Lisbeth Salander Returns In David Lagercrantz’s ‘The Girl In The Spider’s Web’ [REVIEW]

Spider + Web

You’ll get caught in David Lagercrantz’s THE GIRL IN THE SPIDER’S WEB.
(Photo by Matthew Robinson, Flickr)

Sweden’s answer to Steve Jobs is murdered and his savant son witnesses the killing. A mole has infiltrated one of the world’s most powerful intelligence agencies. And a beautiful but deadly woman appears to have her sights set on destroying the world’s favorite punk hacker, Lisbeth Salander, in David Lagercrantz’s The Girl in the Spider’s Web. 

The Girl in the Spider's Web

Alfred A. Knopf

Famed Swedish reporter Mikael Blomkvist is trying to salvage his career and figure out a way to keep his beloved magazine, Millennium, from being turned into yet another tabloid by a greedy media conglomerate. When he receives a tip from what appears to be a rather unreliable source, he is shocked when he learns his source has taken him down the rabbit hole and plunged him into one of the biggest conspiracy stories of his esteemed career.

Suddenly, Blomkvist finds himself inexplicably caught in the midst of a murder investigation as police and world intelligence agencies team up to track down the person responsible for killing one of the world’s leading minds. To complicate matters, the only eye witness to the ghastly murder is the victim’s own autistic son who is incapable of communicating what he saw. Or is he? Blomkvist has a sneaking suspicion there is more to the boy than meets the eye.

Blomkvist enlists the help of his old friend, Salander, to see if she can dig up any leads. She has connections to the deceased, but in typical Salander style, she’s not about to show her cards until she is good and ready. Instead, she gets caught up in the melee and rescues the boy only to find herself coming face to face with an old nemesis, the dark heart of the operation and the mysterious leader of a group of hackers intent on destroying Lisbeth once and for all.

Lagercrantz has done an exceptional job taking up the story international bestselling author, political activist and journalist Stieg Larsson created before his death in Stockholm, Sweden on Nov. 4, 2004. Although he didn’t live to see his Millennium series become a smash success and reader favorite, he left behind two of the most beloved characters in recent literary mystery fiction.

So when it was announced that Lagercrantz would take the reins of the series to publish a fourth Millennium novel, readers were excited yet apprehensive. Would this new writer, himself a journalist and author, be as skilled a storyteller? Could he deftly shape the characters we all came to love? And how would he pull off juggling the multiple storylines Larsson had so nimbly crafted into each of his novels? I am thrilled to say that readers need not have feared. Lagercrantz capably steps into Larsson’s shoes and lures us back to the noir Sweden we first discovered in 2005’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. 

That being said, this story is not as gritty and edgy as the original. However, readers will readily recognize Larsson’s characters who Lagercrantz paints with all the cynicism, dry wit, and dark determination of his predecessor. Much like the novel’s name indicates, this venture into Salander’s world slowly but beautifully tightens its hold on readers with each page that is turned like a spider carefully, cautiously, yet deftly spinning its web. Struggle is futile, because as the author takes us farther into the mythology of Salander’s past, we gain a deeper understanding of the character’s motivations and readers will undoubtedly find themselves relinquishing control to a master writer at the pinnacle of his career.

David Lagercrantz

David Lagercrantz
(Photo by Magnus Liam Karlsson)


David Lagercrantz is an acclaimed Swedish journalist and author. He has worked as a crime reporter for Expressen, and has written several novels, including the forthcoming Fall of Man in Wilmslow. 

He worked with international soccer star Zlatan Ibrahimovic on his memoir,  I Am Zlatan Ibrahimovic, which was shortlisted for the William Hill Sports Book of the Year award and was nominated for the August Prize in Sweden.

For more information about the Millennium series, visit

By David Lagercrantz
416 pgs. Knopf. $27.95.

About Jathan Fink
Jathan is a journalist, philanthropist, and entrepreneur. He is also a travel junkie, foodie and jazz aficionado. A California native, he resides in Texas.

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