Tuesday 25 October 2016

Crime : The Girl in the Spider's Web, Millennium Series, David Lagercrantz

MacLehose, €11.99

Published 16/05/2016 | 02:30

The Girl in the Spider's Web
The Girl in the Spider's Web

Neo-Nordic crime sagas have captivated a global readership. The untimely death of Stieg Larsson suggested the end of the most intriguing duo, punk hacker Lisbeth Salander and crusading journalist, Mikael Blomkvist. But in this tightly written homage their fire is rekindled. For devotees of the Millennium series it would seem improbable, if not entirely impossible, to capture the style and pace of Larsson, but Swedish author, David Lagercrantz carries it off, without pastiche.

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Salander and Blomkvist have not seen each other for some time. They are reunited when a Swedish scientist, Professor Frans Balder, contacts Blomkvist to see about publishing his story. Balder has been working with Salander on artificial intelligence and both have become the target of ruthless cyber gangsters; the threat of terror in the snowbound streets of Stockholm is not far away.

The scientist has been warned that his life is in danger. But he is more concerned about protecting his son's life. Only when he has custody of his son does it dawn on Balder that the boy is autistic and incredibly gifted. The exploration of his son's alternative engagement with reality is elegantly woven into the plot.

The hidden world of cyber assault, the exclusive fellowship of the Hacker Republic, the NSA and its dark materials and a host of sociopathic characters are vividly drawn in an absorbing narrative. Lagercrantz has exceeded the expectations of Larsson fans across the globe.

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