The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo took a while to get into. It wasn’t until Lisbeth and Blomkvist were finally in the same place perhaps halfway through the book that things really started moving.
The Girl Who Played with Fire is much the same.
Honestly, if I were to rate the first half of the book, I would give it three stars, maybe even two. There are just a lot of details that I just don’t particularly care about. It’s only halfway through, when Lisbeth stands accused of murder and various investigations are spinning once again out of control that the book starts getting good.
The second half? Five stars. I read it in one sitting. Things just keep getting more and more screwed up, with corruption and terrible people all over this place. I’ll say that for Larsson. He can write terrible people.
One weird thing throughout is that there is entirely too much detail about mundane things. On several occasions you get essentially a stream of thought for everything that a character is doing… when they’re really not doing anything interesting. Shopping, for example.
All together though, it’s a strong book. Lisbeth has been through hell and emerged with a powerful combination of strength and brokenness. There are terrible people in the world, but they can be beaten. It’s definitely the second of a trilogy, given that ending, and now I have to finish that. Hopefully, it doesn’t take so long to speed up…