Last Updated on August 31, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 912
Friday, April 8
A helicopter lands at the hospital in Goteborg during a raging storm. It is carrying two patients: an injured man and a younger woman. Dr. Jonasson meets the emergency team when it arrives. The other doctor on duty takes the old man with a bandage around his face, and Jonasson is left with the girl. She appears to be a young teenager, bloody and dirty and severely wounded. She has duct tape on her hip and shoulder; it is a clever way to keep the blood in and the germs out. A bullet has passed through her hip, damaging the muscle tissue. The bullet wound on the back of her shoulder has no exit wound. She is fortunate the bullet did not puncture her lung. Jonasson is appalled when he removes the girl’s head bandage. She has been shot in the head, and there is no exit wound. He hears the nurse telling him who the girl is: Lisbeth Salander, wanted for three murders in Stockholm. Jonasson sees she is correct, but his job is to save his patient’s life, murderer or not.
Salander is in critical condition. Jonasson has never had a patient with a bullet in her skull. He has theoretical knowledge but has never performed brain surgery. Fortuitously, one of his friends, a brain surgeon, is in town to give a lecture on brain research. He calls Dr. Frank Ellis. Jonasson describes the injury and Ellis is hopeful—anyone who has a bullet in her head and is still alive gives him hope. Ellis agrees to come supervise his friend and make sure he does not do “anything stupid.”
Brain injuries are always puzzling, and how patients will respond and recover—if they recover—is still a mystery to Ellis. Jonasson will extract the bullet through the same route it entered, through Salander’s temple. It is lodged against the lateral ventricle and needs to be removed. Ellis is more worried about the many bone fragments around the entry wound; he sees at least a dozen that are several millimeters long. Some are embedded in her brain tissue, and these could kill her. Jonasson comments that the area in particular danger from the bone fragments is the part of the brain associated with numbers and mathematical capacity.
It is 3:00 a.m. and Mikael Blomkvist is handcuffed, exhausted, and glaring at Inspector Thomas Paulsson in a farmhouse called Gosseberga. Blomkvist found Salander just after midnight and immediately called for help. It took thirty minutes for the helicopter unit to arrive. While he waited, he gently cleaned her up and bandaged her wounds, though duct tape was certainly an unconventional material to use. He did not even look at Zalachenko, but he called Erika Berger and told her everything. Blomkvist found Salander’s handheld computer, a set of keys to her apartment, and a passport for Irene Nesser. He hid them all.
Paulsson, a pompous, rigid officer, arrives shortly after the helicopter. Blomkvist explains the entire story, but Paulsson does not listen—he just wants to arrest Salander. After checking on the man in the shed, Paulsson reports that Salander attempted to kill another man. Blomkvist yells at Paulsson to call Inspector Bublanski, but Paulsson is not interested. Then Blomkvist makes two mistakes.
First, Blomkvist tells Paulsson that Niedermann is the person who committed the murders in Stockholm; he also tells him where Niedermann is and recommends he send a platoon of men to arrest him. Blomkvist’s second mistake is to hand over the weapon in his pocket—the one he took from Salander’s apartment. Paulsson immediately arrests him for possession of an illegal weapon. When the journalist continues raging at him, Paulsson puts him in the back seat of a patrol car.
Jonasson easily removes the intact bullet; he spends the next forty-five minutes picking out more than thirty tiny bone chips from around the entry wound in Salander’s skull.
The forensic investigation begins, and it is more than an hour before Paulsson realizes his officers have not returned with Niedermann. An armed response team is sent and reports that one of the officers is dead with a broken neck; the other is alive but has been savagely beaten. Their weapons and vehicle are gone. Blomkvist tells Paulsson he is going to report him, in spectacular fashion, as the “dumbest policeman in Sweden.” Suddenly Paulsson is willing to listen. Blomkvist demands that he call Bublanski.
Modig receives a call from Bublanski. He fills her in on the latest events and tells her to meet Holmberg on the 5:10 train to Goteborg. Annika Giannini sees the news on television and immediately tries to call her brother. No one answers and she is afraid. Blomkvist called her last night and said he was tracking Salander and Niedermann.
Sometime after 4:00, Criminal Inspector Marcus Erlander, an old friend of Bublanksi’s, joins the investigation in Goteborg. He uncuffs Blomkvist and listens to his story. It is a fantastic tale, and Erlander is skeptical. Blomkvist suspects Salander had been buried alive by Niedermann and has no idea where the giant might be going—but he knows he is seriously dangerous to anyone who tries to stop him.
The police dogs find the shallow gravesite. Erlander cannot fathom how such a diminutive woman dug herself out of a grave, did such damage to one man, and escaped from a giant. Blomkvist is bewildered about her escape from Niedermann as well.
Last Updated on August 31, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 911
Friday, April 8
Modig and Holmberg arrive in Goteborg and wait for Erlander and Blomkvist. Niedermann has abandoned the patrol car and left no trail. Blomkvist asks about Salander; the bullet in her head has been removed but she has not yet regained consciousness. Zalachenko, known here as Karl Axel Bodin, was operated on for deep gashes to his face and leg. Both patients will live.
Blomkvist tells them everything he knows. He found the secret report in Salander’s apartment but will not give the police her address. She is not a criminal but has had her reputation destroyed by police accusations, and he is going to protect her. Bjurman’s reason for wanting Salander killed is “complicated” but Blomkvist assures them it was an exceptionally strong motive. The officers assume Bjurman sexually assaulted her, based on the tattoo on his chest. The tattoo is news to Blomkvist and he bursts out laughing. He reminds them Salander was placed in a mental institution the last time she tried to explain what kind of man Zalachenko was.
Prosecutor Richard Ekstrom sits across the table from Chief Inspector Bublanski and is nervous. His murder investigation has turned “chaotic and ominous.” It started with one clear suspect with a well-documented record of instability and mental illness. Now it appears that Salander may be innocent and the real murderer is running loose. He hates Salander for putting him in this predicament.
Bublanski explains that Salander is innocent and the case revolves around a man named Alexander Zalachenko, a Russian hit man—and Salander’s father—who defected to Sweden in the seventies. He connected with two men in Sapo who covered up his crimes. One of them ensured Salander was locked up in a children’s psychiatric clinic after she inadvertently threatened to expose Zalachenko’s true nature.
After reading the confidential report, Ekstrom still wants to arrest Salander for attempted murder and assault. Bublanski advises against it. Ekstrom wants to keep Gunnar Bjorck’s role in the matter from the press because Bjorck is assistant chief of the immigration division of the Security Police. But Bublanski says he is bringing Bjorck in for a formal investigation. Ekstrom is angry, but Bublanski believes Salander has had her rights trampled many times since she was a child and he refuses to allow that pattern to continue. If Ekstrom wants to remove him from the investigation, he will not leave silently.
