Stieg Larsson – The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest
The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets’ Nest (original title in Swedish: Luftslottet som sprängdes, in English: The castle of air that (was) exploded) is the third and final novel in the best-selling “Millennium series” by Swedish writer Stieg Larsson. The novel is the sequel to The Girl Who Played with Fire. It was published posthumously in Swedishin 2007 and in English in the UK in October 2009.
The US and Canadian editions, published on May 25, 2010, are titled The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest, with “hornet” in the singular form.
Like the first two books in the Millennium series, The Girl who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest was written by Stieg Larsson before being shown to a publisher, and published posthumously after his fatal heart attack in 2004.
The book begins as Lisbeth Salander is flown to Sahlgrenska Hospital. It picks up where The Girl Who Played With Fire left off.
In the hospital
After surgery, she is moved to an intensive care ward under guard, accessible only to police, doctors, nurses, and her lawyer, Annika Giannini (who is also Mikael Blomkvist’s sister). Zalachenko, whom Salander injured with an axe, is two rooms away. Niedermann is on the run from the police after murdering a police officer andcarjacking and kidnapping a woman during his escape. Niedermann seeks help from his old friends at Svavelsjö M.C., kills the treasurer and steals 800,000 kronor before disappearing.
Evert Gullberg, the founder and former chief of “the Section”, a secret division of Säpo that harbored and protected Zalachenko, asks former Section associate Frederik Clinton to become acting head of the Section and plots to deflect attention away from the Section by silencing Salander, Blomkvist and Zalachenko.
They first form a working alliance with the unsuspecting Prosecutor of Salander’s case, Richard Ekström. Dr. Peter Teleborian, a member of The Section and the psychiatristwho supervised Salander when she was previously institutionalized, provides Ekstrom with a false psychiatric examination and recommends that she be reinstitutionalized, preferably without a trial.
Gullberg, who has terminal cancer, murders Zalachenko in his hospital bed and then commits suicide. Section operatives stage a suicide for Gunnar Björck, the junior Säpo officer who had handled Zalachenko after the latter’s defection, and who was Blomkvist’s source of information about the Section. Other Section operatives burgle Blomkvist’s apartment, mug Annika Giannini, and plant bugs in the homes and phones of Millennium staff. Undeterred, Blomkvist continues to investigate the Section for a Millennium exposé.
Blomkvist hires Dragan Armansky’s Milton Security to handle counter surveillance. Armansky informs Säpo Constitutional Protection Director Torsten Edklinth about the constitutional violations. Edklinth, along with his assistant Monica Figuerola, begins a clandestine investigation into the Section. After Figuerola confirms the allegations, Edklinth contacts the Justice Minister and the Prime Minister who approve a full investigation by Constitutional Protection, and later invite Blomkvist to a confidential meeting in which they are to share information. They agree to Blomkvist’s deadline—he intends to publish his findings about the state’s manipulation of Salander’s constitutional rights at the beginning of her trial. Meanwhile, Figuerola and Blomkvist have an affair.
Blomkvist convinces Salander’s doctor, Dr. Anders Jonasson, to return her Palm Tungsten T3. Blomkvist arranges to have a phone placed in a duct leading to Salander’s room, allowing her to access the Internet and communicate.
Erika Berger leaves Millennium to be editor-in-chief at Sweden’s largest daily paper, the fictional Svenska Morgon-Posten. Meanwhile, Henry Cortez, a reporter at Millennium, uncovers a story about a Swedish company manufacturing toilets that engages child labour in Vietnam. After a while he discovers that the boss of the firm is Magnus Borgsjö, who is also the major shareholder of S.M.P. and therefore Berger’s boss. Blomkvist gives a copy of the story to Berger, and she decides to confront him. Berger also begins receiving graphic emails and threats. The stalker even breaks into Berger’s home and steals scandalous private materials belonging to Berger. Berger engages Milton Security to help secure her home, and hires a Milton employee named Susanne Linder to help protect her home. With the help of Lisbeth, Berger’s stalker is exposed as a fellow employee at S.M.P. and high school classmate of Berger, Peter Fredriksson. Linder confronts Fredriksson and recovers Berger’s things. However, Fredriksson also stole the story that Blomkvist gave Berger, and anonymously e-mailed Borgsjö the story. Borgsjö orders Berger to suppress the story at Millennium. Berger decides to print the story in S.M.P. in Cortez’s name, and then resigns from S.M.P. and returns to Millennium. Borgsjö and Fredriksson are forced to resign.
On the eve of Salander’s trial, the Section, desperate to silence Blomkvist and destroy his credibility, hire two members of the Yugoslav mafia to murder him and Berger, while planting cocaine in his apartment. Figuerola and her fellow agents are able to intercept and foil their plans. Blomkvist and Berger go to a Milton safehouse until the trial. Berger intuits Figuerola’s and Blomkvist’s affair, and promises Figuerola to stay clear of Blomkvist as long as they are together.
Meanwhile, Salander is transferred to prison to start her trial.
On the third day of Salander’s trial, Giannini systematically destroys Teleborian’s testimony, proving: that the Section and Teleborian had conspired to commit Salander at age 12 to protect Zalachenko, that Salander’s rights had been repeatedly violated, and that they were once again conspiring against her. During this time, Millennium’s exposé of Zalachenko and his abuses against Salander and her family, along with a book entitled “The Section” are released, becoming the story of the year. The same day, teams from Edklinth’s unit arrest the ten members of the Section. Blomkvist and Edklinth provide evidence proving that Teleborian’s recent “psychiatric assessment” of Salander was fabricated and that he was working with the Section to silence her. Teleborian is later arrested for possession of child pornography, which was found on his computer by Salander and her hacker friends, Plague and Trinity.
With the evidence and credibility of the prosecution shattered, the prosecutor drops all charges against Salander. Freed, Salander embarks on an overseas trip to forget the events. She spends several months atGibraltar, among other things to pay a visit to the man managing the billions she had stolen from Hans-Erik Wennerström in The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. She also tracks down Miriam Wu, who is studying at a university in Paris.
As Zalachenko’s daughter, Salander inherits half of his properties and wealth, which she has no choice but to accept; the other goes to her twin sister Camilla. Suspicious about an abandoned factory in her father’s estate, she goes there to investigate and finds two dead women and Niedermann, who had been hiding there from the police. After a brief struggle and chase, Salander outwits Niedermann by nailing his feet to the plankfloor with a nail gun. She is tempted to kill him herself, but instead leaves the warehouse and reports his location to the head of the Svavelsjö biker gang, who had previously attacked Salander. After the gang arrives, Salander directs the police to the warehouse with Niedermann and the bikers; she then watches as the police arrive and begin a stand-off with the bikers. She leaves before it is over, satisfied that both Niedermann and the biker have received payback. She later learns that Niedermann was killed by the bikers and that the head biker was shot by the police while resisting arrest.
Back at her apartment in Stockholm, Salander receives a visit from Blomkvist. The story, as well as the Millennium trilogy, ends with her reconciling with him, finally welcoming him into her apartment and life. [Source]