The Girl in the Spider's Web (Millennium Series #4)

The Girl in the Spider's Web (Millennium Series #4)

3.5 136
by David Lagercrantz

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One of the Best Books of the Year
USA Today
O, The Oprah Magazine

A genius hacker who has always been an outsider. A journalist with a penchant for danger. She is Lisbeth Salander, the girl with the dragon tattoo. He is Mikael Blomkvist, crusading editor of


One of the Best Books of the Year
USA Today
O, The Oprah Magazine

A genius hacker who has always been an outsider. A journalist with a penchant for danger. She is Lisbeth Salander, the girl with the dragon tattoo. He is Mikael Blomkvist, crusading editor of Millennium. One night, Blomkvist receives a call from a source who claims to have been given information vital to the United States by a young female hacker. Blomkvist, always on the lookout for a story, reaches out to Salander for help. She, as usual, has plans of her own. Together they are drawn into a ruthless underworld of spies, cybercriminals, and government operatives—some willing to kill to protect their secrets.

Editorial Reviews

The New York Times - Michiko Kakutani
Fans of Stieg Larsson's captivating odd couple of modern detective fiction…will not be disappointed by the latest installment of their adventures…Salander and Blomkvist have survived the authorship transition intact and are just as compelling as ever…Mr. Lagercrantz demonstrates an instinctive feel for the world Larsson created and for his two unconventional gumshoes…Mr. Lagercrantz captures the weariness, even vulnerability, that lurks beneath these two characters' toughness, and he understands that each is motivated by a craving for justice…Mr. Lagercrantz seems to have set about—quite nimbly, for the most part—channeling Larsson's narrative style, mixing genre clichés with fresh, reportorial details, and plot twists reminiscent of sequences from Larsson's novels with energetically researched descriptions of the wild, wild West that is the dark side of the Internet.
Publishers Weekly
★ 08/31/2015
Lagercrantz's worthy, crowd-pleasing fourth installment in the late Stieg Larsson's Millennium saga opens in Sweden, where some intellectual property developed by artificial intelligence genius Frans Balder has been stolen by a video game company with ties to Russian mobsters. Crusading journalist Mikael Blomkvist, who's casting about for a new investigative project, is about to meet with Balder when an intruder kills the scientist and puts Balder's autistic eight-year-old son in danger. Meanwhile in the U.S., the National Security Agency is hacked, and its chief of security, Edwin Needham, vows revenge. Lisbeth Salander plays a central role in both plot lines, and the pleasure resides in watching Lagercrantz (Fall of Man in Wilmslow) corral an enormous cast of characters into an intricate story revolving around the larger-than-life hacker and her desire to right wrongs, including corporate espionage, a government spying on its own citizens, and violence against the defenseless. Two new characters make strong impressions: Jan Bublanski, a Stockholm detective with a humanistic bent, and Camilla Salander, Lisbeth's twin, who sets the stage for further Millennium novels. Lagercrantz, his prose more assured than Larsson's, keeps Salander's fiery rage at the white-hot level her fans will want. Agent: Magdalena Hedlund, Norstedts Agency (Sweden). (Sept.)
From the Publisher
“Salander and Blomkvist have survived the authorship transition intact and are just as compelling as ever . . . Fans of Stieg Larsson’s captivating odd couple of modern detective fiction will not be disappointed.” —Michiko Kakutani, New York Times
“Rest easy, Lisbeth Salander fans—our punk hacker heroine is in good hands . . . A twisty, bloody thrill ride . . . seamlessly woven together by Lagercrantz—in fact, if you hadn’t seen his name on the book jacket, you’d likely assume it was Larsson’s own handiwork . . . An instant page-turner.” USA Today (4 out of 4 stars)
“Without ever becoming pastiche, the book is a respectful and affectionate homage to the originals . . . Lagercrantz’s continuation, while never formulaic, is a cleaner and tighter read than the originals.”Guardian

“Lagercrantz has more than met the challenge. Larsson’s brainchildren are in good hands and may have even come up a bit in the world.” —Wall Street Journal
“What of Lisbeth Salander? Given that Lagercrantz knows she’s what readers want, her long and suspenseful introduction is masterful.” —Lee Child, New York Times Book Review (cover)

“A worthy, crowd-pleasing fourth installment . . . Lagercrantz, his prose more assured than Larsson’s, keeps Salander’s fiery rage at the white-hot level her fans will want.”Publishers Weekly (starred)

