Friday, 23 October 2015

The Girl in the Spider's Web by David Lagercrantz

Reviewer: Gillian Hamer, author of The Charter, Closure, Complicit, Crimson Shore, False Lights.

What we thought: As a secret Stieg Larsson fan, I was excited to hear about the new novel ‘in-the-style’ of that was on the way. With a growing trend in crime fiction for revisiting the classics – from Sophie Hannah bringing Poirot back to life to Anthony Horowitz fabulous Sherlock Holmes revival – I was looking forward to delving back into the muddy waters surrounding Lisbeth Salander and Mikael Blomkvist.

And did it tick all my boxes? Well …. almost.

Lagercrantz is clearly a devotee of Larsson himself and has spent a lot of time perfecting the original author’s style – i.e to be blunt using twenty-eight words when three would do. For the most part, it works, and is reminiscent of previous books in the Millennium series. There were a few times when I really did feel less is more, and that he’d tried just a little too hard to copy Larsson’s writing and in so doing over complicated the prose to a point where the reader was more frustrated and confused than content!

That aside, all other boxes were duly ticked. Characters announced themselves from the page in much the same way as Larsson first evoked Salander and Blomkvist. They were real, tangible and full of their usual foibles within the first few pages of introduction.

Plot too was very reminiscent of Larsson. The death of a Swedish scientist approaches Blomkvist to publish his lifestory in Millennium magazine, but before Mikael has chance to meet with the man, he is murdered and all leads to his work in the fascinating world of artificial intelligence disappear. And when Blomkvist discovers the scientist had been dealing previously with a world-renowned female hacker …. there was only one person it could be!

The author did a very clever job of winding past threads and characters from earlier books in the Millennium Trilogy back into this novel, and I found the ending gripping and satisfactory.

I’m not sure if there are more plans to revisit Salander and Blomkvist but I hope … theirs is a story that can run and run.

You’ll enjoy this if you like: Stieg Larsson, Jo Nesbo, David Hewson.

Avoid if you don’t like: Espionage, artificial intelligence, computer hackers.

Ideal accompaniments: Pizza, microwave chips and lager.

Genre: Crime thriller.

Available from Amazon

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