Curt Andersson is at Bjorck’s cabin, and Bjorck suddenly feels resigned to his fate. He is only being summoned for questioning, but he knows the outcome is inevitable.
Blomkvist is in a hotel room and is withholding evidence, but he knows Salander would prefer that he keep the DVD and her handheld computer. He calls Giannini to tell her what happened. Salander is in intensive care but will need a lawyer soon. Giannini is still hesitant but agrees to look at the documentation. Blomkvist cannot reach Berger, so he calls the Millennium offices. Berger is gone, so Blomkvist explains the story to Henry Cortez and asks him to relay the information to Berger. Millennium will present its side of the story next month, but for now there is nothing to do.
Assistant County Police Chief Carina Spangberg conducts a meeting with representatives from every department plus Modig and Holmberg. Niedermann is wanted everywhere; the wounded officer is at the hospital with injuries beyond what one human being should be able to inflict. Spangberg wonders how this got so out of control, and the answer is Thomas Paulsson. He was high on two different antidepressants; he has since collapsed and been hospitalized for exhaustion.
Modig makes a “small, informal suggestion” based on her experience. She tells them Blomkvist has been far more effective than the police in this investigation and will be helpful in any further investigation. She is embarrassed that until yesterday afternoon, the police knew nothing about Niedermann or Zalachenko. The prosecutor suggests that much of what they know is based on assumptions and circumstantial evidence; however, Niedermann seems to be responsible for at least four deaths and is a likely suspect in the deaths of those buried in the shallow graves near the Svavelsjo warehouse.
Word arrives that Anita Kaspersson, a dental hygienist, took her child to daycare that morning but never arrived at work—and her dental office is 150 yards from where the patrol car was abandoned. Spangberg immediately issues an all-points bulletin on Kaspersson’s vehicle.
At Millennium, Cortez senses something is wrong. Others are actively working, but Berger has closeted herself in her office and only manages to “pull herself together” when Giannini comes to get the 1991 Bjorck report Blomkvist left. Giannini can see something is wrong. Berger says she is leaving Millennium at the end of the week to pursue another opportunity, and keeping it to herself has made her miserable. Giannini tells her it is an exciting opportunity and she needs to tell the staff.
Berger finally tells her staff. They are thrilled for her, but Malin Eriksson knows Millennium will be woefully understaffed when Berger leaves. Berger will remain on the board but a new editor will have to be found. She appoints Eriksson as temporary editor-in-chief.
Although her new paper is not a direct competitor with Millennium, Berger does not want to know anything about the next two issues of the magazine and will take nothing of what she knows about the Salander case with her.
Last Updated on August 31, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 903
Friday, April 8–Saturday, April 9
Zalachenko’s face is heavily bandaged after extensive surgery. Although he is in immense pain and has been given large doses of painkillers, he is relatively lucid. Modig addresses him as Zalachenko, but he says his name is Karl Axel Bodin. When she tells him she has read his file from Sapo, he says that was a long time ago and he is Bodin now—and he wants to report an attempted murder by his mentally ill daughter.
The officers ask about Niedermann. The old man claims he hired Niedermann as an assistant to protect him from Salander. In a weak voice, Zalachenko says he is now afraid of Niedermann. Modig plays “bad cop” and asks him if he beat Salander’s mother so much that she suffered permanent brain damage and whether the incident was covered up in a top-secret file written by Bjorck. Zalachenko claims Bjorck was delusional and says he has never been convicted of, or even questioned about, any crimes. He appears to be grinning beneath his bandages and reiterates his desire to press charges against his daughter. Modig says she understands why Salander “felt an uncontrollable urge to slam an axe into his head.” Modig talks to Bublanski, and they realize this crafty old man will be able to explain away any evidence.
Salander wakes up and sees a blond man with “intense blue eyes.” He introduces himself as Doctor Anders Jonasson, and he asks her to say her name and count to ten. She does fairly well with both requests before falling back asleep. She seems to have some shoulder pain, but she will not “end up a vegetable” and he is glad.
Kaspersson stumbles through the woods and is suffering from hypothermia; her hands are still bound behind her back and her fingers are numb. She managed to free herself from the barn where the man tied her up, but now she feels as if she is alone on the earth and wandering aimlessly. She sees a light through the trees and staggers to the door of a small brick house. She kicks at the door with her heel.
Salander opens her eyes and feels so exhausted she can barely think; panic washes over her as she remembers being buried alive and digging herself out of a grave. Her memories are unclear, but she remembers swinging an axe with fury at her father. She wonders if he is dead. She remembers Niedermann running off but cannot recall not why he ran. She remembers seeing Blomkvist in a kitchen. She knows she is “in a bad way,” but suddenly everything becomes clear to her.
Salander is alive only because Zalachenko’s pistol was more like a toy than a handgun. She is surprised to be alive. After dozing for a few moments, she senses people in the room. Dr. Helen Endrin introduces herself. The doctor is unsure how much her patient remembers, but Salander says she was shot with a .22 by an old man named Zalachenko. Salander learns he is alive just down the hall from her. She considers how she can finish what she started.
Blomkvist wakes after sleeping for fifteen hours. He dresses, eats, and reads the newspaper accounts of Salander’s arrest. Niedermann is wanted for murdering a policeman here and for questioning about several more murders in Stockholm. Salander’s condition is not reported, and Zalachenko is only named as a “sixty-five-year-old landowner from Gosseberga.” The media assumes he is an innocent victim. Blomkvist has twenty new messages. Three are from Berger, two are from Giannini, fourteen are from reporters, and one is a message from Christer Malm telling him to take the next train home.
He has a few hours before the train leaves, so Blomkvist starts writing his story on Salander for Millennium, explaining how government officials conspired against her to protect a pathological murderer.
In the train’s dining car he meets Modig, who is also heading home. He asks about Salander’s condition. Modig tells him she was lucky and is expected to make a full recovery. Off the record, Modig tells him that there is a countrywide manhunt underway for Niedermann and that Zalachenko intends to press charges against his daughter. She believes Salander has been subjected to a “lifetime of injustice” and hopes she claims self-defense.
Bublanski is now concentrating on Niedermann. Blomkvist knows Modig views things as he does, so he asks if she will let him know if Salander is being “subjected to another miscarriage of justice.” He will treat her as a confidential source and no one will ever know she contacted him. He gives her an untraceable e-mail address; she takes it without making any promises.
