Given that Hornet’s Nest kicks off immediately following the events of Played with Fire, I was hoping that it could keep up the momentum of the previous book and avoid the slow first half / crazy second half that the previous two books had suffered from. Unfortunately, no such luck. If anything, it takes even longer to get moving and the conclusion isn’t quite as action packed as the previous novels.
On the other hand, I do feel like this was a solid conclusion to the series. It wrapped up a lot of loose ends that I hadn’t even realized I was missing and finished character arcs, particularly for Lisbeth. She’s still odd, but I’m really starting to understand where she comes from. And in the end, she wins. I would have been rather grumpy with the author (even if he is dead) had she not come out all right in the end.
One bit that I thought was odd was the subplot about Erika Berger changing jobs and being stalked. Just like the rape in the first book (which did turn out to have a much larger impact on the latter two books), I don’t feel like it adds particularly much to the story. It does fit the theme about systematic corruption and victimization of women, but I feel like the story would have been just as strong without it.
As I’ve mentioned before, I don’t read particularly much that’s this close to the real world, but I did enjoy all three books in this series. Even though I would consider it the weakest of the three; if you’ve read the first two, you should read this one as well.