I've said it before and I'll say it again. One of the best things about working at a bookstore is getting to read Advance Reader Copies of new books, especially highly anticipated ones like the new Stieg Larsson!
I just finished THE GIRL WHO KICKED THE HORNET'S NEST by Stieg Larsson. The American publication date is May 25, 2010. This is the third (and sadly, last) installment in Larsson's excellent mystery series starring Lisbeth Salander.
I devoured the book, just as I did the first two, but this time was different. I knew it was the last one. And not intended to be so.
As most Stieg Larsson fans know, Larsson died shortly after delivering the first three manuscripts to his Swedish publisher. But it was not supposed to be a trilogy. He apparently was planning to write a 10 book series. Unfortunately for us, that will never be.
Without giving anything away, I will say I was disappointed at the end of THE GIRL WHO KICKED THE HORNET'S NEST. It was a great "middle novel," meaning it moved us along and answered many questions raised at the end of the second book. But, by no means did this feel like a final book. Why? Way too many loose ends were left open.
There is a literary technique known as Checkov's gun that basically says, "If you place a rifle on the wall in chapter 1, it had better go off by the last chapter." In other words, when you include an intriguing plot element, you need to follow it through. In my opinion, Larsson skillfully laid out several "rifles" for us in the first two books, but some of these are never "fired." The epilogue in book three ties up a few loose ends, but not nearly enough.
I have heard rumor of a fourth partial manuscript by Larsson. But there may be a legal battle going on regarding it's ownership. We can only hope it is substantial enough to one day make a fourth novel in the series.
Until then, read THE GIRL WHO KICKED THE HORNET'S NEST with relish since it's the last chance you'll get, at least for a while.