Book Review: The Girl in the Spider’s Web

The Girl in the Spider's WebThe Girl in the Spider’s Web – David Lagercrantz
Published by Hachette NZ

To say I was excited to receive a copy of The Girl in the Spider’s Web is a major understatement. There was squealing and much dancing about in the kitchen; I wanted to begin it straight away, but I was trying to finish a library book before its due date, as well as review Everybody Rise and Devoted in Death.

When we packed for our epic school holiday adventure, The Girl in the Spider’s Web was one of the first things I put into my suitcase. The day I started it, I sat for a moment, stroking the cover and savouring the moment before diving in to what I hoped would be another extraordinary Millennium novel.

David Lagercrantz has bravely undertaken to continue Stieg Larsson’s highly successful series, a decision that could have been disastrous, but in reality has been pretty damn good.

I was hooked from the first page, and couldn’t put the book down (as my husband will attest to). I read and read and read, and suddenly I was – reluctantly – turning the last few pages. This was surprising, given that while I enjoyed the first three books in the series, I found them quite hard to get lost in.

I enjoyed Lagercrantz’s style. It is similar to Larsson’s, and this book is definitely a fitting tribute, but there was something more accessible about it. The pace was fast and exciting, but there was less focus on the technical stuff which appealed much more to me. There was the same explosive action, but it was slightly less graphic; Lagercrantz managed to convey the same sense of urgency and violence without the same gory detail.

The characters were interesting and varied; I felt Lisbeth Salander was slightly less edgy than before, but she’s also older and more mature, which would explain a few changes in her behaviour and thinking. I thought Lagercrantz did a great job of maintaining the integrity of the characters we’ve read before; he has captured both Mikael Blomkvist and Salander’s desire for justice very well.

The Girl in the Spider’s Web has an exciting plot, and I was taken aback at the “disposal” of a seemingly major player very early on. I had to re-read a page or two in order to be sure I had read it correctly, and once I realised I had, I was even more hooked than before.

The ending of the book made it very clear that there are more to come, and if Lagercrantz is going to be writing them, I will definitely be adding them to my bookshelf.

Thank you, Hachette NZ, for my review copy.