Lisbeth Salander is hiding out in the Carribean, having had some cosmetic surgery and done a bit of travelling. She’s wondering what she will do with herself now she doesn’t have to work for a living.
Blomkvist is working on an expose of the sex trade in Sweden. Salander comes back and starts to pick up the pieces of her life, including checking in on her guardian and making sure that she is on track to be declared competent. But her guardian has hired a hitman to kill her. Then the journalists Blomkvist is working with get killed and it looks like Salander is the murderer.
The police investigation focusses on finding Salander but Blomkvist doesn’t believe she did it and does his own investigation. Salander takes matters into her own hands. All three investigations come together in a tense climax with some interesting revelations, which hopefully will be expanded on in the last book.
This book was actually a little better than the first one. It still suffered from a lack of editing, especially visible in the frequent summing up passages. It probably could have been a hundred pages shorter without losing anything.
The dialogue is stiff and stilted but the pacing of the action sequences is good. The plot and story line are really exciting and the characters are becoming more rounded and engaging. I wouldn’t make this top of your reading list, but it is worth reading.
If you want a truly brilliant short(ish) novel, do try Dan Rhodes's novel Gold. It's quite marvellous, and very funny (I couldn't get on with Stieg Larsson at all, but that's proably me…)