Inspector Erlander is awakened by a phone call telling him Kaspersson has been found and is now in the hospital. He is stunned that Niedermann let her live and leaves to interview her.
Blomkvist has breakfast at Malm’s house, where he hears the news of Berger’s new job. Malm wanted Blomkvist to hear it from a friend so he would not think things were happening behind his back. Blomkvist only wishes he had not been too busy for Berger to talk to him. He goes to Millennium to find Berger asleep on the sofa bed in her office. He wakes her with a kiss on the cheek and they both apologize.
Last Updated on August 31, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 905
Saturday, April 9–Sunday, April 10
Since Wednesday’s attacks in the warehouse, the violent crimes division has been busy with three murdered bodies uncovered from their graves, the kidnapping and assault of Salander’s friend Miriam Wu, and arson. The shooting incident at Bjurman’s cabin is also connected to these crimes, and Carl-Magnus Lundin is in the hospital with a cast on one foot and his jaw wired shut.
Lundin is charged with kidnapping and arson; the prosecutor will wait until the bodies are identified before charging him with murder. Sonny Nieminen claims he has no connection to Lundin or the warehouse, and authorities have nothing to disprove his claim. The prosecutor is not happy about it, but she may have to release Nieminen this afternoon. Authorities are wondering how the diminutive Salander managed to do such damage to two grown men; they assume she was armed with Mace and a taser but the gun she used belonged to one of the motorcyclists. Salander took the pistol with her to Gosseberga; it has been identified as being stolen from a gun shop during a robbery four years ago.
Nieminen is released. The other six members of Svavelsjo Motorcycle Club are now in hiding, which infuriates Nieminen. With Lundin gone, he is in charge. He wonders who is watching the warehouse. Benny Karlsson is in charge there. Niedermann showed up looking for a place to hide and was invited in because of his past relationship with the two leaders.
Nieminen knows Niedermann as a lucrative business acquaintance, not a friend; the world knows Niedermann as a dangerous psychopath. It would be best for everyone involved if the giant were dead. Niedermann is hiding at group member Victor Goransson’s house.
Nieminen has a short fuse, especially after he has been drinking; he and another member go to Nieminen’s house. Behind the house they uncover an arms cache. He tries to forget about the altercation with Salander and the humiliation he endured when she cut the symbol out of his jacket. He intends to repay her for that to erase his shame, but first he has to worry about Niedermann. The monster does not have a criminal record, but he is a threat to the group if he talks.
Goransson’s place is dark and the front door is unlocked. They search the house and find Goransson and his girlfriend dead. Her neck is broken; he clearly died when the Niedermann punched his larynx into his throat. Nieminen goes to the barn and sees a Renault and an open cabinet where 800,000 kronor used to be. Niedermann knew Goransson was the treasurer of the group, and he needed the money to continue running from the authorities. Nieminen tips off the police so they can investigate the deaths and establish that he could not have done it because he was locked up. Niedermann is probably driving Goransson’s Saab.
Zalachenko can only eat liquids. He is in great pain, but nothing can be worse than when he “burned like a torch” in his car. He has five visitors on Saturday. Inspectors Erland and Holmberg ask him questions he has already answered, and he sticks with his story: he is an old man living on a pension, blames Niedermann for everything, and offers to help however he can. Someone from the prosecutor’s office comes to inform him that he is a suspect in the aggravated assault and attempted murder of Salander; he argues that he is the victim of her assault. Zalachenko’s lawyer is his next visitor.
Martin Thomasson looks innocent but is accused of running errands for the Yugoslav mafia—and he wins his cases. They agree that Zalachenko is the victim and will need a criminal attorney. Jonas Sandberg of the Swedish Internal Security is his final visitor. He was sent to develop a strategy and says Zalachenko will probably have to serve some time in prison. The old man wants to laugh but cannot. He says the only strategy he is interested in forming is making Niedermann the scapegoat for everything. If that does not happen, Zalachenko will hold a press conference and reveal everything. His final demand is that Salander has to be discredited and committed to a mental institution for life.
Zalachenko is still incredulous that Salander managed to unbury herself and nearly destroy him. She is “extraordinarily resourceful.” He understands Niedermann’s fears and knows why he ran. Zalachenko is upset because he does not want his son to die but knows he must not be captured alive. Zalachenko must leave the country as soon as he is strong enough to travel.
Bublanski, Modig, Andersson, and Holmberg meet without Ekstrom and talk candidly about where their investigation stands. All of them believe Zalachenko is who Blomkvist says he is, but they have virtually no proof because Ekstrom has Bjorck’s report and has been told he cannot let others see it because of national security issues. Bjorck has been arrested for violation of the prostitution laws, and they can prove this. It is possible Zalachenko did help their country at one time, but now there are three serious problems: the investigation that resulted in Salander’s being incarcerated in a mental institution was illegal; Zalachenko’s current activities are those of an ordinary gangster and have no connection to national security; and Salander was shot and buried alive on his property.
Last Updated on August 31, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 901
Sunday, April 10
Blomkvist spends the night with Berger and tells her about Zalachenko. He is not concerned that she will be working for a rival paper, and she has no intention of taking the story with her. After she leaves, Blomkvist calls Erlander for an update on Salander’s condition. She is stable. His next call is to Armansky. Blomkvist asks if he can trust him and if he is willing to fight with him against Salander’s enemies. Armansky is willing to partner with Blomkvist to pay for Salander’s legal defense. They will meet tomorrow night.
Giannini does not want to represent Salander because she has no criminal experience; however, she is a recognized authority on women’s rights and is exactly what Salander needs. She finally agrees to become Salander’s lawyer and immediately calls Erlander to establish herself as Salander’s attorney (though Salander is unable to confirm that yet) and forbid him from asking her about anything but their search for Niedermann. Blomkvist spends seven hours finishing the story he started in Goteborg. Several key questions must still be answered, but he has enough documentation to cause a “landslide of headlines.”
Seventy-eight-year-old Evert Gullberg is in Stockholm. Formerly the senior administrative officer at Sapo, he has been retired for thirteen years. When the agency was restructured because of Russian and Communist scares, Gullberg was appointed head of a newly created division of the Security Police ultimately called “the Section,” an ultra-secret unit that served as the last line of defense for the country. It grew from four hand-picked members to no more than twelve. Gullberg was the chief and the others were “professional spy-hunters.” This micro-organization disappeared from public view and was financed through a special fund—so they did not seem to exist. Gullberg could investigate anyone he chose and did not have to explain his actions to anyone.
