cover image The Girl in the Spider’s Web: A Lisbeth Salander Novel

The Girl in the Spider’s Web: A Lisbeth Salander Novel

David Lagercrantz, read by Simon Vance. Random House Audio, , unabridged, 11 CDs, 13.5 hrs., $45 ISBN 978-0-553-55069-6

With Lagercrantz’s prose acceptably miming the late Stieg Larsson, and Vance once again lending his rich, clipped British narration to the dynamic adventures of antisocial ultrahacker Lisbeth Salander and altruist reporter Mikael Blomkvist, the Sweden-set Millennium series continues almost seamlessly. This book finds Bloomkvist searching for a rejuvenating new project when he hears about an artificial intelligence genius named Balder whose latest creation has been stolen by Russian cybercriminals. Before he can talk to Balder, the man is murdered, and his autistic child, a witness to the crime, is placed in the care of a vile guardian. Salander steps in, vowing to right all wrongs. Vance doesn’t just add a throaty quality to Bloomkvist’s voice; there’s also weariness and despair, both of which fade as the plot quickens. Salander speaks in a harsh staccato, underlined by impatience and an inability to compromise. Vance’s presentation of the other characters is just as spot-on, including a gruff but understanding detective named Bublanski and an NSA superhacker named Needham, who admires Salander as much as he despises her. Every aspect of the novel benefits from Vance’s vocal timbre. A Knopf hardcover. (Sept.)