I couldn't resist the temptation to pick up The Girl Who Played With Fire and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest by Stieg Larsson, the second and third books in the Milleneum Trilogy. Like most people I found myself sucked into the surprisingly violent and corrupt world of modern Sweden. Journalist Mikael Blomkvist, hacker Lisbeth Salander and company do battle with corrupt government officials, the secret police, gangsters and spies. Like The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo there's a high body count, tons of characters, and a lot of surprises along the way. Who knew the streets of Stockholm could be so mean?
Last summer Jenni and I took the boys to Stockholm for our family vacation. It was a great trip and the weather was fantastic. We walked down many of the streets depicted in the novels. Stockholm isn't a large city, but if you're unfamiliar with the neighborhoods, the long street names or the numerous islands, finding your way around can get pretty confusing. The same can be said when you're reading the novels. I kept taking out my Stockholm map to see where the characters actually were. 'So, Mikael's in the Tunnelbana station in Gamla Stan....'
The novels have now become such a sensation you can now take Milleneum tours around Stockholm to locations like Mikael Blomkvist's apartment at Bellmansgatan 1 or to the cafe's where the characters drank one of their numerous cups of coffee.