The Girl in the Spider's Web

by David Lagercrantz

Hardcover, 2015

Call number




Knopf (2015), Edition: Second Edition, 416 pages


After receiving a call from a trusted source claiming to have vital information to the United States, journalist Mikael Blomkvist turns to hacker Lisbeth for help.

User reviews

LibraryThing member Writermala
David Lagercrantz has taken Stieg Larsson's characters, the original trilogy's plot and spun a beautiful tale. This book has its own new characters who add to the story. Of particular interest to me was August, the autistic Savant who at 8 years of age is able to collaborate with our very own favorite Lisbeth Salander. It appears that there will be sequel and I'm waiting eagerly for it/them. A must read.… (more)
LibraryThing member TommyB
Not as good as the stories by Larssen. Too much exposition, not enough story.
LibraryThing member ecataldi
I only had mediocre feelings about this book going into it and I must say I was pleasantly surprised! When I heard that Stieg Larsson's estate had found someone to continue on his trilogy after the author's untimely death I had mixed feelings, how could someone even come close to capturing Lisbeth and Blomkvist?! Thankfully David Lagercrantz did a bang up job sticking to the mannerisms, wording, and character development of the original series and did a good job recreating Stieg Larsson's vision. A must read for fans of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and Swedish thrillers. A faithful continuation.… (more)
LibraryThing member benuathanasia
This was an incredible book, don't get me wrong. But it lacked the depth and complexity of Larsson's book and felt awfully abrupt. I still enjoyed it immensely. Some pieces of Salander's personality seemed fabricated (the convoluted meaning behind the "Wasp" handle, for instance) and Mikael Blomkvist seemed tossed in as an aside - I hope Lagercrantz continues the series so I can get my Salander fix, but I also hope he improves his craft.… (more)
LibraryThing member Clara53
I have to give credit to David Lagercrantz - it's almost disconcerting (for Larsson's sake!), puzzling and wondrous at the same time that The Millennium series (the 3 explosive novels by Stieg Larsson,​ after writing which he so suddenly died) can be so well "revived" and continued by another author... I found it eerie to read it - while realizing that it was not Larsson who wrote it. The same format (short chapters with intriguing ending, with another starting about something else - which makes you almost speed up your reading, so as to get to the next one and see what's going on...). It's also the same theme - investigating journalism (with Mikael Blomkvist facing more problems), and the hacker community (with Lisbeth Salander in the lead), and Salander's fight against the abuse of women and children; there is a subtheme of autism and the "savant" notion in some autistic children, which I found amazing. We also learn more about Salander's past, more skeletons come out of the closet this time around. The narrative is a bit better than the dialog. And yet, the new plot is fresh and keeps you on your toes.… (more)
LibraryThing member nyiper
Having loved the first three books in the series, prior to Larsson's death, I was very happy with this addition by David Lagercrantz. I was listening to the audio, again, and felt just the same way I did with the first three books---Lisbeth Salander and Micael Blomqvist are just as appealing. Fortunately, Salander's evil twin sister continues her potential part in future stories if Lagercrantz decides to continue with these characters.… (more)
LibraryThing member copperkid
Very good reviews have been written about this book and I encourage they be read since they cover background and overviews which I do not intend to critique... except to say that I was amazed at how well the new Millennium Series author David Lagercrantz managed to slip into character and weave a terrific page-turner. Two new issues that I personally appreciated were (1) that Millennium's Blomkvist's pet pastime, or stress-reliever, changed from drinking coffee and smoking, which I had been certain was Larsson's bad habit and was going to be the death of him, to reading Elizabeth George's Detective Lynley mysteries; and (2) that another enchanting character, August Balder, an eight year-old autistic savant, is being developed as perhaps a growing partner to Lisbeth Salander. Am anxiously looking forward to the continuation of this series.… (more)
LibraryThing member indygo88
Regardless of the fact that David Lagercrantz has taken over Stieg Larsson's Millennium series following Larsson's death and that there seems to be some controversy surrounding that fact, there really was no question of whether I'd read this or not. The fact is, Lisbeth Salander and Mikael Blomkvist are two characters that you just want to read more about. And so I dug into this eagerly.

The storyline was decent enough. Like its predecessors, it involved more computer hacking, more bad guys (and girls), more murder, and quite a few new characters and names that are hard to keep track of and hard to pronounce. As a "continuation" of the original Millennium trilogy, I though that this was a pretty good overall story and it felt similar to what Larsson might write, speaking strictly regarding the plot. However, the writing style was very different. I thought initially that perhaps it might be due to the translation, but I don't think that's the case. Admittedly, it's got to be difficult to copy another writer's style, but if done well, it shouldn't be overly obvious that another individual is doing the writing. But in this case, it just didn't feel right. Larsson had a way of writing that allowed the reader to draw their own conclusions about the characters' actions and feelings, and it was effective. Lagercrantz, on the other hand, gives too much information and doesn't leave much to the reader's imagination. It left me unsettled.