“Lagercrantz does an excellent job . . . Anyone craving more Salander bad-assery should get their hands on a copy of Spider’s Web faster than Lisbeth can hack into the NSA.”People

“Lagercrantz’s real achievement here is the subtle development of Lisbeth’s character; he allows us access to her complex, alienated world but is careful not to remove her mystery and unknowability. Lisbeth Salander remains, in Lagercrantz’s hands, the most enigmatic and fascinating anti-heroine in fiction.” —Financial Times

“Lagercrantz deftly blends the spirit of Larsson’s work and characters with his own literary skills and bright imagination. Spider’s Web is an intelligent novel that has Salander entangled in one of the most contentious issues of our times . . . Riveting . . . Pyrotechnic.” Chicago Tribune
“A thrilling next installment . . . In spinning a complex and intriguing new chapter in the adventures of Blomkvist and Salander, Lagercrantz has written a worthy successor to one of the more uniquely compelling thriller sagas of his generation . . . An engrossing novel.” Paste
“Action-packed and thoroughly enjoyable . . . [A] finely-wrought thriller . . . I will eagerly devour the next adventure for Salander and Blomkvist, especially now that we know their fate lies in the hands of a writer worthy of their story.” —The Daily Beast

“Lagercrantz stays true to Larsson’s vision . . . No doubt about it, Lagercrantz has done a skillful job.” Sydney Morning Herald
“[A] smart, action-packed thriller that is true to the spirit of the characters Larsson created while adding interesting new ones and updating the political backdrop that made the Millennium series so compelling.” Buffalo News
“Fans of the original trilogy will be pleased with Lagercrantz’s new installment. The novel is a smart, propulsive thriller and espionage tale with a timely digital age plot (think Snowden and Wikileaks).” Hollywood Reporter
“Passion and fire, check: there are plenty of both here . . . Fast-moving, credible, and intelligently told. Larsson fans won’t be disappointed.” Kirkus Reviews

“Lagercrantz pulls it off . . . One devours Larsson’s books for the plots, the action, the anger, and most of all for Lisbeth Salander, a character who resembles Sherlock Holmes or James Bond . . . Lagercrantz has caught her superbly.” Daily Telegraph (UK)

“David Lagercrantz was set an almost impossible task by Stieg Larsson’s estate when they asked him to write a ‘continuation’ novel featuring Lisbeth Salander. He has carried it out with intelligence and vigour. The Girl in the Spider’s Web conveys the essence and atmosphere of Larsson’s Millennium novels. He has captured the spirit of their characters and devised inventive plots.” The Times (UK) 

“Fans of the original trilogy need not fear . . . The novel is well-researched and more intelligent than the average thriller.”The Independent (UK)
“Lagercrantz makes sensible decisions in this fourth volume . . . . Blomkvist is given a cleverly and very contemporary storyline . . . A worthwhile read for anyone who’s zipped through the trilogy and finished wanting more.” Daily Express (UK)

“Sometimes you almost forget that the spine of the book says David Lagercrantz and not Stieg Larsson . . . There is definitely the same narrative zest and love of intrigue, and also the impressive research . . . Lagercrantz has written a thriller that is captivating in its own right.” Svenska Dagbladet (Sweden)
“A real page turner.” —Borås Tidning (Sweden)
“Lagercrantz has studied the first three parts of the series well, and the reader will recognize not only their Mikael Blomkvist and Lisbeth Salander and the social criticism, but also other essential parts of the story’s DNA . . . David Lagercrantz has proven that he deserves both attention and respect. ” Dagens Nyheter (Sweden)

“An excellent thriller . . . elegantly constructed.” Stern (Germany)

