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Monday, March 17
Salander spent the week in bed with pain in her abdomen, bleeding from her rectum, and less visible wounds that would take longer to heal. What she had gone through was very different from the first rape in his office; it was no longer a matter of coercion and degradation. This was systematic brutality.
She realised much too late that she had utterly misjudged Bjurman.
She had assumed he was on a power trip and liked to dominate, not that he was an all-out sadist. He
had kept her in handcuffs half the night. Several times she believed he meant to kill her, and at one point he had pressed a pillow over her face until she thought she was going to pass out.
She did not cry.
Apart from the tears of pure physical pain she shed not a single tear. When she left the apartment she
made her way with difficulty to the taxi stand at Odenplan. With difficulty she climbed the stairs to her
own apartment. She showered and wiped the blood from her genitals. Then she drank a pint of water with
two Rohypnol and stumbled to her bed and pulled the duvet over her head.
She woke up at midday on Sunday, empty of thoughts and with constant pain in her head, muscles and
abdomen. She got up, drank two glasses of kefir, and ate an apple. Then she took two more sleeping pills
and went back to bed.
She did not feel like getting up until Tuesday. She went out and bought a big box of Billy’s Pan Pizza,
stuck two of them in the microwave, and filled a thermos with coffee. She spent that night on the Internet, reading articles and theses on the psychopathology of sadism.
She found one article published by a women’s group in the United States in which the author claimed
that the sadist chose his “relationships” with almost intuitive precision; the sadist’s best victim was the one who voluntarily went to him because she did not think she had any choice. The sadist specialised in
people who were in a position of dependence.
Advokat Bjurman had chosen her as a victim.
That told her something about the way she was viewed by other people.
On Friday, a week after the second rape, she walked from her apartment to a tattoo parlour in the Hornstull district. She had made an appointment, and there were no other customers in the shop. The owner nodded, recognising her.
She chose a simple little tattoo depicting a narrow band and asked to have it put on her ankle. She pointed.
“The skin is very thin there. It’s going to hurt a lot,” said the tattoo artist.
“That’s OK,” Salander said, taking off her jeans and putting her leg up.
“OK, a band. You already have loads of tattoos. Are you sure you want another one?”
“It’s a reminder.”
Blomkvist left the café when Susanne closed at 2:00 on Saturday afternoon. He had spent the morning typing up his notes in his iBook. He walked to Konsum and bought some food and cigarettes before he went home. He had discovered fried sausage with potatoes and beets—a dish he had never been fond of
but for some reason it seemed perfectly suited to a cabin in the country.
At around 7:00 in the evening he stood by the kitchen window, thinking. Cecilia Vanger had not called.
He had run into her that afternoon when she was buying bread at the café, but she had been lost in her own thoughts. It did not seem likely that she would call this evening. He glanced at the little TV that he almost never used. Instead he sat at the kitchen bench and opened a mystery by Sue Grafton.
Salander returned at the agreed-upon time to Bjurman’s apartment near Odenplan. He let her in with a polite, welcoming smile.
“And how are you doing today, dear Lisbeth?”
She did not reply. He put an arm around her shoulder.
“I suppose it was a bit rough last time,” he said. “You looked a little subdued.”
She gave him a crooked smile and he felt a sudden pang of uncertainty. This girl is not all there. I have to remember that. He wondered if she would come around.
“Shall we go into the bedroom?” Salander said.
On the other hand, she may be with it. . . . Today I’ll take it easy on her. Build up her trust. He had already put out the handcuffs on the chest of drawers. It was not until they reached the bed that Bjurman
realised that something was amiss.
She was the one leading him to the bed, not the other way around. He stopped and gave her a puzzled
look when she pulled something out of her jacket pocket which he thought was a mobile telephone. Then
he saw her eyes.
“Say goodnight,” she said.
She shoved the taser into his left armpit and fired off 75,000 volts. When his legs began to give way
she put her shoulder against him and used all her strength to push him down on to the bed.
