The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest Download
The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets’ Nest (original title in Swedish: Luftslottet som sprängdes, literally, the air castle that blew up) is the third novel in the best-selling Millennium series by Swedish writer Stieg Larsson.
It was published in Swedish in 2007; in English, in the UK, in October 2009; and in the US and Canada on 25 May 2010. The first three novels in the series, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2005), The Girl Who Played with Fire (2006), and The Girl who Kicked the Hornets’ Nest were written by Stieg Larsson before being shown to a publisher and were published posthumously after his fatal heart attack in 2004. Additionally, all three novels were adapted as films.
After surgery, Salander is moved to an intensive care ward under guard, accessible only to police, doctors, nurses, and her lawyer, Annika Giannini (who is also Mikael Blomkvist’s sister). Zalachenko, whom Salander injured with an ax, is two rooms away. Niedermann, thanks to botched responses from the local law enforcement, is on the run after murdering a police officer, and carjacking and kidnapping a woman during his escape. Niedermann seeks help from his old friends at the outlaw Svavelsjö Motorcycle Club, kills the treasurer, and steals 800,000 kronor before disappearing.
These events prompt immediate action from “the Section”, a secret division of Swedish Security Service (Säpo) created for purposes of counterintelligence, and responsible for Zalachenko’s asylum and supervision. Evert Gullberg, founder and former chief of the Section, asks former Section associate Fredrik Clinton to become acting head of the Section and plots to deflect attention away from the Section by silencing Salander, Blomkvist, and Zalachenko. They form a working alliance with the unsuspecting prosecutor of Salander’s case, Richard Ekström. Dr. Peter Teleborian, the psychiatrist who supervised Salander when she was previously institutionalized on the Section’s orders, provides Ekström with a false psychiatric examination and recommends that she be reinstitutionalized, preferably without a trial.
Gullberg, who has terminal cancer, murders Zalachenko in his hospital bed and attempts to enter Salander’s room to murder her, but is prevented by Giannini. Gullberg then commits suicide in the passage outside Salander’s room. A distraught Giannini informs Blomkvist of the shootings. Section operatives murder Gunnar Björk, the junior Säpo officer who had handled Zalachenko after the latter’s defection and who was Blomkvist’s source of information about the Section; the operatives falsify the death as a suicide. Other Section operatives burgle Blomkvist’s apartment and mug Annika Giannini, specifically making off with copies of the classified Säpo file that contains Zalachenko’s identity, and plant bugs in the homes and phones of Millennium staff. The timing of the attacks and the property that was taken cause Blomkvist to realize that the phones are tapped, and he begins to investigate the Section in earnest for a Millennium exposé.
Summary The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest
The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest was listed at the top of Amazon.com’s bestseller list before arriving in bookstores, extremely unusual for an English-language book in translation. Just as unusually, this book was not made available in paperback until 21 February 2012, or more than two years after its original English-language publication in October 2009, probably because it still regularly appeared in Top 10 bestseller lists as a hardcover book (e.g., rated #5 in the New York Times bestseller list for the week ending 29 January 2012).
The Millennium series is described in a The New York Times review as “utterly addicting”, and this, the third in the series, received a good review. Salander is described as “one of the most original characters in a thriller to come along in a while”. The combination of her resourcefulness, intelligence, and apparent fragility underlies her ability to win the battle to have her re-institutionalized. The compelling character of Salander and her past, completely explained in the volume of the trilogy, is a counterpoint to Blomkvist’s more mundane character, writes the reviewer. The novel itself is compared to John LeCarre’s cold-war thrillers. Writing for The Guardian, Kate Mosse declares that The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest is a “grown-up work for grown-up readers”, which she says shows a well-presented plausible narrative. The Los Angeles Times disagrees, describing the plots as “improbable”, but notes the popularity of the series, referring to it as “an authentic phenomenon”. Writing for The Washington Post, Patrick Anderson claims the third in the series “brings the saga to a satisfactory conclusion”.
The overly long and complicated plot is criticized by Marcel Berlins writing for The Sunday Times. The Los Angeles Times critic agrees, pointing at the implausibility of Larsson’s plot, the weak writing, and characterizations.
Details The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest
Author: Stieg Larsson
Original title: Luftslottet som sprängdes
Translator: Reg Keeland, pseudonym of Steven T. Murray
Genre: Crime, mystery, thriller
Publisher: Norstedts Förlag (Swedish), MacLehose Press, an imprint of Quercus (English)
Publication date: May 2007 (Sweden) October 2009 (UK)
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