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Plot: Ugh….A convoluted mishmash of way too many characters doing outlandish things for inscrutable and unbelievable reasons.

My thoughts: This is the fourth installment in a wildly popular and much beloved series – the first of which is titled The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.  My only exposure to that series was via the Swedish film adaptation of the first novel.  I enjoyed the movie, but it didn’t motivate me to see any more of the movies or read the books.  However, when this was selected for our book club read, I was fine with it.  I like a good mystery-thriller every now and then.  I didn’t think not having read the other books would be much of a problem as I was familiar with the main characters.

Maybe it was a problem, or maybe this series just isn’t for me.  I found this book incredibly difficult to get through.  And, in fact, I really only finished because I started listening to it on audio while doing a home project.  It was paradoxically dull and outlandish at the same time.  Like, seriously, a major plot point involves an evil twin.  I felt like I was back in my college dorm room watching Days of Our Lives except this lacked any of the campy fun of that show.

There were a few moments that weren’t terrible.  A plot point with a non-verbal autistic boy was somewhat compelling.  I also appreciate that this novel would pass the Bechdel test with flying colors.  Finally, I think underneath the messy plot the story was trying to say something bold about modern issues of surveillance and privacy.

Anyway, I’m THRILLED to be done with this one and I’m excited to start another, completely different, book!

Title: The Girl in the Spider’s Web (in Swedish – Det som inte dödar oss – literally “That which does not kill us”)

Author: David Lagercrantz (he resumed the series after the author of the first three books, Stieg Larson, died)

My Rating: 1 out of 5 stars