Friday, August 20, 2010

"I am president now, and tired of being kicked around." Wm Howard Taft

In the Steig Larsson's Millinnium trilogy, the story picks up after the action in "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo." Lisbeth Salander is taken to the hospital after being shot three times and buried alive. She's in critical condition with a bullet in the brain.

Her friend, journalist, Mikael Blomkvist, found her and called in help. He tells police that he tied killer Ronald Niedermann to a road sign and could be taken into custody. He also warns the police to be careful of him. However, police don't take his caution seriously enough and Niedermann kills one of the police officers and severely beats the other.

At the same time, former Russian hit man, Alexander Zalachenko, who is Salander's father is found injured. He is the person who shot his daughter and buried her alive. She managed to escape and hit him with a hatchet. He's severely injured and taken to the same hospital as his daughter.

Inspector Modig and Criminal Inspector Marcus Erlander, from violent crimes are the investigating officers.

Blomkvist asks Insp. Modig if she will make sure that there isn't a cover up for the crimes against Salander by the Secret Service, SAPO, who brought Zalachenko into the country, used him as a political tool, and declared Salander insane when she finally took action against Zalachenko after the years of extreme physical abuse he gave to her mother.

The case is set for trial and as the trial date is set, Blomkvist persuades his sister, Annika Giannini, a woman's rights attorney, to act as Lisbeth's counsel.

The men behind the scenes at SAPO are led by Everett Gullberg, a former chief os Sweden's secret police. It was he who appointed Gunnar Bjorck, who was one of the major players in SAPO's recruitment and cover up of Zalachenko. Gullberg tells his current secret service group that they must work together to discredit Salander and stop Zalachenko from telling what he knows.
The story goes on to tell the plot of SAPO and all of the inhumane things that they have done and plan to do to Salander.

An interesting subplot tells of Blomkvist's associate and occasional lover, Erica Berger, being offered a job at a leading publication company. We follow her actions as she attempts to run that company.

This is a significant work of literature, very realistic and emotionally captivating. Lisbeth Salander is the most outstanding female character that I have ever read.

The novel pulls together the threads of the first two novels and could have used some editing but the author died, soon after delivering the manuscript to his publishers. Nevertheless, this is one of the best books of the year and of the decade.

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