This is the final book in the millennium trilogy and continues the story that was left behind in the previous book. We see the same main characters – Lisbeth Salander, who was left with a bullet in her head in the last book and Mikhael Blomkvist, who is still to patch things up with his buddy Lisbeth. There are other familiar characters too – Berger, Mikhael’s buddy and the editor-in-chief of Millennium magazine, Armansky, head of Milton Security and a few others.
The story starts with Lisbeth getting hospitalized. Zalachenko, Lisbeth’s father, who was attacked by Lisbeth in the last book, is also hospitalized. The cops and the prosecutor are building a case against Lisbeth, who is accused of three murders, while Lisbeth herself is blissfully unconscious in the hospital. Mikhael is building up his own story to prove Lisbeth’s innocence and bring those people to justice who denied Lisbeth’s her rights as a child. While Zalachenko is recovering his health, the Section, a group of people who were responsible for protecting the political refugee Zalachenko are in a fix because their secret might be revealed. They hatch a plan to silence Zalachenko, Mikhael and anybody else who might know this story and commit Lisbeth to psychiatry ward claiming she is incompetent and insane. It is up to Mikhael, his lawyer sister and Lisbeth herself to prove Lisbeth’s innocence.
The story is interesting no doubt, but there is very little happening in this book. The first book had a very interesting plot and the second book established Lisbeth’s character and weaved a very interesting story around her. The third book should have been a fitting finale to a great series, but it falls short. The author has tried to put in a lot of suspense and on-the-edge situations, but it fails to stir your adrenaline. After a point of time, the story becomes predictable and the book becomes boring.
There is a new element in this book – the court scene. When Lisbeth is brought to trial, we see Mikhael’s sister defending Lisbeth and taking on her enemies in the courtroom. I know Grisham’s court scenes are really popular and thrilling, but Larsson’s scene doesn’t match up.
The third book is good as a thriller, but when you compare it with earlier two books in the trilogy, it is disappointing. Also, if you want to read this book, ensure that you have read the earlier two books, otherwise you will be left with no clue about what’s happening. There is a very strong connection between the books and you will miss out on appreciating the story if you read these books out of sequence.
I enjoyed reading the Millennium trilogy and wish there were more such books coming from the author. Stieg Larsson wrote these books as a hobby, after he got back from work. These three books were published posthumously. Larsson died of a heart attack before he could finish the fourth book whose unfinished manuscript is with his publishing partner. It’s said that Larsson planned to write 10 books as part of the Millennium series. The third book actually concludes things and ties up loose ends, so I am curious how Larsson would have continued the story in the fourth book. Wish he was alive to see the popularity of his books and also to write more such books.