I loved the Girl With the Dragon Tattoo and all of Stieg Larsson’s three-book series. I read he died before seeing it become so popular, and his estate hired David Lagercrantz to continue the series. The newest book in the series, The Girl Who Takes an Eye for an Eye by Lagercrantz has maybe 50 pages which include the key character Lisbeth Salander. They are rushed and the characterization shoddy. The book is supposed to be about her. Apparently, Lagercrantz became enamored of a subplot about twins separated at birth and brought up in some wacky Swedish program to study twins. He spent most of the book going on and on about the twins, a pair I cared nothing to read about, delving into their past while he created a non-existent tie between them and Salander by using an evil researcher interested in twins. Salander had a twin. This tie between the pairs of twins is vague and barely part of the story.
If you’re a Salander fan, don’t read this book. The previous one by Lagercrantz was poorly crafted, long winded, and began the gradual dis-inclusion of Salander in her own story. I’m not saying Eye for an Eye is a bad book. No wait, it is a bad book. I really didn’t like it. I’m also saying it’s not about Salander. Some of the action scenes including her are so bad, I slammed the book down. Lagercrantz seems to think small, thin women can take one hell of a beating. He uses Salander like a punching bag, and her spirit, the thing you love the most about her, is missing. Lagercrantz has no feel for her character and there’s a general sense he doesn’t really like her.
Eye for an Eye is not about Salander. The Eye for an Eye part, is so minute as to be irrelevant. The book delves deeply into the psyche of the twins, their history, their thoughts, their feelings, and the story is totally about them. They had no part in Salander’s revenge which was taken for a Bangladesh girl Salander befriend’s while in prison, something Lagercrantz turns into a minor subplot. As I said, out of 347 long pages, only 50 may actually include Lisbeth Salander.
I looked into the bestowing of the right to write the Salander series and Larsson’s long-time girlfriend Eva Gabrielsson, has the same opinion I do. She said Larsson would be as horrified by the butchering of a wonderful character as I am. Don’t patronize Lagercrantz and don’t read his books. They suck.