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CR3 #5: The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest by Stieg Larsson

This is the third in Larsson's The Girl Who trilogy, and I am going to be honest...I was a little disappointed. There was a lot going on, and a lot to like, but when I finished I was kind of let down.

The plot picks up where The Girl Who Played With Fire ended -- Lisbeth Salander fighting for her life in the hospital after being shot by her father, the dangerous Soviet spy who'd been in hiding in Sweden. The plot continues as Mikael Blomkvist and his allies join together to help Salander prove her innocence in several murders and assaults, as well as bring down the nefarious secret society within the Swedish version of the CIA.

Although I was still really into the characters of Salander and Blomkvist, there were just way too many peripheral characters. I know Larsson was trying to show the story from every angle, but it was just overload. I don't care about Blomkvist's lover Erika Berger's travails at her new job with a deranged stalker. I don't care about the internal workings at Blomkvist's magazine. And I REALLY don't need eight pages explaining how this secret internal group came about due to 1970s Swedish politics and HOW THEY GOT THEIR FUNDING. I found myself skimming the pages to try and get back to the heart of the mystery, or at least to a part with either Mikael or Lisbeth. The ending was marginally satisfying, and although I would have been happy to follow these characters more, I was fairly relieved to have the story neatly wrapped up.

This book absolutely cannot stand alone--the second and third book are really one large story--and I'd only recommend it to those who have a desire to finish out the series. It's okay, but nothing spectacular.

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