Most of us were devastated, when we realized that we will not hear from Salander again after we finished the third part of the Millenium trilogy. She was such an unusual heroine and she stole her way into our hearts. Now David Lagercrantz made it possible, Salander is back and she did not lose anything of her ass kicking, grumpy attitude.
Overall Lagercrantz did not do a bad job, the characters are authentic and we really get the feeling of meeting old friends again. Still, there are a couple of minor things. Salander became a superhero, she is all by herself cracking the most advanced encryption of the NSA, she takes on the most skillful killers and beats the living daylight out of them and she does all of that with a gunshot wound to her shoulder. A little bit less of the good stuff and a little bit more humanity might have been better.
It seems to be the bane of sequel writers to feel forced to expand the plot continuously. This is true here as well. It is not just organized crime, it is the NSA, software giants and corrupt politicians high up in the hierarchy. Salander has to save the world, no more, no less.
I also missed some of the erotic touch of the former Salander. The tension laden relationship between Salander and Blomkvist was part of the intriguing attraction of the story. Salander and Blomkvist do not meet in person during the whole story. Only at the very end, they have a personal encounter. Unfortunately Lagercrantz seems to be a little bit of a prude.
As far as the plot is concerned, it is has a lot of sidelines, but it is not too complex. An IT genius and AI specialist gets killed and his autistic son is the only witness. Blomkvist picks up the story and very soon it becomes clear that organized crime and the NSA are deeply involved. He would not get anywhere with his investigation and probably not survive the turmoil, he created, if Salander would not have helped him.
It is not a Stieg Larrson, but it is an enjoyable read after all.