Cecilia Vanger felt a little tipsy. She had decided not to telephone Blomkvist. Their relationship had developed into a ridiculous bedroom farce, in which Blomkvist had to tiptoe around trying to get to her
house unnoticed. She in turn played a lovesick teenage girl who could not control herself. Her behaviour
the past few weeks had been reckless.
The problem is that I like him too much, she thought. He’s going to end up hurting me. She sat for a long
time wishing that Mikael Blomkvist had never come to Hedeby.
She had opened a bottle of wine and drunk two glasses in her loneliness. She turned on the TV to watch
Rapport and tried to follow the world situation but very soon tired of the reasoned commentary on why President Bush had to bomb Iraq to smithereens. Instead she sat on the living-room sofa and picked up Gellert Tamas’ book The Laser Man. She read only a few pages before she had to put the book down.
That made her instantly think of her father. What kind of fantasies did he have?
The last time they really saw each other was in 1984, when she went with him and Birger, hare-hunting
north of Hedestad. Birger was trying out a new hunting dog—a Swedish foxhound which he had just acquired. Harald Vanger was seventy-three at the time, and she had done her very best to accept his lunacy, which had made her childhood a nightmare and affected her entire adult life.
Cecilia had never before been as fragile as she was then. Her marriage had ended three months earlier.
Domestic violence . . . the term was so banal. For her it had taken the form of unceasing abuse. Blows to
the head, violent shoving, moody threats, and being knocked to the kitchen floor. Her husband’s outbursts
were inexplicable and the attacks were not often so severe that she was actually injured. She had become
used to it.
Until the day when she struck back and he completely lost control. It ended with him flinging some scissors at her which lodged in her shoulder blade.
He had been remorseful and panicky and drove her to the hospital, making up a story about a bizarre
accident which all the staff in the emergency room saw through at once. She had felt ashamed. They gave
her twelve stitches and kept her in the hospital for two days. Then her uncle picked her up and drove her
to his house. She never spoke to her husband again.
On that sunny autumn day Harald Vanger had been in a good mood, almost friendly. But without warning, a long way into the woods, he began to berate her with humiliating invective and revolting remarks about her morals and sexual predilections. He snarled that no wonder such a whore could never
keep a man.
Her brother apparently did not notice that every word from their father struck her like a whiplash.
Instead, Birger suddenly laughed and put his arm around his father and in his own way made light of the
situation by making some comment to the effect that you know full well what women are like. He gave Cecilia a cheerful wink and suggested that Harald Vanger take up a position on a little ridge.
For a second, a frozen instant, Cecilia Vanger looked at her father and brother and realised that she was
holding a loaded shotgun in her hand. She closed her eyes. Her only option at that moment seemed to be to
raise the gun and fire both barrels. She wanted to kill them both. Instead she laid down the weapon at her feet, turned on her heel, and went back to where they had parked the car. She left them high and dry, driving home alone. Since that day she refused to let her father into her house and had never been in his.
You ruined my life, Cecilia Vanger thought. You ruined my life when I was just a child.
At 8:30 she called Blomkvist.
Bjurman was in pain. His muscles were no use to him. His body seemed to be paralysed. He could not
remember if he had lost consciousness, but he was disoriented. When he slowly regained control over his
body he discovered that he was lying naked on his bed, his wrists in handcuffs and his legs spread painfully apart. He had stinging burn marks where electrodes had touched his body.
Salander had pulled the cane chair over and was patiently waiting, her boots resting on the bed as she
smoked a cigarette. When Bjurman began to speak to her he found that his mouth was sealed. He turned
his head. She had pulled out all his drawers and dumped them and the contents on the floor.
“I found your toys,” Salander said. She held up a riding whip and poked around in the heap of dildos,
harness bits, and rubber masks on the floor. “What’s this one for?” She held up a huge anal plug. “No, don’t try to speak—I won’t hear what you say. Was this what you used on me last week? All you have to
do is nod.” She leaned towards him expectantly.
