The final volume of Stieg Larsson’s Millennium trilogy, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest, finds neo-punk and genius hacker Lisbeth Salander recuperating from a bullet to the brain. She’s in no hurry to get better: A multiple-murder trial awaits her recovery. She has wreaked vengeance on her tormentors, who conspired to imprison her for most of her teen years. A few are dead, and the rest are scurrying to cover their tracks and somehow neutralize her before she can incriminate them. So was it murder, or self-defense? Or is there just the slightest possibility that Salander is, if not entirely innocent, at least not guilty in the eyes of the law?

Helping Salander from outside is renegade journalist Mikael Blomkvist, at times the focus of Salander’s affections, and more recently the object of her unbridled loathing. Blomkvist isn’t exactly sure how he fell from her graces, and she has not been forthcoming with the answer; indeed, she rebuffs his every advance. And so this uneasy pair labors, sometimes at odds, sometimes in parallel, in pursuit of Salander’s freedom.

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest neatly ties together all the loose ends from the previous two cliffhangers, yet it still leaves the reader yearning for more. At the time of his death, Larsson left behind an unfinished manuscript of what would have been the fourth book in the series, and synopses of the fifth and sixth. Sadly, we will probably never see them, at least not as the author intended.

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