11 Mar 2011

Alexander Zalachenko?!

The best thing about crime novels is the fleeting moment of pure clarity, when that crucial piece of the jigsaw falls into place so perfectly and so easily, that you cannot understand how you didn't figure it out sooner.  It normally comes shortly after the halfway point of the book, and is normally in the form of a single, short sentence.  I had one of these moments last night whilst reading The Girl Who Played With Fire.  I'm very close to finishing it now, having read about two thirds of the book in two nights!  I'm very, very tired.

I read the jigsaw sentence and then read it again as I suddenly realised what it meant.  I then sat there for approximately seven minutes staring at the sentence, mouth hanging open in shock, brain working at high speed as I placed the other jigsaw pieces around it.  It all makes sense!  Everything in the first book makes sense, the murders make sense, that flash back scene in the first film makes sense, Salander's whole life makes sense!  I cannot believe I didn't cotton on earlier, I never do.  Thank God I'm not on Inspector Bubble's team.  Mind you, even Kalle Blomkvist is not quite on the correct thread yet, but as per ususal Salander is.  She's miles ahead of everyone, including me.  It was also a great relief to finally find out what All The Evil was, I've been dying to know since I read the first book six months ago.

These books really are fantastically written.  It's such a huge shame that Larsson didn't live to see his work become so highly respected and praised.  I do find it interesting that his books seem to have a feminist undertone to them.  He is refreshingly brilliant at writing strong women.  Salander, Berger, Eriksson, Vanger, Modig and Wu are all strong women, rich characters and great role models too.  I don't mean that we should all take a leaf out of Salander's book and carry illegal weapons with us at all times, I mean that they are all true to themselves and that they make their own decisions, simple as that.

I am absolutely enjoying this book, I may even read it twice.  I cannot recommend it enough -  and if you have read either of the books, or seen either of the films I would love to hear your thoughts!