The Girl Who Takes an Eye for an Eye
Millennium, Book #5
By David Lagercrantz
Brought to you by OBS reviewer Omar
Lisbeth Salander is an unstoppable force: Sentenced to two months in Flodberga women’s prison for saving a young boy’s life by any means necessary, Salander refuses to say anything in her own defence. She has more important things on her mind.
Mikael Blomkvist makes the long trip to visit every week – and receives a lead to follow for his pains. For him, it looks to be an important expose for Millennium. For her, it could unlock the facts of her childhood.
Even from a corrupt prison system run largely by the inmates, Salander will stand up for what she believes in, whatever the cost. And she will seek the truth that is somehow connected with her childhood memory, of a woman with a blazing birthmark on her neck – that looked as if it had been burned by a dragon’s fire . . .
The tension, power and unstoppable force of The Girl Who Takes an Eye for an Eye are inspired by Stieg Larsson’s Millenniumtrilogy, as Salander and Blomkvist continue the fight for justice that has thrilled millions of readers across the world.
Translated from the Swedish by George Goulding
Everything has a consequence. After the events of the previous book, the Girl in the Spider Web, we start the Girl Who Takes an Eye for an Eye with Lisbeth Salander in the women’s prison of Flodberga. This is the reward that Lisbeth got after she risked her life to save the life of August Balder and found the boy father’s killer. Still, the justice system is not perfect and there are still people in power who are angry with Lisbeth after the fiasco of the Zalanchenko trial. For the crime of “kidnapping” August and keeping him safe, Lisbeth is sentenced to two months in prison. At first, she was supposed to be in a low-level prison, but after threats against her were made public, they transferred her to Flodberga in the middle of nowhere for her own safety. Flodberga used to be a prison of high standards and rehabilitation of its female inmates, but after the transfer of Benito Anderson, the place has become hell itself for its inhabitants and employers. During her time in Flodberga, Lisbeth witnesses violent acts by Benito and her crew and how much the prison is controlled by her, but most of all the constant torment of a girl named Faria Kazi.
One day, Lisbeth long-time friend and previous guardian, Holger Palmgren, visits her at the prison. During their meeting, he tells her that a woman contacted him and gave him documents from the time she was hospitalized as a child. In those documents, it mentions something about a Registry program that he didn’t know about, and IQ tests that they had her take. This information causes Lisbeth to remember the woman from the program and the relationship with her dragon tattoo. Given that Lisbeth at the moment doesn’t have access to the internet, she asks Palmgren to look more into the documents and let her know what more he finds out about the Registry. At the same time, she convinces/forces the warden Alvar Olsen to let her use his computer and digs around the Registry and her past. Mikael Blomkvist visits her one day, and she plants the idea about the Registry and her past, while telling him to help her look into it more, and into the life of a man called Leo Mannheimer.
Everything falls apart one Friday before a couple of weeks before Lisbeth’s release. Mikael learns about a strange accident related to Leo’s past, while Holger Palmgren makes a phone call to a colleague about his name in the Registry documents, and Lisbeth stops a regular beating against Faria. These actions result in the death of one person and unearth a secret hidden in plain sight that has ties to Lisbeth and to many more children in Sweden.
“For one dizzying second she looked as if she could kill. But then she pulled herself together and tried to focus on one thing at a time. First you find out the truth. Then you take revenge.”
I loved the Girl Who Takes an Eye for an Eye. This is the second book that is written by David Lagercrantz and I can see that he has started to get an idea of the characters and to tell their story. Compared to the previous books in the series, this one reminds me the most to the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo writing style. When I received the book, it had a sheet of information from the publisher and the author; in it, Lagercrantz mentions how the idea to explore the story behind Lisbeth’s dragon tattoo came to be, and it surprised me because at the end it had a different meaning to what I had thought at the beginning of the story. This book surprised me a lot, more than once it had plot twists that I had already taken for granted and suddenly it changed where I thought the story was heading.
The Girl Who Takes an Eye for an Eye had a variety of ideas and plots that came together to form a true mystery genre of the story, and I liked that about it. While we know who is the common enemy from the beginning of the story, it was still interesting to learn more about them and why they did the things they did. What I liked about this series, is how it gave us new information through flashback to the past, while maintaining a story in the present.
“Every day, millions of people out there doubt and hope and analyze. That’s what sets share prices. What I’m talking about is deep, existential doubt – lack of faith in growth and future returns. Nothing is more dangerous for a highly valued market. The level of fear can cause a crash and plunge the world into a depression. “
What I liked about the Millennium series and its books is how the story changes from the point of view of one character to another. This time it helps the narrative of the story even more with the special characters that it has, and how it uses memory time jumps to make things more mysterious. While it’s good to see old characters come back and play an important part in the story, it was sad to see one of these characters die. Some readers might not like it, but I think the death was a good catalyst for the events to happen, and for the course that the story was going to take. The new characters in this story were quite interesting, but I didn’t like the character of Benito, she didn’t have the same impact as the villain of the story, as other characters did in this story.
An aspect that I liked from The Girl Who Takes an Eye for an Eye, was how the story used the business and financial institutes this time. In previous books of the series, we have seen the characters mention and find answers through the business or money of the many characters they investigate or go after. The problems with the financial and economic aspects of Sweden play a different part this time and helps Blomkvist get closer to one character, but it seems that it had a different use at the end. I think that the financial problem was set up for a future plot story of an upcoming book, if it’s written. I liked all the financial writing and ideas that were mentioned, and as a financial person I liked the talk that Leo Mannheimer gave in the story. I just hope that Lisbeth’s money is okay because she worked very hard to steal it.
“This provided a wealth of valuable scientific material used by researchers not only to investigate new illnesses and their causes, but to also address the classic question: How do heredity and environment shape and individual?”
After reading this book, I have started to have the impression that the author, David Lagercrantz, is using characters that are considered special in some way or have some cognitive differences. These characters are similar to Lisbeth in some ways, but at the same time are completely different. Still, I find the use of these characters very interesting, and I enoy the stories that Lagercrantz has created for them.
I really liked The Girl Who Takes an Eye for an Eye.
If you are a fan of the Millennium series and David Lagercrantz, then I recommend to you, the Girl Who Takes an Eye for an Eye. This time Lisbeth’s enemies are from the past and the present, and are closer than ever; even with the help of her friends and aids, the enemy strikes first causing Lisbeth to want revenge more than ever.