: Stieg Larsson’s Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest

Posted September 4, 2012 by Kathy Davie in

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: Stieg Larsson’s Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest

Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest

in Hardcover edition on May 25, 2010 and has 563 pages.

Explore it on Goodreads or Amazon.

Third in the Millennium Trilogy suspense series continues the story begun in The Girl Who Played with Fire.

In 2008, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest won the Glass Key Award, and in 2010, it won the Goodreads Choice for Mystery & Thriller, Favorite Book, Favorite Heroine.

My Take

I know people like this do exist. everywhere. People more concerned with their own power and status. Willing to do whatever it takes, destroy anyone in their way to maintain or improve their status. Thank god there are people who are just the opposite as well.

The hospital and the police all know that Zala and his daughter are at odds — she did hit him in the head with an axe…twice. So, why wouldn’t there be a guard in the hall to prevent any interaction between them?

Interesting peek under the hood of Sweden’s justice system in comparison to that of the U.S.

Thank god for the police officers truly investigating the situation, the journalist who keeps pushing, the hackers who dare anything — the friends an unlikeable antisocial woman has in her corner against the secret police.

Quite a bit of the story is about Säpo’s origins and its justification for existence. A justification that does not exist. Shouldn’t any officer — police or secret agency — understand the necessity to investigate all sides of an issue? Where were the school officials when Lisbeth was being harassed by bullies? When you think about it, I suspect we would find that much of the evil perpetuated is caused by bullies or people who were victimized by them and have grown up passionate for revenge.

I love it! The first meeting of the Knights of the Idiotic Table! Holger Palmgren on his first outing since his stroke; Malin Eriksson, the new editor-in-chief; Sonny Bohman and Dragan Aramsky of Milton Security; and, Mikael Blomkvist.

Ooh, baby, Säpo is screwing up in so many tiny ways. Enough to tip off the good guys!

Interesting side bit about an Irish law from 697 forbidding women from acting as soldiers… Around the same time period when a faction within the Church was insisting that priests be celibate and not allow co-ed religious houses. Was there something in the water?? Another side trip was about imported toilets and child labor laws.

Blomkvist is ahead of everyone and he has own people tailing the spies. Talk about a blow-up waiting to happen!

It seems odd that Larsson pops in Nilsson’s concerns and goes nowhere with it. I can see it being an opportunity to create tension, so, why stop?

Hey, I think Erika’s cost-cutting ideas are quite sound and make more sense that cutting back on reporters.

I love the fast one Mik pulls on Säpo!! Too much fun!

The judge makes a good point and Annika was brilliant!

And it’s good to see that Lisbeth can compromise.

The Story

Thank god for Kalle-fucking-Blomkvist and his stubbornness. He knew Lisbeth well and followed her to Zala’s farm. Just in time to call in a medical helicopter for a girl shot several times and buried alive.

Then it all goes to hell when an idiot of an inspector arrives. A policeman dead, another savagely beaten, and Niedermann on the loose. Bublanski sends Modig and Holmberg to Trollhätten where Dr. Jonasson is operating on Lisbeth and Zala is demanding her arrest for attacking him.

If the news that a government agency deliberately conspired to destroy a girl’s life to protect its own power and the life of a criminal gets out…

The Characters

Lisbeth Salander is a brilliant young lady betrayed by the system her entire life so it’s no wonder that she refuses to speak. Lisbeth’s computer friends come to her aid: Plague and the rest of the Hacker Republic.

Mikael “Klasse” Blomkvist is an investigative journalist and partners in Millennium with Erika — even if she’s no longer there. He’s talked his sister, Annika Giannini, into representing Lisbeth even though she has no experience in criminal law. And just wait until you watch her operate!

The People at Millennium magazine include:
Erika Berger is about to be the former editor-in-chief at Millennium and hasn’t had a chance to tell Mik yet. Malin Erikssen is the new editor-in-chief and she’s terrified. Henry Cortez is the new managing editor. Christer Malin is another partner and the art director.

