“The Girl Who Played with Fire” is the second of a trilogy that began with “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” and ends with ‘The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets’ Nest.”
Though not as grippingly suspenseful nor as sexy as “Tattoo,” “Fire” continues to unravel the mysteries of one Lisbeth, the tattooed, fire-playing girl of the title.
Lisbeth is the creation of the late investigative magazine journalist, Stieg Larsson, whose alter ego most likely is Mikael Blomkvist, played by noted Swedish actor Michael Nyqvist.
Mikael has not seen Lisbeth in the year since he first encountered the computer genius hacking into his account. Lisbeth has kept tabs on her onetime lover by cloning the hard drive of the computer he uses at Millennium magazine.
After a short stay in prison on trumped up charges, Mikael is back to his crusading ways. The latest expose in his magazine concerns a sex-trafficking operation with underage girls. The co-authors are Dag Svensson (Hans Christian Thulin) and his girlfriend Mia (Jennie Silfverhjelm), who is doing the research as part of her doctorial thesis. The list of Johns includes some very powerful people in Swedish government, law and business.
Monitoring the project from afar with great interest is Lisbeth, who lives in a fancy apartment with her girlfriend Miriam (Yasmine Garbi).
Before the story can be published Dag and Mia are murdered. Shortly thereafter Lisbeth’s legal guardian, Nils Burman (Peter Andersson) is also murdered. Lisbeth is implicated by circumstantial evidence in all three murders and her face is plaster all over the tabloids.
It is up to Mikael to help Lisbeth clear her name. Unlike the first film, Lisbeth and Mikael are not physically together. Mikael is almost like a bit player, with the focus shifted to Lisbeth, who has becomes like a Swedish Wonder Woman, fighting, boxing and throttling guys three times her size. Poor, abused Lisbeth discovers some unhappy truths about her past even more terrible than in the first film.
In all, “Fire” is a worthy sequel. Now I need to read the book.