So ultimately I was disappointed. But if I have to be honest, I'll probably read any future installments by Lagercrantz, because despite the difference in writing style, Blomkvist and Salander are just two characters that I'm not ready to give up on yet.
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LibraryThing member erynhaes
I didn't know what to expect from a Stieg Larsson book written by someone who's not Stieg Larsson, but I must say I hardly noticed the difference. True, I read the first three Millennium books in 2009, but Mikael and Lisbeth were portrayed here just like I remembered them. I didn't know how much I missed Lisbeth Salander until I started this book, and now I can't wait for the fith book in the series.
I understand and respect Eva Gabrielsson's frustration, but as a writer myself, I think I'd like someone to respectfully finish the story I've started writing should I die before finishing it. Of course I never met Stieg Larsson, but the way I see it, The Girl in the Spider's Web is a gift to his readers.
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LibraryThing member maneekuhi

I was a big fan of Stieg's Larsson's trilogy published in the USA 2008-2009. I gobbled them up as soon as they came out. I particularly liked "Dragon Tattoo" and I enjoyed the US and Swedish film versions of that story as well. While I liked the succeeding two books, "Fire" and "Hornet's Nest" I felt they treated Lisbeth Salander as more of a super-hero, and they both felt a bit like comic book treatments. However, I must admit that Amazon readers generally don't agree with me based on ratings and number of reviews. "Dragon Tattoo" was 4.5 stars with 6000 reviews; the other two Larsson books each had 8500 reviews and 4.5 stars. On the one hand while I was sad to hear of Larsson's demise realizing there would be no more "The Girl...." books, I was satisfied that the stories had probably run their course; I was ready to move on to new things. When it was announced a few years back that the series would continue under the authorship of David Lagercrantz I wasn't too excited - I was not familiar with any successful extensions of a deceased author's work, yet aware of a couple disasters.

Recently, I read the Washington Post's Maureen Corrigan review of "The Girl Who Takes an Eye for an Eye", book #5 if you're counting. In it she comments that #4, "The Girl in the Spider's Web" (SW) , had received terrific reviews and recalled Larsson's "numbed noir atmosphere" yet eliminated some of his stylist faults; I decided to give Lagercrantz a shot and try SW.

I found it to be very different, not in a good way in many cases, from the original. For one thing, it's main focus was not on Millenium magazine, star reporter Blomqvist and the rest of the team. Rather it had an awful lot to do with hacking, computer security, software, and the inner workings of NSA, Sweden's Sapo, and the Stockholm police. Salander's presence in the first half on the book is mostly in the background, i.e., by reference; I kept waiting for her to make a grand entrance. Finally, she appears, and it's not so grand. She encounters a bad guy and smites a game of chess. He admits to some evil doings, confesses all, and Salander lets him go! A kinder, gentler, Salander? Well, yes and no. She does come to the rescue of a young boy with an all too common affliction, befriends him and saves him again, and again.

I thought the writing style was inferior. Page 310: "Kajsa could tell that he felt terrible about shooting those children (reviewer's note, two little girls, both in the face). He was a murderer, a man whose specialty had been torture...but he still had his moral boundaries..." I didn't feel the same tension that I recall in the Larsson books, but then again it's been almost 8 years. Occasionally, some of the dialogue seemed off. Occasionally, there would be a response that didn't seem just right in English. I'm not sure if that's on the translator or the author, but it was a bit annoying. The plot wasn't that interesting to me. The original books were longer by about 250 - 350 pages but they seemed to fly by faster than SW. The comic book aura is still there. A leading character is shot, entry and exit wound; takes some anti-biotics but no doctor, no stitches - really!? And several key characters use handles to disguise their web identity, e.g. The Wasp - if you're between 12 and 28 you probably know who that was, or is, I'm not sure.