Holger Palmgren is recovering well from the stroke that saw Lisbeth placed under Bjurman’s Guardianship. The only official who ever listened to her, Holger steps up for her. Advokat Nils Bjurman was part of Säpo’s plan to control her.

Dragan Aramsky is the head of Milton Security and Lisbeth’s old boss. Hedström is gone, but Johan Fräklund, chief of Milton’s operations unit, and Sonny Bohman are still on board. Dragan calls on an old friend for help, Superintendent Torsten Edklinth, director of Constitutional Protection. Supposedly protecting Swedish citizens from having their rights violated. Inspector Monica Figuerola loves to work out and works for Edklinth who now puts her in charge of CP’s operational division. The brand new one and she is asked to investigate. Carefully.

The legal side investigating the murders in Stockhom includes:
Criminal Inspector Jan “Bubbles” Bublanski, the police officer in charge. Sonja Modig is methodical, exacting, imaginative, and has the ability to make associations — and Ekström keeps trying to get rid of her. Jerker Holmberg is the best crime scene investigator. Curt Andersson has a rep and is mentoring one of them. Hans Faste is going off the rails. Richard Ekström is the prosecutor against Lisbeth for the murders and he’s so incompetent is frightening.

The legal side investigating the events at the farmhouse near Nossebro includes:
Inspector Thomas Paulsson is first to arrive at the farmhouse and he’s an idiot. More concerned with arresting a dying Lisbeth than in getting her medical treatment. Fortunately, Criminal Inspector Marcus Erlander takes over from Paulsson.

Dr. Anders Jonasson is head of the trauma unit and the surgeon on call the night Lisbeth is brought in. He adheres to the medical code of honor to help all whoever they may be, whatever they have done. He is one of those few willing to look beyond files and paperwork. Especially when her father gets killed. Idris Ghidi is a Kurdish refugee from the tortures of Saddam Hussein currently working as a janitor at Sahlgrenska hospital. As long as it’s not illegal, he is willing to help.

Sonny Nieminen is running the Savavelsjö Motorcycle Club while Maggie is in hospital and no one is happy about this. Ronald Niedermann is a huge psychopath who feels no pain and he’s not too bright in the head. He tends to…see things. His own father threw him to the police. Alexander Zalachenko, a.k.a., Karl Axel Bodin, a.k.a., Zala, is Lisbeth and Ronald’s father. and an evil, evil man. Martin Thomasson is Zala’s lawyer.

Säpo is a secret police organization buried deep inside government departments. As can happen, its members have gotten way too big for their britches and have no moral code. Jonas Sandberg shows up at Zala’s bedside to do damage control. Evert Gullberg is retired and now he’s back for one last job. Birger Wadensjöö is the current chief of Säpo. Fredrik C
retired as chief and is undergoing dialysis treatment. He’s happy enough to get back in the saddle and ramrod his desires through. Göran Mårtensson is a bodyguard with SIS and he’ll be shadowing Blomkvist.

Dr. Peter Teleborian is the head physician at St. Stefan’s Psychiatric Clinic who treated Lisbeth in her early teens. He’s more concerned with sucking up to Säpo. You’ll love his comeuppance! Thorbjörn Fälldin was the prime minister of Sweden when Zalachenko was given a new identity. He’s a friend of Holmberg’s father and will prove useful.

Magnus Borgsjö is the CEO and chairman of the board of Svenska Morgon-Posten who has promised Erika a free hand in rejuvenating the paper. Too bad it’s not worth the paper it’s printed on. Håkan Morander is the outgoing editor-in-chief at the paper, poor guy. Peter Fredriksson is the assistant editor. Gunnar Magnusson is the assistant editor of the front page. Lennart Torkelsson is the photo editor while Anders Holse is the asshole news chief who does everything he can to undermine Erika.

Judge Iverson is presiding over Lisbeth’s farce, er, I mean, trial.

The Cover and Title

The cover is a metallic silver with black, detailed outlines of wasps in different sizes.

The title is the cover-up her own government did which destroyed the lives of so many. Funnily enough, it was Zala who started it, Lisbeth was simply The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest open to prove her innocence.