I just started reading The Girl Who Played with Fire, and I cannot put it down. Like its predecessor, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, the prologue sucked me in immediately, but unlike the first book, the action starts pretty quickly. (I remember a friend wholeheartedly recommending Tattoo to me with this one caveat: “You just have to get through the first hundred pages.”)
There’s a scene early on in Fire that has Lisbeth Salander running along a beach during a hurricane. There I was sitting on my couch in the den, all the kids were elsewhere, and it was quiet, and I was under a blanket and could feel my heart beginning to race — I had that feeling that we writers hope all our readers have, of being right there in the thick of things with our characters.
Stieg Larsson had done it. Took me for a ride. Made me forget where I was. That I was reading words on a page.
I’ve read quite a few books this year, and I enjoyed a lot of them, but very few, if any, have done that.