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

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


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781101872000
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 05/24/2016
Series: Stieg Larsson's Millennium Series , #4
Pages: 512
Sales rank: 9,383
Product dimensions: 5.10(w) x 7.90(h) x 1.20(d)

About 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.

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.


Barnes & Noble Review Interview with David Lagercrantz

What's it like to pick up where an international sensation left off and continue the adventures of his signature creations? Nick Curley talks with David Lagercrantz, the journalist who has taken up the mantle of the late Steig Larsson, about The Girl in the Spider's Web, in which Mikael Blomkvist and Lisbeth Salander make their triumphant return.

The Barnes & Noble Review: What are your earliest memories of writing a story?

David Lagercrantz: I had a father who was a writer: he was very influential back in those days. He was so solemn about writing. He thought it was the most important thing. So I remember rushing home from school. I would start telling a story: it could be a quite dramatic story, and he didn't care about my drama. He would say, "David, that was well told; write it down immediately." So if you have a good story, you have to write it. But I was too afraid, I think, to start to write a novel. So I did what many people did. I went into journalism.

BNR: I read that your first gig as a journalist was for Volvo's in-house magazine.

DL: Yes. I thought I was quite a tough guy. I went to this school of journalism and thought: I will get any job. I didn't get any at all. I was quite miserable. I was trying to write a new novel, actually, but I got stuck on the first sentence. Then I met an old teacher: "I will fix something for you, David." Suddenly, me with all my dreams, I was sitting at Volvo! You have to start somewhere, don't you?

BNR: You were also a crime reporter for the Swedish newspaper Expressen?

DL: Yes. It's a tabloid. But I must say that the Swedish tabloids are much better, actually, than the American or the English. They don't have a girl on page three or anything like that. They have some good journalism as well.

BNR: Was that where you were a crime reporter?

DL: Yes, I was a crime reporter, traveling all around when there was a murder. So yeah . . . It's long ago now, but maybe that was important.

A crime reporter learns a lot when he learns the importance of details. You learn that the common things that happen just before a crime are so important. If I just say, "I'm moving this and this," it's a poor beginning of a book, isn't it? But if I am about to get murdered . . .

BNR: It could be vital to the story.

DL: "David moved the coffee. He was looking at his watch." I learned the importance of details, and of research. Even if you want to lie, as you do in fiction, you need to do good research. Because then you'll lie better!

BNR: How were you selected as the writer who would continue the Millennium series? Was it a gig you sought?

DL: No, not at all. But I have always have been interested in odd geniuses: those who've been quite badly treated in the society. Like, Alan Turing is coming up a lot now in the States. I wrote this book about Zlatan Ibrahimovic, the footballer. I think it sold even better in Sweden than Stieg Larsson did. It was the fastest seller ever. Maybe it showed that I had ability to go into other worlds, to find another voice.

Then my brilliant agent had an idea. I told her one day that I was writing a love novel, and I think the story was good, but the hero was too much like me — this weak, neurotic intellectual — and it didn't really lift. It wasn't really a good book. I told her, "I think I'm best if I collide myself with a different world, with something else." Then she got this brilliant idea: "Maybe David is the man to do it."

BNR: How do you feel about the massive reach and readership of the series? What does that bring to mind for you? DL: I was absolutely scared to death of writing it. But I believe in taking risks. I believe in being scared. Because when there's danger, you have to act. So I think that did something to my writing, actually. I was so motivated. Most of all, of course, when I read the other books, I was so obsessed. I had fun, and I was worried, and I didn't sleep, and I didn't ever think. But it really was an adventure.

BNR: What was your relationship to the books prior to getting this assignment? You were a reader and a fan of the work?

DL: I was a reader. But to be honest, I'm a little bit snobbish. That's my father's fault. So I wasn't that much into crime fiction. But when I reread them, I really thought they were absolutely amazing.

BNR: Are you willing to give us any hints as to what might be putting Lisbeth and Mikael in mortal danger?

DL: As an old reporter, and I was interested in savants. Autistic savants. When I was a reporter, I did a story about a young guy who didn't speak. His parents didn't get any contact with him at all, and then one day they were passing a streetlight, and he looked up at the streetlight, and the next day he drew it perfectly. Without knowing anything about perspective drawing, he drew it absolutely perfectly. This story has stayed with me. Then I started to think, What if this guy witnessed something with his photographic vision?

BNR: I think people might be interested in your background in that you are, in some ways, uniquely prepared to write this book, as it is a story of industrialists and tycoons, and if I understand correctly, you're of Swedish nobility, which is quite rare for a writer . . .

DL: My father was absolutely upper class, of course, but he was a left-winger. He was very controversial in his time. So I sort of inherited that. I had the same sort of radical background with all the anger. So even though my father was in the upper class, he hated this arrogant economic, uneducated . . . I sort of paradoxically grew up with the same anger . . . This character, if you read the first book, the Banger family, except for the good one in the family . . . I've seen it, and I have the same anger with greediness and things like that.

BNR: I would be remiss if I didn't ask you about Stieg Larsson's partner, who has, as I understand it, publicly disapproved of this book. What is your response to that?

DL: I deeply respect her and all that she has gone through. I am so sad about it, but what can I say? I am so sad that I make her sad. But I know that I make so many people happy. I've never met so much love and longing. So I can just say I am sorry for her, and I hope there will be some settlement between the brother and the father. But I also say I think it is important that we discuss literature. I think it's good when you have a discussion about literature, what you can do and what you cannot do. And I welcome the discussion. I think it's great that she is giving her view, and I respect her. But for me, I can say that with all my heart I am not doing this for money. I have enough already. I do it for passion. It has been so much fun and to really write a good book, and to be worthy of this great author. I really think all these characters deserve to live on.

And if I write, God forbid, a bad book, Larsson's books will still be there. You can go back to them and say, "Oh, this lousy Lagercrantz, but Larsson . . . " Already we are reading them again, and they are selling again because this fourth book is coming out.

BNR: When do you write? Where do you write? What does your workspace look like? What is the ritual of writing for you?

DL: First of all, I am terribly neurotic, as you maybe can see. I walk back and forth, and I find it's not as bad as you might believe, because I have my best ideas when I am not writing actually, but when I am walking and doing other kinds of things. I wake up really early, four o'clock in the morning, especially when I write something like this. I am also addicted and confess all kinds of weaknesses to espresso. So I start with loads of espresso, and then I start to write. I don't think I write that many hours, but I have it in me all the time. All the time, all the time, it's ticking, it's ticking, it's ticking.

BNR: What is the best advice you've received as a writer, or is there a recurring notion that comes to mind?

DL: To go back to my father: Work hard, rewrite, and cut. I've learned to cut. I mean, really, my father said, "Cut every second sentence," but I think that's a little conservative. Cut every three or four. Cut it! Especially nowadays, when the movies are going faster, it's got to go fast. Many books are too slow.

Work hard. That's the only thing I can say. Work hard. Because if you work too easily, you will use old sentences. You have to work hard to find a new way. You have to develop all the time. My father wrote his best book when he was in his seventies, because he worked all the time, and I hope to do the same. I hope to do my best book when I'm eighty!

September 30, 2015

Customer Reviews

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The Girl in the Spider's Web (Millennium Series #4) 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 179 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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Tough act to follow, but the challenge was met. Next!!
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
Worth the read
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I couldn't put it down
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.