Bjurman felt cold terror piercing his chest and lost his composure. He tugged at his handcuffs. She had taken control. Impossible. He could do nothing to resist when Salander bent over and placed the anal plug between his buttocks. “So you’re a sadist,” she said matter-of-factly. “You enjoy shoving things inside people, is that it?” She looked him in the eyes. Her face was expressionless. “Without a lubricant, right?”
Bjurman howled into the adhesive tape when Salander roughly spread his cheeks and rammed the plug
into its proper place.
“Stop whimpering,” Salander said, imitating his voice. “If you complain, I’ll have to punish you.”
She stood up and went to the other side of the bed. He followed her helplessly with his eyes . . . What the hell was this? Salander had rolled in his thirty-two-inch TV from the living room. She had placed his DVD player on the floor. She looked at him, still holding the whip in her hand.
“Do I have your undivided attention? Don’t try to talk—just nod. Did you hear what I said?” He nodded.
“Good.” She bent down and picked up her rucksack. “Do you recognise this?” He nodded. “It’s the rucksack I had when I visited you last week. A practical item. I borrowed it from Milton Security.” She
unzipped the bottom pocket. “This is a digital video camera. Do you ever watch Insider on TV3? This is the gear that those nasty reporters use when they have to record something with a hidden camera.” She zipped the pocket back up.
“Where’s the lens, you’re wondering. That’s the great thing about it. Wide angle fibre optics. The lens
looks like a button and sits hidden in the buckle on a shoulder strap. Maybe you remember that I put the
rucksack here on the table before you started to grope me. I made sure that the lens was directed straight at the bed.”
She held up a DVD and slipped it into the player. Then she turned the cane chair so that she could sit
and watch the screen. She lit another cigarette and pressed the remote. Advokat Bjurman saw himself open the door for Salander.
Haven’t you even learned to tell the time?
She played the whole disc for him. The video ended after ninety minutes, in the middle of a scene where a naked Advokat Bjurman sat leaning against the bedstead drinking a glass of wine as he looked at
Salander, curled up with her hands fettered behind her.
She turned off the TV and sat in the chair for a good ten minutes without looking at him. Bjurman did
not dare move a muscle. Then she got up and went into the bathroom. When she came back she sat again in
the chair. Her voice was like sandpaper.
“I made a mistake last week,” she said. “I thought you were going to make me give you a blow job again, which is disgusting enough in your case, but not so disgusting that I couldn’t do it. I thought I could easily acquire good documentation to prove you’re a filthy old prick. I misjudged you. I didn’t understand how fucking sick you were.
“I’m going to speak plainly,” she said. “This video shows you raping a mentally handicapped twenty-
four-year-old girl for whom you were appointed guardian. And you have no idea how mentally
handicapped I can be if push comes to shove. Anyone who sees this video will discover that you’re not
merely a pervert but an insane sadist. This is the second and I hope the last time I’ll ever have to watch this video. It’s quite instructive, don’t you think? My guess is that you’re the one who’s going to be institutionalised, not me. Are you following me so far?”
She waited. He did not react, but she could see him quivering. She grabbed the whip and flicked it right
over his genitals.
“Are you following me?” she said more loudly. He nodded.
“Good. So we’re singing from the same song sheet.”
She pulled the chair up close so she could look into his eyes.
“What do you think we should do about this problem?” He could not give her an answer. “Have you
any good ideas?” When he did not react she reached out and grabbed his scrotum and pulled until his face
contorted in pain. “Have you got any good ideas?” she repeated. He shook his head.
“Good. I’m going to be pretty fucking mad at you if you ever have any ideas in the future.”
She leaned back and stubbed her cigarette out on the carpet. “This is what’s going to happen. Next week, as soon as you manage to shit out that oversized rubber plug in your arse, you’re going to inform my bank that I— and I alone—have access to my account. Do you understand what I’m saying?” Bjurman nodded.
