When a series is continued by a different author, there’s bound to be comparison to the original, especially if the series is a popular one. I had only heard of Stieg Larsson and the Millenium Series but not read it. In a way, I suppose that is an advantage for me as well. I could read this book by David Lagercrantz, the continuation of that series, without knowing the style and character sketches that Stieg Larsson had done; almost like a standalone novel than part of a well-known series. The title of the novel itself drew me in.
Millenium has been taken over by another group, and they’re trying to push Mikael Blomkvist, the erstwhile face of the magazine, out of it. Lisbeth Salander has kind of disappeared from his life too, and stories of value don’t seem to be coming. But out of the blue, a phone call comes. A meeting at a bar moves toward a story of intrigue, not just because of what is said but of a hint, a hint that points to Lisbeth Salander. Who is Frans Balder, and what of his son August? Is he a prodigy, a savant, a genius? And more importantly, why is Frans’ life under threat, and what is the story he has to tell to Blomkvist?
I like some of the characters, like Balder and August, for they add to the story. The translator seems to have done a good job as well but this book is supposed to be a crime thriller or a mystery. For me, the book did not have enough pace at the start to say it was thrilling. For a while, there’s just pages of description of Balder, the troubles at Millenium, how Blomkvist is no longer the person he once was. The pace was slow because of that, and the story struggled to engage my attention. The series is supposed to be about Lisbeth, but she’s not properly incorporated into the novel until the 70th page. And even after that, her character seems limited. I think the pace of the novel thankfully does pick up after the crime, and then keeps me interested in it.
Knowing the praise that The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo had got from my friends, I still believe something is lacking in this novel that makes it stand apart from those three. The end to the story is interesting, and leaves room to wonder if Lagercrantz might add another to the series. I liked reading it and would read it again, but honestly, it could have been better with more pace towards the start… and yes, more of Lisbeth Salander. I’d rate it between 3 and 4 stars, but quite a 4.
|Title: The Girl in the Spider’s Web||Genre: Millenium Series #4|
|Author(s): David Lagercrantz||Genre: Thriller|
|ISBN/ASIN: 9780857053503||Publisher: Hachette India|
(© 27th September 2015)