They say exercise is good for you. In Stieg Larsson’s case that proved to be incorrect. The writer, journalist and political activist died in 2004 at the age of fifty, after huffing his way up several flights of stairs to his office. Ugly rumors circulated about his death, suggesting that it was somehow connected to his Job at Expo magazine where he battled neo-Nazis; a stance that brought him many death threats.
Larsson’s first writing ventures for Swedish fan magazines, were Sci-Fi based. Like the hero of the Millennium novels (named after Millennium magazine which Larsson’s fictional hero Michael Blomkvist works.) Stieg Larsson became a journalist. He also had radical political views and founded The Swedish Expo organization, a body dedicated to counteracting white supremacism and the growth of the extreme right.
Larsson’s first (1991) book Extremhögern, Extreme right, documented the rise of the extreme rightwing and racist organizations in Sweden. He was vociferous in his condemnation of his extremist political enemies and as a result lived in constant danger. When he died in 2004 no one would have expected that a Nazi hating Swedish Sci-Fi fanatic would ever become a best selling novelist, particularly a best selling crime novelist.
The entire Millenium trilogy was published posthumously. The first novel, which has become known as The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, was originally called Men Who Hate Women. The Character of Lisbeth Salander, was based on a young girl Larsson saw gang raped when he was 15. Tortured because he did nothing, the guilt festered within him for years, until he could provide retribution through the means of an astonishing fictional voice. Prurient parallels have been drawn between aging jorno’ Blomkvist’s lust for cyber punk hotty Salander and Larsson’s desires subconscious or other wise. Did the tubby Swede have a predilection for sleazy goth chics in S&M gear? Perhaps we will never know.
Larsson’s second Millennium novel, The Girl Who Played with Fire, expands on the Salander and Blomkvist characters, tossing them into a world of sex trafficking and multiple murder. Less Iconoclastic than the first ground breaking novel, this sequel quite literally shot off the shelves. Crimezine was a big fan of the suspenseful four part structure and the Daniel Alfredson movie, with the ravishing Noomi Rapace.
The Girl who kicked the Hornets nest, (The Air Castle that was Blown up, as it was catchily titled in Swedish.) is as we all know, the final novel in the series. Or is it? At the time of his death Stieg Larsson had written three quarters of a fourth novel, tentatively named Gods Revenge and outlines exist for novels five and six, according to Larsson’s long term partner Eva Gabrielsson.
Gabrielsson says she assisted Larsson, helping him complete the beginning and end of Gods Revenge, before his untimely death. She says she can complete the outlined middle section, but a legal dispute with the heirs of Larsson’s estate, is currently preventing this. Don’t hold your breath for an early delivery however Crimeziners, Gabrielsson needed the assistance of ghost writer Marie Francois Colombani to complete her 2011 tome on Larsson Steig & Moi.
Larsson and Gabrielsson were unmarried at the time of his death, in part because marriage would have compromised their secretive lifestyle, enabling Larsson’s neo-Nazi enemies to trace him. As a result the multi-million dollar Larsson Estate passed to Larsson’s only living relatives, his estranged father and brother.
Will the Fourth book ever be released? Gabrielsson has teased us, revealing that #4 will take place in Canada, it will focus on Lisbeth Salander, her evolving personality and how she got those famous tattoos—apparently each one represents a person who has hurt her in the past. Crimezine looks forward eagerly Ms Gabrielsson. Just a word of advice however: Stay away from the stairs.