“Good boy. You will never ever contact me again. In the future we will meet only if I decide it’s necessary. You’re under a restraining order to stay away from me.” He nodded repeatedly. She doesn’t intend to kill me.
“If you ever try to contact me again, copies of this DVD will wind up in every newsroom in Stockholm.
Do you understand?”
He nodded. I have to get hold of that video.
“Once a year you will turn in your report on my welfare to the Guardianship Agency. You will report
that my life is completely normal, that I have a steady job, that I’m supporting myself, and that you don’t think there is anything abnormal about my behaviour. OK?”
“Each month you will prepare a report about your non-existent meetings with me. You will describe in
detail how positive I am and how well things are going for me. You will post a copy to me. Do you understand?” He nodded again. Salander noticed absent-mindedly the beads of sweat forming on his forehead.
“In a year or so, let’s say two, you will initiate negotiations in the district court to have my declaration of incompetence rescinded. You will use your faked reports from our meetings as the basis for your proposal. You will find a shrink who will swear under oath that I am completely normal. You’re going to
have to make an effort. You will do precisely everything in your power to ensure that I am declared competent.”
“Do you know why you’re going to do your very best? Because you have a fucking good reason. If you
fail I’m going to make this video extremely public.”
He listened to every syllable Salander was saying. His eyes were burning with hatred. He decided she
had made a mistake by letting him live. You’re going to wind up eating this, you fucking cunt. Sooner or later I’m going to crush you. But he continued nodding as vigorously as he could in reply to every question.
“The same applies if you try to contact me.” She mimed a throat-slitting motion. “Goodbye to this elegant lifestyle and your fine reputation and your millions in that offshore account.”
His eyes widened involuntarily when she mentioned the money. How the fucking hell did she know that . . .
She smiled and took out another cigarette.
“I want your spare set of keys to this apartment and your office.” He frowned. She leaned forward and
“In the future I’m going to have control over your life. When you least expect it, when you’re in bed asleep probably, I’m going to appear in the bedroom with this in my hand.” She held up the taser. “I’ll be checking up on you. If I ever find out you have been with a girl again—and it doesn’t matter if she’s here of her own free will—if I ever find you with any woman at all . . .” Salander made the throat-slitting motion again.
“If I should die . . . if I should fall victim to an accident and be run over by a car or something . . . then copies of the video will automatically be posted to the newspapers. Plus a report in which I describe what it’s like to have you as a guardian.
“One more thing.” She leaned forward again so that her face was only a couple of inches from his. “If
you ever touch me again I will kill you. And that’s a promise.”
Bjurman absolutely believed her. There was not a vestige of bluff in her eyes.
“Keep it in mind that I’m crazy, won’t you?”
She gave him a thoughtful look. “I don’t think you and I are going to be good friends,” Salander said.
“Right now you’re lying there congratulating yourself that I’m dim enough to let you live. You think you
have control even though you’re my prisoner, since you think the only thing I can do if I don’t kill you is to let you go. So you’re full of hope that you can somehow recover your power over me right away. Am I
He shook his head. He was beginning to feel very ill indeed.
“You’re going to get a present from me so you’ll always remember our agreement.”
She gave him a crooked smile and climbed on to the bed and knelt between his legs. Bjurman had no
idea what she intended to do, but he felt a sudden terror.
Then he saw the needle in her hand.
He flopped his head back and forth and tried to twist his body away until she put a knee on his crotch
and pressed down in warning.
“Lie rather still because this is the first time I’ve used this equipment.”
She worked steadily for two hours. When she was finished he had stopped whimpering. He seemed to
be almost in a state of apathy.
She got down from the bed, cocked her head to one side, and regarded her handiwork with a critical
eye. Her artistic talents were limited. The letters looked at best impressionistic. She had used red and blue ink. The message was written in caps over five lines that covered his belly, from his nipples to just above his genitals: I AM A SADISTIC PIG, A PERVERT, AND A RAPIST.