In the mid-seventies, the immigration division of Security Police needed to be watched, and a young man named Gunnar Bjorck was chosen to do the job. When Alexander Zalachenko arrived in Sweden, Bjorck was the agent who met him and recognized his importance. Gullberg was the man Bjorck called. Bjorck officially became part of the Section and part of the unit assigned to handle Zalachenko. The Prime Minister had to be told about the Russian defector; he saw Zalachenko as a threat if the Russians were to discover he was in Sweden. He agreed to let Zalachenko stay if his presence never became known and he could effectively forget he existed.
Twelve people in the Section knew about Zalachenko; only one outside person, Nils Bjurman, knew he existed. Bjurman was a mediocre man and could, therefore, not be part of the Section. Gullberg established him in a law firm and made him feel important by telling him his silence was essential to national security. Bjorck was in charge of watching him. Bjurman was also a mediocre lawyer and failed to take advantage of his opportunity; he eventually opened his own small practice. At the end of the eighties, when the Soviet Union was collapsing, Bjorck’s surveillance of Bjurman stopped when Zalachenko was no longer a priority.
Before that, Zalachenko was a constant worry for Gullberg. During the first year, Zalachenko lived in a secret apartment and did not officially exist in any registry or database while Gullberg constructed his elaborate new identity as Karl Axel Bodin. By then it was too late. Zalachenko lived a wild life that got him arrested several times (all covered up by the Section) and fathered Salander’s twins—and he foolishly told the woman his real name. He could not stay away from her and he continued to assault her, which made an enemy of his daughter Lisbeth.
Lisbeth tried to stab him once. That cover-up was incredibly complicated, so they forbade Zalachenko from seeing the woman again. He complied for six months and then went back to her—and inflicted permanent brain damage. This time, Lisbeth threw a Molotov cocktail. In the media frenzy that ensued, the future of the Section was at risk if she talked. Gullberg panicked and contacted Peter Teleborian, an outside psychiatric consultant for the Section. The solution was simple: Salander would be sent to a psychiatric institution for life because she was “obviously insane.” Gullberg approved and Zalachenko was given a generous severance package. After he was completely rehabilitated, he was sent to Spain and all his ties to the Section were severed.
A week later, Gullberg retired and rarely thought of the matter again until Salander appeared in every newspaper several weeks ago. He had never considered that Zalachenko would be connected to his deranged daughter’s acts, but now he knows the Section is in its worst crisis since he created it.
Zalachenko is able to walk with crutches, painfully, for short distances. He knows where his daughter’s room is; late one night he stops outside her room and listens. In her room, Salander hears a scraping sound in the hallway. After a moment it continues down the corridor. Salander’s uneasiness grows. She takes the brace off her neck and she can breathe better, but she is still incapable of much movement. What she wants most is a weapon. With strenuous effort, she grasps a sharpened wooden pencil from a nearby table. She sleeps better knowing she is armed.
Last Updated on August 31, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 898
Monday, April 11
Blomkvist writes two lengthy articles focused on the deaths of Johansson and Svensson: who they were, what they were working on, and who killed them and why.
Gullberg visits the new chief of the Section, Birger Wadensjoo, a man he does not really know. They discuss changes in the Section; it is smaller and perhaps more efficient now, but if problems arise it is still so secret it does not exist. Two men join them. Gullberg knows Georg Nystrom; Jonas Sandberg introduces himself as the man who visited Zalachenko. They discuss how things fell apart. It all appears to have stemmed from Bjorck’s giving a top-secret file to Bjurman, Salander’s guardian.
The original plan was for Salander to remain institutionalized much longer, but Holger Palmgren managed to get her released. The Section watched her. At seventeen Salander began looking for Zalachenko; somehow she concluded her twin sister, Camilla, knew where he was. The confrontation between the sisters was violent. The Section had warned Camilla that her sister was mentally ill and violent, so she contacted them and the Section increased their surveillance of Salander. Camilla ran away when she was nineteen, and they have not heard anything from her since.
After Salander was assaulted by a pedophile on a train, the Section contacted Teleborian to request the court reinstitutionalize her; instead, Holmgren won the right to become her guardian. When Palmgren suffered a stroke in 2002, Wadensjoo made sure Bjurman became her new guardian. Bjurman had no idea she was Zalachenko’s daughter, but he was to notify the Section if she ever began talking about him. Bjurman raped Salander, and she struck back. Bjurman eventually contacted Zalachenko to help him get rid of Salander. Zalachenko gave the contract to Niedermann.
A nurse takes the pencil from Salander, and she is too weak to protest. She has a fever and can barely move. Jonasson checks on her and says her shoulder is the likely cause of the infection but her head wound is healing well. She may or may not suffer some effects from the scar tissue and the damage. Physical therapy will not begin for at least two weeks. As he leaves, Salander asks about Zalachenko. He has been given crutches but is actually in worse shape than she is. The sound she heard in the hallway last night was crutches.
According to Gullberg, Zalachenko is “phenomenally intelligent” and has a photographic memory; he is also “a pig” and probably has some form of mental illness. Sandberg adds that Zalachenko is shrewd. He knows he has the power to expose the Section if this episode does not disappear, which is an impossible task given the media coverage. The men agree that if Zalachenko talks it will be the end of the Section even if he is not credible. They must make sure he does not talk. Next they must regain control of the confidential report that sent Salander to the institution. Although the report has been confiscated, four policemen and one prosecutor have read the report; a fifth, Hans Faste, is a rogue with an apparent hatred for Salander. The Section will ensure that Ekstrom connects the case of the uncovered graves to the Stockholm murders, which should keep the four troublesome officers working on Niedermann rather than Salander. Ekstrom must assign Faste to continue any investigation of Salander.
The final problem they must solve concerns Blomkvist. Gullberg leaves the meeting to ponder how Blomkvist and Salander are connected and how best to disable Blomkvist’s investigation. His plan is drastic but it is the best he can concoct. Gullberg goes to visit Fredrik Clinton, one of his former agents, and asks him to commit to one last job. Clinton is dying of kidney failure; however, what Gullberg wants is his mind. One part of the plan concerns keeping Zalachenko quiet; the other part needs to be handled from Stockholm. Sandberg and Nystrom will do the legwork if Clinton will control the operation.
Gullberg brings Clinton back to the office with him, and the other men are surprised. The plan is to sidetrack the police by keeping them focused on Niedermann (about whom the Section cares nothing); this is Nystrom’s job. The rest of the plan is to steal Bjorck’s 1991 report from either Blomkvist’s apartment or Millennium’s offices, where the journalist is likely to have it locked away. Without the report, Blomkvist has no evidence. Nystrom adds that perhaps Salander’s lawyer also has a copy of the report. Giannini, Blomkvist, and Berger will all be under surveillance.
