Never one to hide her feelings, Lisbeth Salander is back for vengeance in the sixth novel of the series that started with "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo."
Abused by both her mobster father and the psychiatrist treating her, Lisbeth is an avenging angel of sorts — determined to punish evil and the powerful people who prey on others. Her doppelganger is her own twin sister, Camilla.
“The sisters chose different sides,” says author David Lagercrantz, discussing the plot of "The Girl Who Lived Twice" in a phone call from Stockholm, Sweden, where he lives. “Camilla chose the strength — her father — and Lisbeth chose taking care of the weak, protecting her mother from her father’s violence. The sisters are bitter enemies, and this is their final battle.”
Though social skills aren’t one of Salander’s strong suits — she likely falls on the autism spectrum — she does have the ability to hack through the fire walls of almost any computer system. Add to that her martial arts abilities and photographic memory and she makes a worthy adversary of her equally brilliant but pathological sister.
Lagercrantz, who is embarking on a two-month worldwide tour, took over writing the Salander series after the death of Stieg Larsson, author of the original three novels.
“I was scared to death to death when they asked me to do this,” says Lagercrantz, noting he was smuggled into a side door of the publishing house to avoid speculation he was being selected to write the best-selling thrillers. “It was a suicidal mission in many ways to agree to do it because people loved his books so much. But it’s been fantastic.”
Like Larsson, Lagercrantz’s Salander novels are complex, leading Salander and Mikael Blomkvist, the crusading journalist who befriended her, into a dark world of scheming crooks, billionaires and corrupt politicians. The latter includes the minister of defense, the only survivor of a Mount Everest climbing expedition who may be involved in the murder of a homeless Nepalese Sherpa.
Lagercrantz says "The Girl Who Lived Twice" will be his final book in the series.
“They’d like me to write 10 or more, but I want to move on to my own fiction,” he says. “It was a bittersweet decision.”
In an intriguing aside, Lagercrantz lives in the same neighborhood as the fictional Blomkvist and Salander.
“When I’m walking, I sometimes wonder if I’ll run into them,” he says.
What would he say if he did?
“That would be interesting, wouldn’t it?”