Review: ‘The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets’ Nest’

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets' Nest by Stieg Larsson
“The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets’ Nest” by Stieg Larsson

As I wrote in December 2010, I loved the first two installments of Stieg Larsson’s “Millennium Trilogy.” In fact, I am pretty sure I developed a crush on the heroin of the story, Lisbeth Salander.

So it was with much anticipation that I cracked open the paperback version of the final installment — “The Girl Who Kicked The Hornets’ Nest.”

It picked up right where the second book — “The Girl Who Played With Fire” — left off. Lisbeth had been shot in the head and was in the hospital. 

Unlike the previous book, “Hornets’ Nest” was slower paced. It was more of a courtroom drama, with the hero of the story, Mikael Blomkvist, using the help of his sister, who happens to be a lawyer, to vindicate Lisbeth of any wrong doing that transpired in “Hornet’s Nest.”

The majority of the time Lisbeth was in the hospital, while Blomkvist did surveillance on those opposing the heroin. He was assisted by law enforcement members who also thought Lisbeth wasn’t getting a fair shake and wanted to stop the corruption permeating the Swedish government.

Without giving anything away, it ends as one would hope. It even leaves room for another book. As I said before, it is a shame Larsson died. I would love to keep reading his work.

From the onset, the reader knows who the bad guys are. They know what they are planning. They know how Blomkvist and the others are going to try to prove their case. The reader has access to everything. There is no mystery or intrigue. 

However, it is still an edge-of-your-seat read. You know everything yet aren’t sure how it is going to end. I flew through the pages. I wanted to see the story to the end.

There is a good amount of action contrasting against the mental aerobics. Larsson gives an insane amount of detail as he describes what people are wearing or eating. These types of descriptors would normally seem tiresome and unnecessary. However, I feel it is part of Larsson’s charm. It doesn’t slow down the story. It adds to the texture of his storytelling.

Long story short, I loved this book, just as I loved the first two. Lisbeth is still a mover and a shaker even from her hospital bed, and Blomkvist keeps with his super-reporter ways. It almost makes me want to quit teaching and go back into the world of reporting. Almost.

As I mentioned above, I wish Larsson had written more. It sounds like he had actually. According to, there is a fourth manuscript, and his life companion Eva Gabrielsson says she can finish it. However, since he didn’t have a will when he died, Larsson’s full estate wen to his father and brother, which left Gabrielsson out in the cold. 

 If you want to read more about that controversy, visit this link: 

If you want to read more about the fourth manuscript, visit this link:

If you want to read an incredible book, read “The Girl Who Kicked The Hornets’ Nest.” After you read the first two, of course. 

I fully endorse them all.

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About toddvogts 843 Articles
Todd R. Vogts, Ph.D., is an assistant professor of media at Sterling College in Kansas. Previously, he taught yearbook, newspaper, newsmagazine, and online journalism in various Kansas high schools, and he ran a weekly newspaper in rural Kansas. He continues to freelance as a professional journalist from time to time. Also, Vogts is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ), the Journalism Education Association (JEA), and the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC), among others. He earned his Master Journalism Educator (MJE) certification from JEA in 2022. When he’s not teaching or writing, he runs his mobile disk jockey service and takes part in other entrepreneurial ventures. He can be reached at or via his website at

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