Salander is finally allowed visitors, and Modig and Erlander ask her first if she wants an appointed defense lawyer or Giannini. She reluctantly chooses Giannini. Next they ask her if she knows where Niedermann might have run. They do not know he is her half-brother, and she does not tell them. Zalachenko told her Niedermann was scheduled to leave the country, so she assumes he will try to leave. Before the officers leave, Modig quietly tells Salander that the police are not paying much attention to her father’s accusations. Salander should have a serious discussion with her lawyer so she will be free to talk further to the authorities. Salander has never been treated in such a professional and friendly manner by the police; she assumes they have an ulterior motive.
Last Updated on August 31, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 915
Monday, April 11–Tuesday, April 12
Gullberg takes the train to Goteborg and writes twelve entirely fictitious letters, making sure his fingerprints are on each one. At the station, he photocopies the letters, buys stamps and envelopes, and mails the letters. Exhausted, he checks into a hotel and sleeps.
Salander awakens with a start. Zalachenko is in the doorway of her room. She looks around for a weapon and sees a water glass she can use. He stands there for two minutes without moving then shuts the door and leaves. Salander pulls the electrodes off her body and hobbles to the door, icy with rage and ready to end their battle now.
Blomkvist writes all night. Salander’s story is finished, and he has written what he knows about Zalachenko. He knows the repercussions will be far-reaching. The two areas on which he must now work are Teleborian and what he calls the “Zalachenko club,” the group of men at Security Police who covered Zalachenko’s crimes and persecuted Salander. He knows Bjorck cannot be the only one, so he begins researching.
Giannini introduces herself to Salander and asks if she agrees to have her as her lawyer. Salander does. Blomkvist and Armansky are paying her fee. Salander says she will pay as soon as she has Internet access. Palmgren will be advising Giannini. Blomkvist sends a cryptic message through his sister: he has not told Giannini about Salander’s photographic memory, her hacking abilities, or the DVD of Bjurman. Giannini warns Salander not to answer any police questions unless she is present.
Clinton arranges wiretaps on all their targets’ phones and learns that Blomkvist has the only copy of the report.
Gullberg faxes copies of yesterday’s letters and then tears them up and throws them in a trashcan. At the hospital, he coincidentally rides in the elevator with Giannini and then manages to sneak his way into Zalachenko’s room. He speaks to the old man for a few moments before pulling out a gun and killing him.
Salander hears the shots and tries to leave but Giannini holds her down. Giannini looks out into the hallway and sees the man with a gun. She barricades the door from inside, then she carries Salander into the bathroom and locks the door before calling for help. In the hallway, Gullberg tries Salander’s door but does not have the energy to get in; his only job was to kill Zalachenko, anyway. When the police arrive, he holds his revolver to his temple and pulls the trigger.
Jonasson performs brain surgery for the second time in less than a week. Gullberg is going to live. Blomkvist hears the reports and panics; he fears Salander might have killed Zalachenko. Giannini calls and explains what happened, and Blomkvist is stunned that his sister was in such danger. Police immediately want to question Salander, but she does not let them. Two hours after the crime, the shooter is identified. Someone at Security Police calls to say it was beginning to launch an investigation of the crazy old man who had been sending threatening letters to people in government. Just today letters from Gullberg arrived at many places containing threats to kill Zalachenko.
Wadensjoo did not know Gullberg’s plan and is outraged. Clinton is sad that his old friend did not die. Gullberg has cancer and only has a few months to live; he carried the gun so he could end his life when the pain got too unbearable. Clinton assures Wadensjoo no one will connect Zalachenko to the Section. They are Sweden’s last defense, and they must do whatever it takes to ensure the nation’s security. They must make the decisions no one else wants to make, and the Section might survive if Wadensjoo listens to him.
At a press conference, Ekstrom confirms that Salander’s father is dead and that she is not a suspect; it appears Zalachenko did attempt to kill her. Bjorck hears the news and realizes he no longer has his protector, Gullberg. He plans to go into hiding, but as he goes to leave his house he sees a noose hanging in his living room. As his knees buckle, two men lift him onto the stool and into the noose.
Sandberg breaks into Blomkvist’s apartment and takes what appears to be the original Bjorck report.
Salander is moved to a safer room and given medication for her headaches. Giannini calls a friend and plans to meet her that evening; as she arrives, she is attacked and her briefcase is stolen. Fortunately, she still has a detailed draft of her defense strategy. When she recovers, she calls Blomkvist. He realizes that someone is trying to sabotage his investigation. He races home and discovers the report is gone and assumes both his and Giannini’s phones are being tapped. He knows someone is listening so he tells his sister they have absolutely no evidence against Bjorck and Teleborian.
Blomkvist knows one Security Police tactic is disinformation, and he just used it against them. He has one remaining copy of the Zalachenko report; he will make copies and put them in safe places. He meets Eriksson at Millennium and tells her what has happened and that their home and office phones are probably tapped. Blomkvist will sleep at the office. He is convinced someone is trying to cover Zalachenko’s tracks. They are not battling criminals—they are in a war with the government.
Last Updated on August 31, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 877
Sunday, May 1–Monday, May 2
It is Berger’s first day at Svenska Morgon-Posten (SMP). At this moment, she wonders if she is the right person for this job. She is moving from a small monthly publication with a handful of employees to a daily paper with eighty reporters and ninety other employees—plus a publishing house, production company, and management company. She has more than two hundred employees in all, and she wonders if coming here was a mistake.
She meets with Hakan Morander, the outgoing editor; she will spend the next two months working together with him before he leaves. He tells her to expect some adversaries, veteran editors who have built their own “empires” and will exclude her from their worlds. They will fight and push to stretch their boundaries, and Berger will have to fight hard to maintain her position. The night editors hate each other and act as if they own the paper. Anders Holm is the news editor, and he is the one who ensures SMP is published every day.
Berger wonders if there are any good employees. Morander laughs and tells her she will have to find them for herself. The board is mostly ineffectual but the paper gets published. Morander tells her candidly that she is assuming a difficult job. Circulation is down, and even after cutbacks and reorganization the paper is struggling. Their readers are older, so hiring Berger is an attempt to appeal to a younger generation of reader. She brings with her a mystique as a tough, edgy investigative journalist since the Wennerstrom affair; if she cannot rejuvenate the paper, it is likely to fail.