In conclusion, let's first take a look at the Amazon numbers. Four stars for SW, down 1/2 star, but 9600 reviews. I suspect that the reader count may have been boosted in part by the advent of e-readers in the ensuing years. Will I read "Eye for an Eye"? Probably not, but I may feel differently a year from now.
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LibraryThing member drmaf
Mixed feelings about this book. On one hand it was terriffic to see Lisbeth back, kicking ass as usual, although there isn't enough of her, before the conclusion. On the other, the story just didn't grab me. The first 50 pages and the last 100 were quite good, between was a huge ponderous mass of exposition, with characters seemingly lost and wandering aimlessly. Clumsy is the best way to describe it. To sum up, its not Larsen, not even close, but seeing Lisbeth back almost makes up for that. Hope the inevitable follow-up has more of her and less of the deadweight that nearly sank this one.… (more)
LibraryThing member voracious
This is the first book by this author, who is continuing the "Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" trilogy written by the late Steig Larsson. As with the other Millennium stories, this one is full of minor characters, evil villains, and cyberhacking. After the NSA is hacked by a mysterious and genius hacker, the NSA and the Swedish Police are convinced that the hacker and other criminals are involved are from Sweden. At the same time, a famous computer programmer Franz Bader, who is responsible for cutting edge Artificial Intelligence software, is murdered in his home. His severely autistic 8 year old son, August, witnesses the crime but is unable to speak. After it is revealed that August has savant abilities in drawing and his art can be used to identify the murderer, a band of Russian criminals become involved to find August and murder him in cold blood. As with the other stories, Michael Blomkvist and Lisbeth Salander become entwined through their connections to the murder. Lisbeth's lost sister, Camilla, is also involved in this story and the reader learns more about Lisbeth and Camila's abusive childhood at the hands of Zalachenko.

This is a very complex story and after the first few chapters, I completely forgot this wasn't a Steig Larsson novel. The plot was engrossing and the suspense was tight. I really enjoyed how August's savant gifts paralleled Salander's own. I also loved how this novel sets up a continuation of the series. I hope that August might return in future novels and I look forward to watching the continued relationship between Blomkvist and Salander, as well as the returning characters we have grown to love over the course of the series. In all, much better than I expected. Another thrill ride with some of my favorite characters! My only criticism was that the story was difficult to follow with too many characters with similar names and shallow personalities. However, this too was similar to Larsson's style so it should not be too surprising to anyone who has read the first three books.
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LibraryThing member cartoslibrary
Lizbeth, the Swedish computer whiz with tattoos and piercings, returns. She is the focus of an international conspiracy involving NSA surveillance, an autistic savant who witnessed a murder, international cyber-criminals and a mole within the government security forces. Reporter Mikael Blomkvist is ready to scoop the big newspapers, while Lizbeth Salander does the heavy lifting as she defeats the criminals, breaks into NSA computers and exacts a little revenge for past wrongs. Fans of the Dragon Tattoo will love this book.

I enjoyed reading this continuation of the Millennium series, and I think the plot will make a great movie. I hope they film in Sweden, with English subtitles. However, this is not a well written book; nor is it well translated. It reads like a project done in a hurry; there is much repetition and endless explanations of cyber security terms and algorithms.

Lagercrantz writes in a similar style to the deceased Stieg Larsson, originator of the series, and deserves credit for continuation of the series. However, excessive narrative and exposition reduce the impact of the story (a fault other reviewers have noted about Larsson’s original Millennium novels).

Translator Goulding is prone to use stock phrases, many of which are outdated. On the whole, the novel is easy to read and the plot moves along quickly (slowed only by the overly long exposition). My advice, skip the book; wait for the movie.

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LibraryThing member michigantrumpet
A top Swedish scientist, investigating AI (artificial intelligence), is murdered in front of his autistic son. Clearly a contract killing, did the assassin make a mistake in sparing the child? Complicating matters, journalist Michael Blomkvist has been summoned for a late night meeting with the scientist, arriving just in time to see a shadowy figure escaping out the back. The tentacles stretch from Sweden through to the USA (NSA), global industry and Russia with an underworld Spidery cabal run by a mystery figurehead going by the name Thanos.

