In the wake of #MeToo and Times Up campaigns, this apt book places radical measures into the hands of our favorite hacker Lisbeth Salandar, who always wants to punish bullies and abusers. The mysterious allure my passionate waif once held starts to fade in this novel, however, because she’s losing her cleverly-veiled autonomy. She got caught. She’s doing hard time (prison, people!) and her fists are in your face.
As you know, I’m a huge fan of Stieg Larsson’s Millennium Trilogy. After Larsson’s untimely death in 2004, Swedish author David Lagercrantz was chosen by Larsson’s estate to continue Lisbeth and journalist Mikael Blomkvist’s story with The Girl in the Spider’s Web (see action-packed review here) – much to the delight of Millennium fans. I say ‘delight’ because I was skeptical at first but Lagercrantz did an excellent job reviving the characters and luring me in. So now we get to The Girl Who Takes an Eye for an Eye with coming-of-origin quests, religious fundamentalism and Russian mafia plotlines – O, my!
I love the musical metaphor Lagercrantz uses right after Lisbeth is released from prison to indicate not all will be peachy: “A minor sixth chord consists of a keynote, a third, a fifth and a sixth from the melodic minor scale. In American jazz and pop music, the minor seventh is the most common minor chord. It is considered elegant and beautiful. The minor sixth is rarely used. The tone may be regarded as harsh and ominous.” No, those weren’t Jeff Bucky’s “Hallelujah” lyrics, those words are called foreshadowing my friends.
Stockholm police inspector Jan Bublanski asks himself, “Why is she not like other people?”
In Eye for an Eye, Russian mafia and corrupt law enforcement have nothing on evil twin villains. While we already met Lisbeth’s twin Camilla, we’re introduced to a few more sets as she discovers more truths from her formidable years. Lagercrantz’s dualities in personality between good twin and bad twin remind me of exaggerated Disney cartoon characters (I mean that in a fun way) but I’m unsure if that’s what he intended.
The series is starting to feel less serious or journalistic and more Marvel or Twilight, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing for me but if the rumors of a sixth book are true, fans should prepare themselves. Near the end of the book Lisbeth is hurt and needs medical attention – instead of running toward help she runs away into the forest – and Stockholm police inspector Jan Bublanski asks himself, “Why is she not like other people?” Because she’s not, Jan, and as readers we’re not supposed to think she’s normal.
Lisbeth’s hit list will most likely get their just deserts in the next (final?) book. I know I’ll be waiting!