Blomkvist notices a gray Volvo following him. He might not have noticed if the license plate did not contain the letters KAB, initials that have become significant to him since learning of Karl Axel Bodin. After some research, Blomkvist learns the car belongs to a Sapo agent. Blomkvist asks Christer Malm to watch and be ready to photograph anyone who gets in or out of a gray Volvo and anyone who follows Blomkvist this afternoon, though Blomkvist does not tell him why he needed the photos. Two men follow Blomkvist out of a café, both dressed in jeans and leather jackets. An older man with reddish hair gets in the Volvo; a fortyish blond man follows Blomkvist. Malm wonders what “new nightmare” his friend is involved in, but he fears it does not bode well for Millennium, which has just regained its stability but lost its editor.
Armansky, Eriksson, Cortez, Malm, Giannini, and Blomkvist all have untraceable second cell phones because their personal phones have been bugged by the Security Police. There is a rotation of Millennium staff who have been staying overnight at the office since Zalachenko’s murder. One evening Blomkvist uses his second phone and offers a job to Daniel Olsson, a freelance writer and excellent researcher from Goteborg. Blomkvist asks him to do a report on the intensive care unit of the hospital. He wants to know who works there, what they look like, what their backgrounds are, and what the routine is as well as the layout of the floor. Olsson connects the assignment to Salander but agrees to do the research.
Salander has begun physical therapy to strengthen her shoulder and hip, and the routine exhausts her. Her headaches are nearly gone and she could probably walk out of the hospital if her door were not locked and guarded by a security agent. She is well enough to be moved out of intensive care, but her room at the end of an L-shaped corridor is as safe as anywhere else they could move her. In two weeks she will be transferred to Kronoborg prison in Stockholm, after Jonasson releases her.
After Zalachenko’s murder, Jonasson evaluates Salander and restricts her to one visitor for one hour a day. Giannini is the only one allowed to see her, and she is not to discuss Salander’s legal troubles; the lawyer generally abides by these guidelines and only hints at their intended defense strategy. Salander is drugged and exhausted and often falls asleep while Giannini is talking.
Armansky looks at the photos of the men trailing Blomkvist but does not recognize them. Blomkvist says he has connected the men to the Security Police, and Armansky is forced to admit that Blomkvist is not being paranoid and that the conspiracy to “eliminate” Salander that began fifteen years ago is still active. There are too many incidents to assume mere coincidence: Zalachenko was murdered by a supposed maniac, crucial documents were stolen, and a key witness (Bjorck) hanged himself.
Armansky wants to give the photos to a contact in Sapo, a person of the “highest moral standing.” Blomkvist is skeptical because he has never shared information on a story before it is published; however, Armansky reminds him he has already talked to him, Giannini, and Palmgren because this is not a typical story. He is a participant in the unfolding events, and he must trust Armansky and Palmgren to help him or he will not win.
Blomkvist agrees, but he has not told the whole truth to anyone. He is still holding a few secrets he shares only with Salander.
Last Updated on August 31, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 762
Wednesday, May 4
Three days after Berger becomes acting editor-in-chief of SMP, the outgoing editor, Haken Morander, collapses in his office. He is dead before the paramedics arrive. The newsroom is uncomfortable until CEO Borgsjo gathers employees for a brief memorial. After a moment of silence, Berger asks Morander’s closest colleague to write his obituary and asks news editor Peter Fredriksson to be her adviser. This is Morander’s final issue of the paper; she asks them to get it right for him.
Bublanski’s team is frustrated that there is no forensic evidence to indicate Bjorck died other than by suicide. It is too coincidental for them that he died on the same day as Zalachenko, though Andersson did not discover his body until a week later. The only anomaly might be the kind of knot tied by the noose—Bjorck, a sailor, would have used a different knot.
Berger is proud of Morander’s memorial issue of the paper, and Borgsjo compliments her on how she assumed control today. He advises her that she may have to make some concessions for news chief Holm, a fifteen-year veteran of the paper. Berger agrees but reminds him that she was hired to run SMP.
Giannini feels as if she is now living on the train from Stockholm to Goteborg, and she feels frustrated that her brother and Salander are keeping something from her. They have not talked, so Giannini assumes the silence is something developed through their relationship and conceals something significant, probably something concerning morality.
Salander has been consistently sulky and silent, answering only what she must and only after deep deliberation. She readily answers any questions about Niedermann, but she will only say she did not kill Bjurman. She will not say why she confronted Zalachenko. Giannini says if Salander does not come to trust her, they will lose the case. After Giannini leaves in anger, Salander reflects on her life.
None of the horrible things that have caused her to be here are her fault, and she wishes everyone would stay out of her business. She cannot help it that her father is a “pathological sadist and murderer,” that her brother is a murderer, or that her guardian was a “pig and a rapist.” She did not kill Johansson or Svensson, and she hopes her familial connection to Niedermann remains hidden or it will be held against her in the inevitable psychiatric evaluation. Giannini is only a professional friend and Blomkvist is probably no longer interested in her case because now he has the story. She wonders how Armansky, Palmgren, and Wu feel about her. The only nonthreatening person in her life is Jonasson, who checks on her several times a week.
After his latest visit, Jonasson is puzzled. While Salander is progressing physically, she is still suffering emotionally. The scars on her body will heal, but the scars on her soul are a different matter. Dr. Peter Teleborian is waiting for Jonasson when he returns to his office. The older man appeals to the physician in the guise of concern for a former patient’s welfare, and he asks to avoid official channels so he can evaluate Salander. Jonasson asks about the vague diagnosis listed in her records, but Teleborian simply says she has "obvious delusions with distinct paranoid schizophrenic characteristics," which he, as a professional, has observed over time. He is condescending when Jonasson says he has seen no such tendencies; he says Salander is simply playing the compliant patient. The doctor suggests Salander may only be suffering from Asperger’s, which would explain her inability to conform to social conventions, but the psychiatrist dismisses the idea. Jonasson is politely adamant that Salander has been badly treated and is under significant stress but is not mentally ill. He is adamant that Teleborian can only see Salander with her attorney present. Teleborian abruptly leaves.
This kind of demand for professional access is not typical in Jonasson’s experience; generally only doctors who are currently managing the patient’s care ask for this kind of professional courtesy. He calls one of his colleagues, a psychologist, and asks her opinion of Salander after visiting with her several times. Salander asked her for research—pure research—on genetics and the brain, and she reads them easily and with obvious interest. Jonasson is stunned and asks if she has seen any indications of mental illness. His colleague assures him that Salander is strange, has big problems, and is under stress; however, she is calm, matter-of-fact, and able to cope with her circumstances.