It takes a maddening long time for our heroine Lisbeth Salander to make her appearance, although she does so in roaring fashion. Far too much exposition for my tastes. However, it must be a daunting task to have taken over the Millennium Series, from beloved past author Stieg Larsson -- even if one has all of Larsson's notes and outline. Perhaps Lagercrantz felt he needed the comfort of the exposition to ease himself (and us) into the story. One hopes this will lessen as his comfort in the spot grows.
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LibraryThing member DarthDeverell
David Lagercrantz's The Girl in the Spider's Web reads more like an attempt to write a Millennium Trilogy fan-fiction than a continuation of Steig Larsson's work. Fans of Larsson's trilogy will find all their favorite characters, but something of the tone and spirit of Larsson's writing is lacking in this continuation. It may be the (comparatively) happy ending or the lack of the mood that pervaded Larsson's books, but something is off.
Lagercrantz, perhaps to link his book to Larsson, attempts to delve further into hacker Lisbeth Salander's past. While the second and third volumes of the Millennium Trilogy explored her troubled past and her father, Lagercrantz sets Salander against another family member: her estranged sister. Larsson never wrote much about the sister, but always hinted that she lived a normal life; Lagercrantz casts her as a Machiavellian criminal obsessed with destroying Lisbeth. Once again, Millennium magazine faces trouble and, similar to The Girl Who Played with Fire, another well-liked (though non-main cast) staff member dies during the investigation. Lagercrantz writes well-paced suspenseful sequences, but the basic plot feels too much like a rehash of previous events and he never reaches the compelling fervor of Larsson.
Perhaps it's unfair to compare the two, but as a continuation of an earlier body of work, readers will find it nearly impossible not to draw comparisons. Those looking for a well-structured crime novel will be pleased, but fans of the original Millennium Trilogy will likely be disappointed. It's a pity Larsson's father and brother could not make a deal with his partner to publish the manuscript Larsson left behind for a fourth book.
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LibraryThing member TheCrow2
Although it lacks the unique style of Larsson the book itself isn't bad at all. It's good to meet with all of the characters again and the story is ok as well.
LibraryThing member Elleneer
The writer is not Stieg Larsson. He did not enrapture this reader from the first page, but then, when I accepted his personal style, I did find I kept turning the pages. However, the good and bad twin routine was contrived and not worthy of Larsson's heroine.
LibraryThing member diana.hauser
THE GIRL IN THE SPIDER’S WEB by David Lagercrantz continues the unforgettable series by Stieg Larsson.
This was an excellent thriller filled with well-constructed characters and story lines. The book was very suspenseful and well-researched.
I was not disappointed in the least. In fact, I eagerly await a new title starring Lisbeth Salander and Mikael Blomkvist.… (more)
LibraryThing member hemlokgang
I was very disappointed in this book. Stieg Larsson developed characters and drew the reader in from the very start. I was so annoyed with the techno-babble that I lost interest. Darn!
LibraryThing member burnit99
I loved the late Stieg Larsson's "Millennium" series. Lisbeth Salander, "the girl with the dragon tattoo", is one of the most original and fascinating characters I've read in years. As mixed as my feelings are about new authors continuing a popular series after the death of the creator, I had no second thoughts about snapping this volume up. Here, Lisbeth Salander must contend against a secretive and powerful agency which turns out to be headed by her viciously sadistic sister, Camilla. As it happens, Mikael Blomkvist becomes embroiled in the same set of circumstances, and even though the fast-paced and tautly satisfying story is only partly concluded by the book's end, the most satisfying part is the rapprochement between him and Lisbeth Salander. David Lagercrantz quite nicely continues the style and characterization of Stieg Larsson's books, and I look forward to his next book in this series.… (more)
LibraryThing member bereanna
Lisbeth Salander saves the day eventually by her hacking prowess. Blomkvist writes another big expose. Not quite as good as Steig Larsson but I needed to finish asap.
LibraryThing member auntmarge64
I found this sequel to The Millennium Trilogy fairly disappointing. It might be that it will take the author time to feel wholly comfortable with following up after a popular and deceased writer, but I'm not sure all these problems are a result. The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo began rather slowly, and it took me several tries and lots of encouragement from other readers to make the effort to continue past the first few chapters, but once there, I was hooked and quickly consumed the series. So although this one began slowly, too, I gave it a shot and read about half way before calling it a day. The characters never came alive for me, even those from the previous books, and that could have been overlooked except that by about the 40% point a whole group of stock thriller complications began to weigh down the plot: the good cop and the bad supervisor, who won't listen to reason and has his own reasons for thwarting the investigation; the disabled kid, probably able to ID the bad guy but in the hands of an incompetent doctor for whom maintaining his reputation is more important than the clues the child is giving; the kid's needy mother who can't find her way to throwing out the violent boyfriend. All-in-all, by this point not worth the time I could be spending reading something I do care about.… (more)
LibraryThing member skraft001
An admirable attempt to extend the Stieg Larsson series, but fell short as many times as it hit the mark.
LibraryThing member shazjhb
I so enjoy the characters and the complexity of these books but this falls far short of the original authors work The characters were not as fine drawn or as interesting. Brave man to continue such a popular series but it just fell short. I would however, read further books because I love the two main characters.
LibraryThing member Randall.Hansen
A good continuation of the Lisbeth Salander story, taken over by a new author. Biggest problem with the book for me was that it took way too long to bring the two main characters together... that the back story in the beginning seemed to go on forever. Once the action got underway, the book got much better.




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