Library Journal
Swedish journalist and best-selling author Lagercrantz hit the jackpot when Stieg Larsson's estate asked him to write this stand-alone sequel to the famed "Millennium" trilogy. As the estate says, "David is an accomplished author, who has throughout his authorship narrated highly original characters and complex geniuses. He will conduct this in his very own way." With a 500,000-copy first printing.
Kirkus Reviews
Lisbeth Sander returns, bruises raw and dander up, in this continuing installment of the late Stieg Larsson's crime series. Lisbeth is perhaps getting a little long in the tooth to be called a girl, but no matter: she still has a young person's aching desire to right the wrongs of the world. There are plenty of them, no doubt, but Swedish journalist/biographer Lagercrantz gives this the timeliest of spins by centering evil on the National Security Agency and its villainous operatives ("Ingram usually had a malicious grin on his face when he stuck a knife in someone's back"), who dig illicit sex and snappy repartee and all the usual things that bad guys enjoy. The NSA and its explosive chief data cowboy make perfect foils, as it happens, for Lisbeth and her cohort of hacking pals, bearing names like Trinity, Plague, and Bob the Dog. Lagercrantz follows the Larsson formula: take a more-or-less ordinary event, in this case a brittle battle over custody rights, and wrap it into a larger crime that the smaller one masks. It's not as if he doesn't skip a beat in doing so, but mostly he captures Larsson's patented tone, a blend of journalistic matter-of-factness and world-weariness. If the bad guys are sometimes cardboard cutouts, Lisbeth is fully rounded in her fury—as one of them cries, "What kind of freak are you?" No ordinary one, as Larsson well established and Lagercrantz reinforces. Larsson's journalist hero/alter ego Mikael Blomkvist returns as well, bound in events while trying to do his work in the face of disappearing print, focus groups, and consultants—the latter a force for evil as formidable as the spooks back at Fort Meade. "It was no bloody market analysis that had created the magazine," he fumes. "It was passion and fire." Passion and fire, check: there are plenty of both here and plenty of loose character-development ends to pick up in another sequel. Fast-moving, credible, and intelligently told. Larsson fans won't be disappointed.

Product Details

Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date:
Stieg Larsson's Millennium Series , #4
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.10(w) x 7.90(h) x 1.20(d)

Read an Excerpt

Wrange tried to concentrate on the game, but he was not managing too well. Fortunately this punk girl was going to be easy pickings. She wasn’t bad, as it turned out—she probably spent a lot of time playing—but what good was that? He toyed with her a little, and she was bound to be impressed. Who knows, maybe he could even get her to come home with him after- wards. True, she looked stroppy, and Wrange did not go in for stroppy girls, but she had nice tits and he might be able to take out his frustrations on her. It had been a disaster of a morning.
It wasn’t grief that he felt: it was fear. Wrange really did try hard to convince himself that he had done the right thing. What did the goddamn professor expect when he treated him as if he didn’t exist? But of course it wouldn’t look good that Wrange had sold him down the river. He consoled himself with the thought that an idiot like Balder must have made thou- sands of enemies, but deep down he knew: the one event was linked to the other, and that scared him to death.
Ever since Balder had started working at Solifon, Wrange had been afraid that the drama would take a frightening new turn, and here he was now, wishing that it would all go away. That must have been why he went into town this morning on a compulsive spree to buy a load of designer clothes, and had ended up here at the chess club. Chess still managed to distract him, and the fact was that he was feeling better already. He felt like he was in control and smart enough to keep on fooling them all. Look at how he was playing.
This girl was not half bad. In fact there was something unorthodox and creative in her play, and she would probably be able to teach most people in here a thing or two. It was just that he, Arvid Wrange, was crushing her. His play was so brilliant and sophisticated that she had not even noticed he was on the brink of trapping her queen. Stealthily he moved his positions forward and  snapped it up  without sacrificing more than a knight. In a flirty, casual tone bound to impress her he said, “Sorry, baby. Your queen is down.”
But he got nothing in return, no smile, not a word, nothing. The girl upped the tempo, as if she wanted to put a quick end to her humiliation, and why not? He’d be happy to keep the process short and take her out for two or three drinks before he pulled her. Maybe he would not be very nice to her in bed. The chances were that she would still thank him afterwards. A miserable cunt like her would be unlikely to have had a fuck for a long time and would be totally unused to guys like him, cool guys who played at this level. He decided to show off a bit and explain some higher chess theory. But he never got the chance. Something on the board did not feel quite right. His game began to run into some sort of resistance he could not understand. For a while he persuaded himself that it was only his imagination, perhaps the result of a few careless moves. If only he concentrated he would be able to put things right, and so he mobilized his killer instinct.
But the situation just got worse.
He felt trapped—however hard he tried to regain the initiative she hit back—and in the end he had no choice but to acknowledge that the balance of power had shifted, and shifted irreversibly. How crazy was that? He had taken her queen, but instead of building on that advantage he had landed in a fatally weak position. Surely she had not deliberately sacrificed her queen so early in the game? That would be impossible—the sort of thing you read about in books, it doesn’t happen in your local chess club in Vasastan, and it’s definitely not something that pierced punk chicks with attitude problems do, especially not to great players like him. Yet there was no escape.
In four or five moves he would be beaten and so he saw no alternative but to knock over his king with his index finger and mumble congratulations. Even though he would have liked to serve up some excuses, some- thing told him that that would make matters worse. He had a sneaking feeling that his defeat was not just down to bad luck, and almost against his will he began to feel frightened again. Who the hell was she?
Cautiously he looked her in the eye and now she no longer looked like a stroppy, insecure nobody. Now she seemed cold—like a predator eyeing its prey. He felt deeply ill at ease, as if the defeat on the chessboard were but a prelude to something much, much worse. He glanced towards the door.
“You’re not going anywhere,” she said.
“Who are you?” he said.
“Nobody special.”
“So we haven’t met before?”
“Not exactly.”
“But nearly, is that it?”
“We’ve met in your nightmares, Arvid.”
“Is this some kind of joke?”
“Not really.”
“What do you mean?”
“What do you think I mean?
“How should I know?”
He could not understand why he was so scared.