She gathered up the needles and placed the ink cartridges in her rucksack. Then she went to the bathroom and washed. She felt a lot better when she came back in the bedroom.
“Goodnight,” she said.
She unlocked one of the handcuffs and put the key on his stomach before she left. She took her DVD and
his bundle of keys with her.
It was as they shared a cigarette some time after midnight that he told her they could not see each other for a while. Cecilia turned her face to him in surprise.
“What do you mean?”
He looked ashamed. “On Monday I have to go to prison for up to three months.”
No other explanation was necessary. Cecilia lay in silence for a long time. She felt like crying.
Dragan Armansky was suspicious when Salander knocked at his door on Monday afternoon. He had seen
no sign of her since he called off the investigation of the Wennerström affair in early January, and every time he tried to reach her she either did not answer or hung up saying she was busy.
“Have you got a job for me?” she asked without any greeting.
“Hi. Great to see you. I thought you died or something.”
“There were things I had to straighten out.”
“You often seem to have things to straighten out.”
“This time it was urgent. I’m back now. Have you got a job for me?”
Armansky shook his head. “Sorry. Not at the moment.”
Salander looked at him calmly. After a while he started talking.
“Lisbeth, you know I like you and I like to give you jobs. But you’ve been gone for two months and I’ve
had tons of jobs. You’re simply not reliable. I’ve had to pay other people to cover for you, and right now I actually don’t have a thing.”
“Could you turn up the volume?”
“On the radio.”
. . . the magazine Millennium. The news that veteran industrialist Henrik Vanger will be part owner and will have a seat on the board of directors of Millennium comes the same day that the former CEO and publisher Mikael Blomkvist begins serving his three-month sentence for the libel of
businessman Hans-Erik Wennerström. Millennium’s editor in chief Erika Berger announced at a press conference that Blomkvist will resume his role as publisher when his sentence is completed.
“Well, isn’t that something,” Salander said so quietly that Armansky only saw her lips move. She stood
up and headed for the door.
“Wait. Where are you going?”
“Home. I want to check some stuff. Call me when you’ve got something.”
The news that Millennium had acquired reinforcements in the form of Henrik Vanger was a considerably bigger event than Lisbeth Salander had expected. Aftonbladet’s evening edition was already out, with a story from the TT wire service summing up Vanger’s career and stating that it was the first time in almost twenty years that the old industrial magnate had made a public appearance. The news that he was becoming part owner of Millennium was viewed as just as improbable as Peter Wallenberg or Erik Penser popping up as part owners of ETC or sponsors of Ordfront magazine.
The story was so big that the 7:30 edition of Rapport ran it as its third lead and gave it a three-minute slot. Erika Berger was interviewed at a conference table in Millennium’s office. All of a sudden the Wennerström affair was news again.
“We made a serious mistake last year which resulted in the magazine being prosecuted for libel. This is
something we regret. . . and we will be following up this story at a suitable occasion.”
“What do you mean by ‘following up the story’?” the reporter said.
“I mean that we will eventually be telling our version of events, which we have not done thus far.”
“You could have done that at the trial.”
“We chose not to do so. But our investigative journalism will continue as before.”
“Does that mean you’re holding to the story that prompted the indictment?”
“I have nothing more to say on that subject.”
“You sacked Mikael Blomkvist after the verdict was delivered.”
“That is inaccurate. Read our press release. He needed a break. He’ll be back as CEO and publisher
later this year.”
The camera panned through the newsroom while the reporter quickly recounted background information
on Millennium’s stormy history as an original and outspoken magazine. Blomkvist was not available for comment. He had just been shut up in Rullåker Prison, about an hour from Östersund in Jämtland.
Salander noticed Dirch Frode at the edge of the TV screen passing a doorway in the editorial offices.
She frowned and bit her lower lip in thought.