Last Updated on August 31, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 907
Saturday, May 7–Thursday, May 12
Blomkvist has been writing articles for the summer issue of Millennium, but it is too much. He has decided, as he did at the end of the Wennerstrom affair, to write a book. The easy parts are finished. He has covered Johansson’s and Svensson’s murders and his role in finding them; he has also written about how Salander came to be a suspect and how Ekstrom directed the investigation solely toward her. He has explained Zalachenko’s arrival in Sweden and the series of events that caused his daughter to end up in a mental institution.
His accounts of Bjorck and Teleborian are scathing, and he quotes directly from the 1991 report to establish the threat Salander presented to those who wished to protect Zalachenko at all costs. Blomkvist’s work so far finishes with Zalachenko’s new life, Niedermann, Wu’s kidnapping, and the events at Gosseberga Farm. The problem now is that he is convinced there is a small, powerful subgroup of the government that has conducted and covered up the unlawful treatment of Salander—but he has not yet identified it. The conspiracy is not over, either, because so many things—including thefts, wiretappings, and deaths—are still happening.
Ekstrom plans to prosecute Salander for the aggravated assault and attempted murder of Karl Axel Bodin; the trial is scheduled for July. Blomkvist and Millennium have decided to publish Svensson’s book and release it—along with the double issue of the magazine and Blomkvist’s book—at the same time as the trial.
Many of the things Blomkvist needs to know would be easier if he could be in contact with Salander; however, Giannini has given him no special privileges. He does not know if Salander has talked about Bjurman or her computer skills, but he needs Salander to use those skills for him on this case. He has to establish contact with her somehow.
Olsson has done the research on the hospital Blomkvist requested, and there is information on Idris Ghidi, a Kurdish refugee from Iraq. He was an engineer but was seized by the secret police and tortured for eleven months because he would not confess to unspecified crimes. An uncle eventually paid an outrageous bribe and Ghidi was released—with a smashed hip and weighing only eighty-six pounds. The uncle soon paid for him to be taken to Sweden. He spent several years in a Swedish internment camp before he was finally granted residency status. His former skills got him nowhere here, and he is now doing janitorial work in Salander’s hospital ward.
Blomkvist is not being followed when he visits an old friend to ask him a favor. This friend helped Ghidi achieve his citizenship, and Blomkvist asks if he will ask Ghidi to meet with him. Ghidi will meet him Friday after work. Blomkvist assures his friend he has done nothing illegal.
Nilsson is a Millennium reporter, and she is irritated. When Berger was here, the staff functioned as a community, but something has changed. Now Malm, Eriksson, Cortez, and Blomkvist are always meeting privately and excluding the rest of them. When Cortez leaves, he asks her to tell Eriksson he will be back in two hours because he has a scoop on toilets.
Berger is struggling to work with Holm. She has tried to be both diplomatic and dictatorial, but nothing seems to move him from consistently undermining her authority. He has added articles she cut, changed headlines she wrote, and changed meeting times without informing her. Today she calls him in but it takes him twenty-two minutes to arrive. She is incensed that he has directly ignored her request that any article dealing with Salander be sent to her for approval because she has “special knowledge” on the subject from her time at Millennium. She will no longer tolerate his tone, his evasions, or his lies; if it continues, she will not hesitate to demote him.
Berger questions Frisk, a young, part-time reporter, about the story he plans to write about selling anabolic steroids in connection to Svavelsjo MC. Salander may have been part of the operation. When questioned, Frisk reveals his source: a policeman named Faste. Berger reasons with him and explains that Faste is taking advantage of his being young and an outsider, hoping he will print the story without confirming it. She explains that publishing a story that may be a lie just because there is no proof it is a lie is unethical, and perhaps the source has something to gain by revealing the information.
Berger says she is caught between two loyalties but assures Frisk that Salander had nothing to do with selling steroids. Faste is responsible for most of the lies published about Salander, and they were published because he was accepted as a credible source. As a journalist, Frisk must learn to question and scrutinize critically and never simply repeat what anyone tells him as if it were the only truth. He understands.
Frisk is a good reporter, so Berger proposes a different story. SMP cannot afford to be too far behind Millennium when it publishes an exposé on the Salander story next month. He is contracted to be a special correspondent assigned to the Salander trial. Until then, he is to begin with the premise that Salander is innocent. He must examine every allegation that has been made and ferret out the truth.
Last Updated on August 31, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 908
Friday, May 13–Saturday, May 14
Making sure he is not being followed, Blomkvist takes Salander’s car and drives to Goteborg. Ghidi shakes his hand and invites him in with a limp. Ghidi makes it clear he will do nothing illegal, and Blomkvist assures him that his request is unusual but not illegal. It will take Ghidi only a minute each day for several weeks, and Blomkvist will pay a thousand kroner a week (unreported). Ghidi nods in agreement.
Superintendent Nystrom visits Prosecutor Ekstrom. What he tells him is completely off the record but endorsed by the highest authorities in the Security Police. He confirms what Blomkvist has been saying, that Zalachenko was a defector and former Soviet military agent, a key player in Russia’s offensive against Western Europe in the seventies. What Blomkvist and the media cannot know is that the lives of confidential sources and spies will be threatened if this news is made public. “People who have risked their lives for democracy will be in danger of being killed.” It is a lie, but Nystrom knows Ekstrom feels flattered to be trusted with information vital to national security. Nystrom does not deny the 1991 report but tells Ekstrom it is inaccurate. He says Salander is mentally ill and institutionalizing her was necessary. Ekstrom is to clear all information through Nystrom or the country could face a crisis.
Cortez actually does plan to do a story on toilets—toilets sold by a Swedish company for 1,700 kroner, which they buy from a company in Vietnam for 390 kronor, who buys them from Thailand, which uses child labor. He plans to research the owner of Vitavara Inc., seller of “genuine” Swedish toilets as well as the international trade aspect of the company.
Bublanski is incensed at Ekstrom’s new orders, but he will obey them. The Inspector and his team are to find Niedermann and investigate the gravesites; they must turn over everything connected to Salander to the officer who will assume that investigation—Faste, the man least suited to do anything concerning Salander.
Lundin is in jail awaiting kidnapping charges, and Nieminen has offered a reward for information on Niedermann. Finding Niedermann is difficult because he has no friends, no family, no cell phone, and no criminal record. It is likely he left the country or went into hiding immediately after stealing the money, but even that is pure speculation.
Modig speaks with Ekstrom privately. Both of them have read the 1991 report and know Salander was unlawfully committed to an institution; Ekstrom knows it, too, but he told Bublanski that at least parts of the report have been falsified. Modig says she has a copy of the report and will leak it to the media if Salander needs saving; Bublanski warns her not to do that or her career will be over.