Meet the Author

DAVID LAGERCRANTZ is an acclaimed Swedish journalist and author. He has worked as a crime reporter for Expressen, and has written several novels, including Fall of Man in Wilmslow. He worked with international soccer star Zlatan Ibrahimović on his memoir, I Am Zlatan Ibrahimović, which was short-listed for the William Hill Sports Book of the Year award and was nominated for the August Prize in Sweden.

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The Girl in the Spider's Web (Millennium Series #4) 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 136 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Unlike the prior reviewers, I actually read the book. I've read Steigs trilogy 3 times and this book is a worthy addition. Pages kept turning and Lisbeth and Micke are up to their best efforts again. Looking forward to book #5!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I've been hoping someone would come along and continue the story. What a relief it has been done and done very well. I read the book over the weekend and was left wanting the next book. I hope this will be the first of many more to come.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Something was missing! The first half was a little slow and the second half was a real page turner...overall, I enjoyed the book. What was missing? Stieg Larsson!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This author carried the amazing characters created by Stieg Larson into another extraordinary adventure almost seamlessly. I hope the series is continued!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Too predictable and never reaches the level of suspense found in the previous three books, but still an OK read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I liked this a lot. Good job picking up on writing this great series. It's not boring, it's very intelligent and interesting. I love the first 3 books, but the first one was so boring in the initial chapters I almost quit reading, so glad I didn't quit. This book was never boring, you just need to be able to read about math and computers. Loved it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was true to the characters from the series, I coukd not put this down! Sequels don't always live up to the hyoe.., but this book was excellent.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very well written. The story kept me interested and was intellectually stimulating!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I thought the story was well told and leaves room for a sequel. Characters came alive and stories were explsinedvand tied together. A very fine attempt to carry on the original authors work.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It takes a good 100 pages to get into the book. So many characters to keep track of.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Soon as I saw it, I pre-ordered. When it delivered I started to read and thought it was probably a waste of time and money. Turned out happily I was wrong. I read the original 3 books several times and listened to the audio versions. One of my top favorite series. This new book is quite good and I am hoping it will continue.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The new author adds his own style but stays true to the essence of the series and its characters. A fun, well-researched, and intriguing read. If you enkoyed the original three of the Millenium series, you will enjoy this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I liked this book but lisbeth was not in it enough
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Keeping to the Larsson tradition of complex, multi-character, breakneck, and almost journalistic style, you have to "stay with it" in both senses, just as you did with the earlier books, but worth it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really really liked the 3 books in the original series, and this one was good, but not as great as the first 3. However, that said, I had to read it to find out what happened to the two main folks. Now I hope there is a 5th book to see what the 2 sisters do. characters character characters
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This could have been written by Larsson or at least told by him and written with a tribute to his characters. It is truly a fitting sequel. I for one am looking forward to another story. All the characters you hoped would be there and they are. It is truly a new adventure only there is still great continuity to ensure that the saga does indeed live on.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Worth the read
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I couldn't put it down
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Took me a long time in deciding to read this book. There has been mixed reviews and whatnot. So I thought, what the heck, a book is a book. I was not disappointed. I can't put the book down. It's beautifully written. It's been awhile since a book makes me feel out of breath from excitement. It's worth it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Now just waiting for the next one!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Fully intreging, can't wait to see the next in the seriees...?,
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The hacking is strained, the math is not.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It was nice to read about the characters again, but the plot and every event could be anticipated far in advance. Not my favorite Lisbeth book, one I still enjoyed and I'm strangely happy there's room for more.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Tough act to follow, but the challenge was met. Next!!