Free Press Journal

The Girl Who Takes An Eye For An Eye by David Lagercrantz: Review


Book: The Girl Who Takes An Eye For An Eye

Author: David Lagercrantz

Publisher: Quercuss Publishing Ltd / Hachette India

Pages: 362

Price: 599

Think: you’re in the damaged mind of a virtuous criminal. What do you do? You’re already drawn in. Aren’t you? The world is full of all things bizarre: People. Places. Plates. And they have a way of playing with your imagination. Whether it is fear or curiosity, you pursue it until you get to the bottom of things. In this case, you get to the last page of David Lagercrantz’s ‘The girl who takes an eye for an eye’ — a continuation of Stieg Larsson’s Millennium Series.

The story begins with Lisbeth Salander serving a two-month term in the Flodberga women’s prison for saving the life of an autistic child from abuse — by the use of cringe worthy means. She says nothing in her defence and prepares herself within the prison walls to uncover an important revelation from her childhood. And that’s where she comes across the abysmal state of affairs behind the lock and key of the prison gates. One step into the premises and she realises that the entire unit is controlled by the notorious criminal Benito. Having no appetite for abuse, her mind starts its permutations and combinations to save the inmates like Faria Kazi who live under fear. But this sub-plot doesn’t deviate Salander from receiving her own justice—one that lead to abuse in her own childhood. She starts engulfing books and solves questions to understand the complications of quantum mechanics, whiling away her time in prison. But soon, she drops a lead to the investigative journalist Mikael Blomkivst from the Millennium magazine. And from then on, she doesn’t look back. Fighting tooth and nail from within the confined walls, she arms herself with information as her sentence ends. Breathing the open air, she steps out of jail and immediately gets onto the tail of a certain someone who plays an instrumental role in shattering her childhood. The tryst with destiny takes a twist and Salander finds herself digging into the past, only to come face-to-face with her deepest fears.

Lagercrantz takes the series ahead by showing Salander a mirror into the past and that’s what makes this book a must-read. He focuses on the themes of Islamic beliefs, showing his readers the tolerant and extremist thinkers that belong to the same religion. It throws light upon the unusual workings of criminal minds. And it shows brute power that can be contained in the so-called fairer sex. Whether it is Faria Kazi and her resolve to protect her brother, Benito, the prevailing evil who controls every man and woman by inducing terror or Salander herself, scheming her way to bringing back the balance of justice in the world. The book adopts a distinct style of writing, much different from its successors. It delves into telling the readers about the happenings rather than showing them the intricacies of the story. However, this minuscule setback doesn’t affect the pace of the book. It’s a quick read with a vendetta that urges the reader to go forth and make it to the finishing line.

The author rests the storyline on the kickass character of Salander. But throughout the book, the reader craves to know more about her whereabouts as she’s often found missing in action. However, he builds up the characters of the Kazi brothers with a dash of hatred. You find yourself thirsting for avenging the injustices that they’ve served to their sister. But even through all of this, the void of Lisbeth Salander remains. As we read about her in bits and pieces.

If there is something that this book does well, it shows us the dark side of life. These shades of darkness together with the unreal workings of criminal minds brings to the fore the fact that there is pure evil in the world. But if there is something that has always conquered it, in life or in books — it’s the good. However much we might think that this is a tale to be meant in books, it renews our faith in mankind, making sure we realise that every time evil rises, goodness rises higher and faster. It’s just a matter of time that the girl takes an eye for an eye for the mystic workings of the planet we live in.