Two sisters, mirror opposites, have been on a collision course for years and now it comes to a head on either side of an investigation into an ill-fated Everest expedition. The Girl Who Lived Twice is the sixth book of the Millennium series and third by David Lagercrantz, sees the final confrontation between Lisbeth and Camilla after finding out the truth behind an incident on Mount Everest.
Lisbeth Salander attempts to kill her sister Camilla in Moscow, but can’t pull the trigger and goes to Copenhagen and gets into a relationship with a domestically abused woman while spying on her sister and helping in-a-slump Mikael Blomkvist investigate the death of a homeless man. Blomkvist’s investigation happens when a coroner calls him because the dead man has his phone number and Mikael learns the man accosted a female journalist spouting about the Swedish Defense Minister who is enduring a disinformation campaign from Russia. The homeless man turns out to be a Sherpa who was apart of an ill-fated expedition up Mount Everest that caught global attention because of the death of a socialite who was on it, but it turned out so was the Defense Minister before his political career. It turns out the Minister’s friend was working for the Russian mob and essentially killed the socialite for her American billionaire husband who is also connected with the mob and convinced the Sherpa to leave her and help the Minister off the mountain instead. The Sherpa feels guilty and after the death of his wife loses his mind and wants to tell the truth, but the Minister is convinced to get him out of Nepal to a asylum in Sweden but he later escapes and the Minister’s corrupt friend killed him then started blackmailing him resulting in him almost committing suicide but Blomkvist saves him. While Blomkvist is going to interview the Minister, he is abducted by Camilla and her associates to be tortured and get Lisbeth to them. Lisbeth now in Sweden, tracks them down, and confronts her sister who attempts to set Lisbeth on fire only to light herself up instead and kills herself because she is no longer beautiful. The Minister’s corrupt friend is arrested, Mikael’s new lover writes the article about the truth of the ill-fated expedition, and he learns of Lisbeth’s “help” at his stalled article.
While Lisbeth and Mikael are “featured” they aren’t the heart of the book, that goes to the characters created by Lagercrantz that are connected with the main plot of the mysterious Sherpa and an ill-fated Mount Everest expedition he was apart of along with the future Swedish Defense Minister and his friend as well the socialite that died on it. Throughout Lagercrantz’s books in the series, Lisbeth has been sidelined and Mikael has been “used” more but only for original characters to have the spotlight. If the Mount Everest plot had been a book not connected to the Millennium series, I might have really enjoyed it more. But this series is supposed to be about Lisbeth Salander and throughout the last three book it has not been. The “climactic” confrontation between Lisbeth and Camilla at the end, is so disappointing that the build up over the previous books was a waste as well. Frankly Lagercrantz’s Lisbeth is a pale imitation of Larrson’s Lisbeth thus making this and the previous two books a waste.
The Girl Who Lived Twice might be billed a Lisbeth Salander novel, but in fact she’s just a name so David Lagercrantz can sell books.