Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest

Published by Alfred A. Knopf

Sorry I have been so lax in writing these reviews lately. I had been in a reading slump then I began reading extra long books. In fact, I had trouble getting into The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets Nest because it had been two years since I had read The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and The Girl Who Played with Fire. But once I got beyond a certain point, it was hard to put this thriller down.

I don't read a lot of thrillers. But this book is exceptional, even in the light of the first two. There is espionage, counterespionage and counter-counterespionage. One chapter will present a tiny thread that in the next few chapters makes up an entire sweater. And there was no way to guess how things were going to work themselves out. There were lots of rabbits to chase and many surprises.

For those of you who have not read any of Stieg Larson's books, I highly recommend this series. However, I do caution folks that there is a lot of highly graphic sexual violence against Lisbeth Salander, the heroine of these novels. She overcomes it in the end but it is still there. And there are stories of other awful situations involving incest and rape. This is not a happy series of books. There is something dark and violent in them. But there is also real life and hope.

What did this book have to do with my faith? I think it was all about good verses evil. In the beginning of the book, it seems as though the bad guys are going to get the better of Lisbeth and Mikael Blomkvist, the book's hero. There is no hope for them at all. Then, little by little, the good guys begin their own defense. Hope re-enters the picture. And, even with several twists and turns and a couple of near misses, good does win out in the end. My own Christian faith is like that. When we see Jesus hanging from the cross, it seems as though the bad guys have won. Hope is dead. Then, three days later, God does the impossible and raises Jesus from the dead. Hope is alive and death is defeated. Good wins in the end.

Not only do I highly recommend this book, but it it going on my top ten of the year. Sadly, Stieg Larson died right after turning in the manuscript for the trilogy. Even though there may be an incomplete fourth book, it seems as though the family and his girlfriend are at legal odds with one another over the estate.

Happy reading!


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