That Monday had been a slow news day, and Vanger got a whole four minutes on the 9:00 news. He was
interviewed in a TV studio in Hedestad. The reporter began by stating that after two decades of having
stood back from the spotlight the industrialist Henrik Vanger was back. The segment began with a snappy
biography in black-and-white TV images, showing him with Prime Minister Erlander and opening
factories in the sixties. The camera then focused on a studio sofa where Vanger was sitting perfectly relaxed. He wore a yellow shirt, narrow green tie, and comfortable dark-brown suit. He was gaunt, but he
spoke in a clear, firm voice. And he was also quite candid. The reporter asked Vanger what had prompted
him to become a part owner of Millennium.
“It’s an excellent magazine which I have followed with great interest for several years. Today the publication is under attack. It has enemies who are organising an advertising boycott, trying to run it into the ground.”
The reporter was not prepared for this, but guessed at once that the already unusual story had yet more
“What’s behind this boycott?”
“That’s one of the things that Millennium will be examining closely. But I’ll make it clear now that Millennium will not be sunk with the first salvo.”
“Is this why you bought into the magazine?”
“It would be deplorable if the special interests had the power to silence those voices in the media that
they find uncomfortable.”
Vanger acted as though he had been a cultural radical espousing freedom of speech all his life.
Blomkvist burst out laughing as he spent his first evening in the TV room at Rullåker Prison. His fellow
inmates glanced at him uneasily.
Later that evening, when he was lying on the bunk in his cell—which reminded him of a cramped motel
room with its tiny table, its one chair, and one shelf on the wall, he admitted that Vanger and Berger had been right about how the news would be marketed. He just knew that something had changed in people’s
attitude towards Millennium.
Vanger’s support was no more or less than a declaration of war against Wennerström. The message was
clear: in the future you will not be fighting with a magazine with a staff of six and an annual budget corresponding to the cost of a luncheon meeting of the Wennerström Group. You will now be up against
the Vanger Corporation, which may be a shadow of its former greatness but still presents a considerably
The message that Vanger had delivered on TV was that he was prepared to fight, and for Wennerström,
that war would be costly.
Berger had chosen her words with care. She had not said much, but her saying that the magazine had not
told its version created the impression that there was something to tell. Despite the fact that Blomkvist had been indicted, convicted, and was now imprisoned, she had come out and said—if not in so many words
—that he was innocent of libel and that another truth existed. Precisely because she had not used the word
“innocent,” his innocence seemed more apparent than ever. The fact that he was going to be reinstated as
publisher emphasised that Millennium felt it had nothing to be ashamed of. In the eyes of the public, credibility was no problem—everyone loves a conspiracy theory, and in the choice between a filthy rich
businessman and an outspoken and charming editor in chief, it was not hard to guess where the public’s
sympathies would lie. The media, however, were not going to buy the story so easily—but Berger may have disarmed a number of critics.
None of the day’s events had changed the situation fundamentally, but they had bought time and they had
shifted the balance of power a little. Blomkvist imagined that Wennerström had probably had an unpleasant evening. Wennerström could not know how much, or how little, they knew, and before he made
his next move he was going to have to find out.
With a grim expression, Berger turned off the TV and the VCR after having watched first her own and then
Vanger’s interview. It was 2:45 in the morning, and she had to stifle the impulse to call Blomkvist. He was locked up, and it was unlikely that he was allowed to keep his mobile. She had arrived home so late
that her husband was already asleep. She went over to the bar and poured herself a healthy measure of
Aberlour single malt—she drank alcohol about once a year—and sat at the window, looking out across
Saltsjön to the lighthouse at the entrance to Skuru Sound.
She and Blomkvist had argued heatedly when they were alone after she concluded the agreement with
Vanger. They had weathered many full-blooded arguments about what angle to use for a specific article,
the design of the magazine, the evaluation of their sources’ credibility, and a thousand other things involved in putting out a magazine. But the argument in Vanger’s guest house had touched on principles
that made her aware she was on shaky ground.
