Review of David Lagercrantz’ Latest Novel, The Girl Who Lived Twice

The focus of my blog is to review book series and not individual novels. But writers are going to continue writing novels within a series even after I have done my review, so I plan on reviewing the individual novels as they come into circulation.  David Lagercrantz has recently released book #6, The Girl Who Lived Twice, to the Millennium series.

It became pretty obvious after the last Millennium novel, The Girl Who Takes an Eye for an Eye, that Lisbeth Salander would need to deal with her evil twin sister, Camilla Salander. Lisbeth knows that as long as her sister is alive she would never be able to live in peace, as Camilla would eventually hunt her down and kill her. In this newest version of the series, Lisbeth decides on a proactive approach by eliminating her sister before she can come after her. However, a botched assassination attempt by Lisbeth only antagonizes Camilla into an all out war. Not only is Lisbeth’s life now at stake but also her close circle of friends. Of course, this brings us to Mikael Blomkvist.

Blomkvist is going through a bit of a slump, but there is nothing like an intriguing story to pursue and a new girlfriend to help him come out of his funk. Blomkvist’s journalistic intuition becomes active when a medical examiner calls him about a local beggar, known for his idiosyncrasies, that appears to have been poisoned.  The beggar had Blomkvist phone number on him and the journalist wants to find out why. His investigation leads him to a convoluted series of events that connects this seemingly simple beggar to the higher echelon of the Swedish government.

I felt that this latest addition read more like a murder mystery than a thriller. There are two plot lines, Blomkvist’s investigation into the beggar’s death and Salander’s battle with her sister. The two plots eventually merge, but only weakly as if Lagercrantz wanted to write a murder mystery but had to somehow get Salander into the picture. If it weren’t for the fact that this is a Millennium novel, I would say that this is a decent novel, but the novels written by Stieg Larrson were special. It is very clear that Larsson put his heart and soul in creating this series by making Blomkvist his alter ego. Lagercrantz, on the other hand, wants to put out a story that would be befitting to Larrson’s legacy yet he doesn’t quite have the passion that Larsson brought to it and you can really tell by the way Lagercrantz portrays Blomkvist in this story. Unfortunately Lagercrantz’ portrayal of Blomkvist at the end made him look quite pitiful.

For hardcore Lisbeth fans, I would say that The Girl Who Lived Twice will be a disappointment. For anyone liking a good mystery/thriller, I would say that you will probably enjoy this latest addition to the series. Haven’t read the rest of the series? No problem, it could be read as a standalone though I would suggest at least reading the previous book, The Girl Who Takes an Eye for an Eye.

To learn more about the series check out the Millennium series.

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