“I don’t know what to do now,” Blomkvist had said. “This man has hired me to ghostwrite his autobiography. Up until now I’ve been free to get up and leave the moment he tries to force me to write
something that isn’t true, or tries to persuade me to slant the story in a way I don’t hold with. Now he’s a part owner of our magazine—and the only one with the resources to save Millennium. All of a sudden I’m sitting on the fence, in a position that a board of professional ethics would never approve.”
“Have you got a better idea?” Berger asked him. “Because if you have, spit it out, before we type up
the contract and sign it.”
“Ricky, Vanger is exploiting us in some sort of private vendetta against Wennerström.”
“So what? We have a vendetta against Wennerström ourselves.”
Blomkvist turned away from her and lit a cigarette.
Their conversation had gone on for quite a while, until Berger went into the bedroom, undressed, and
climbed into bed. She pretended to be asleep when he got in beside her two hours later.
This evening a reporter from Dagens Nyheter had asked her the same question: “How is Millennium going to be able credibly to assert its independence?”
“What do you mean?”
The reporter thought the question had been clear enough, but he spelled it out anyway.
“One of Millennium’s objectives is to investigate corporations. How will the magazine be able to claim in a credible way that it’s investigating the Vanger Corporation?”
Berger gave him a surprised look, as if the question were completely unexpected.
“Are you insinuating that Millennium’s credibility is diminished because a well-known financier with significant resources has entered the picture?”
“You could not now credibly investigate the Vanger Corporation.”
“Is that a rule that applies specifically to Millennium?”
“I mean, you work for a publication that is for the most part owned by major corporate entities. Does
that mean that none of the newspapers published by the Bonnier Group is credible? Aftonbladet is owned by a huge Norwegian corporation, which in turn is a major player in IT and communications—does that
mean that anything Aftonbladet publishes about the electronics industry is not credible? Metro is owned by the Stenbeck Group. Are you saying that no publication in Sweden that has significant economic interests behind it is credible?”
“No, of course not.”
“Then why are you insinuating that Millennium’s credibility would be diminished because we also have backers?”
The reporter held up his hand.
“OK, I’ll retract that question.”
“No. Don’t do that. I want you to print exactly what I said. And you can add that if DN promises to focus a little extra on the Vanger Corporation, then we’ll focus a little more on the Bonnier Group.”
But it was an ethical dilemma.
Blomkvist was working for Henrik Vanger, who was in a position to sink Millennium with the stroke of a pen. What would happen if Blomkvist and Vanger became enemies?
And above all—what price did she put on her own credibility, and when had she been transformed from an independent editor into a corrupted one?
Salander closed her browser and shut down her PowerBook. She was out of work and hungry. The first
condition did not worry her so much, since she had regained control over her bank account and Bjurman
had already taken on the status of a vague unpleasantness in her past. The hunger she dealt with by switching on the coffeemaker. She made three big open rye-bread sandwiches with cheese, caviar, and a
hard-boiled egg. She ate her nighttime snacks on the sofa in the living room while she worked on the information she had gathered.
The lawyer Frode from Hedestad had hired her to do an investigation of Mikael Blomkvist, the journalist who was given a prison sentence for libelling financier Hans-Erik Wennerström. A few months
later Henrik Vanger, also from Hedestad, joins Blomkvist’s magazine’s board of directors and claims that
there is a conspiracy to crush the magazine. All this on the same day that the former goes to prison. Most fascinating of all: a two-year-old background article—“With two empty hands”—about Hans-Erik
Wennerström, which she found in the online edition of Monopoly Financial Magazine. It seemed that he began his career in the very same Vanger Corporation in the late sixties.
You didn’t have to be a rocket scientist to see that these events were somehow related. There had to be
a skeleton in one of their cupboards, and Salander loved hunting skeletons. Besides, she had nothing else
on at the moment.
Äàòà äîáàâëåíèÿ: 2015-09-15; ïðîñìîòðîâ: 6; Íàðóøåíèå àâòîðñêèõ ïðàâ