The part-time security guard in the hallway outside of Salander’s hospital room is not observant. He sees the small foreign man polishing the floor and thinks nothing of his presence in the hallway; he even moves his chair to accommodate the man. He watches Ghidi put his cleaning supplies away in the room next to Salander’s.
Ghidi sees nothing illegal in what Blomkvist asked him to do: unscrew the cover of a small vent into Salander’s room, insert a mobile phone into the vent, and recharge the batteries every day. It only takes him forty-five seconds, but he does not see how this is helpful to Blomkvist because Salander cannot access the phone.
Jonasson sees a vaguely familiar man waiting for him outside his apartment. He introduces himself as Mikael Blomkvist and says he is here as Salander’s friend. He wants nothing from the doctor; in fact, Blomkvist has information that may help Jonasson. Blomkvist tells him the astonishing truth about who Zalachenko was and why Salander is the victim of powerful forces trying to keep her quiet. She needs help before the trial, and both of them have her physical and mental well-being at the forefront of their concern. Blomkvist cannot act because his sister is Salander’s lawyer and he is paying her fee.
The prosecutor has isolated Salander, and he or a member of his team routinely leaks false information to the press and plans to conduct a closed trial. This limits Salander’s ability to defend herself. Blomkvist places Salander’s hand-held computer on the table. Only she knows how to access the information in it that can help her case. It is not ethical or legal, but it is the moral thing to make sure she gets it. When the doctor hesitates, Blomkvist tells him about Teleborian.
Armansky meets Bublanski in a private room in a synagogue. They talk candidly about Salander and her enemies. Both men have read the report, but Bublanski did not know the other copies had been stolen—on the same day Zalachenko was murdered and Bjorck supposedly killed himself. Armansky tells him their phones have been tapped. Armansky’s research has found an interesting fact about Gullberg: although he was supposedly a tax lawyer, there is no record anywhere of his having even one client, and he is mentioned in no publication; it is as if he never existed in the professional world. Neither man believes Sapo is behind the cover-up, but they are reasonably certain there is a small group of “dormant Cold War mongers” hidden in the bowels of the organization.
Last Updated on August 31, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 776
Sunday, May 15–Monday, May 16
Superintendent Torsten Edklinth is the director of Constitutional Protection Unit at the Security Police, and he is Armansky’s friend and dinner guest. Armansky explains Salander’s situation, and Edklinth is stunned to think the Security Police would be involved in such activity. Armansky makes it clear he believes these things have been done by only a hidden faction of the organization, unsanctioned by its leadership. When Edklinth sees the photos of the man getting into a car with KAB on the license plate, he asks Armansky if this is a practical joke.
After twenty-one years in the Security Police, Edklinth finds it troubling to think that what Armansky told him last night is true. Years ago, the organization had been capable of such things; now Sapo is comprised of a new generation of civil servants and it spends its time investigating real crimes rather than “political mirages.” Swedish democracy is founded on one premise: the right to free speech. From that, all other rights extend; however, there are four restrictions on democracy. Publishing child pornography or violent sexual acts is forbidden; inciting someone to break the law is a crime; and engaging in the persecution of an ethnic group is unlawful. The fourth restriction on democracy is defamation or slander. Two institutions are charged with ensuring compliance with these laws, and one of them is the organization Edklinth directs—and he takes his job quite seriously.
Unfortunately, his unit only has investigative powers, and there is no constitutional court in Sweden. That means Salander’s lawyer cannot charge the government with violation of her constitutional rights; the only recourse is to file a report with an ombudsman. In short, Edklinth lacks the legal authority to initiate any kind of investigation. If Armansky’s information is correct, the number and types of crimes committed and then covered up is staggering, and he would rather not get involved; however, he is a sworn officer of the law and has an obligation to submit a report to a prosecutor if he has knowledge of a crime. This will be complicated.
Edklinth finally decides he must act. He meets with Monica Figuerola, who has been a member of his department for the past three years after serving for several years on the police force. She is a woman of phenomenal strength and superior intelligence, which makes her a threat to many officers on the force. Edklinth warns her this assignment could either ruin her career or propel it forward in a significant way. He has created an operations arm of the Constitutional Protection Unit to investigate threats to the constitution from within the Security Police. She is it. He tells Figuerola what Armansky told him, and he assures her it came from a trustworthy source. She agrees that if even a fraction of these allegations are true, they have constitutional crises on their hands.
First she is to read the 1991 Bjorck report and identify the men following Blomkvist; then she must investigate Zalachenko’s murderer, Gullberg. No one but Edklinth is to know anything about her investigation. As she begins verifying the factual data in the report, she finds the basic events to be true. She discovers Teleborian has acted as a consultant for the Security Police before, something people outside the agency should not know. She then confirms that one of the men following Blomkvist is Goran Martensson, an employee of the Security Police. His record says he was loaned to Counter-Espionage a few days after Zalachenko and Salander arrived at the hospital. When she calls the assistant chief of Counter-Espionage, he tells her Martensson has not been assigned to his department. The Chief of Secretariat should know about this, but to avoid trouble right now, she does not call him.
Berger is in a meeting with Borgsjo and several other officers of SMP’s board of directors, and they need to cut the budget because of financial difficulties. She is supposed to cut ten positions but Berger argues that cutting staff will ultimately result in a smaller paper and even less revenue. The board, comprised mostly of older men who treat her with condescension, is unmoved by her arguments. Berger checks her e-mail and discovers a threat sent to her with a fake address. She wonders if it was sent by someone inside the building.
Figuerola has the authority to access almost any document, and she requisitions the report on Zalachenko’s murder. She also receives the letters Gullberg sent to the Minister of Justice. It is evening, and she locks all these documents in her safe before leaving her office that night.
Last Updated on August 31, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 905
Tuesday, May 17
Figuerola prepares a memorandum of her findings after one day of research, and she gives it to Edklinth. After he reads it, he comes to the same conclusion Figuerola made—Chief of Secretariat Albert Shenke has to be involved in this somehow. She requests permission to examine Gullberg’s personnel file from the fifties because he seems to have somehow vanished from all records then; however, Edklinth does not want to draw any undue attention until they have more to act on. He tells her to find out what Martensson is working on now.
As Salander is finalizing her plans to break out of the hospital and start her life with a new identity elsewhere, Jonasson comes to visit her. He performs his usual examination; she has nearly healed physically. When he is finished, he talks to her as a friend and tells her he considered becoming a psychiatrist before becoming a welder and eventually a surgeon. He asks her why she has refused to talk to psychiatrists, and immediately Salander turns sullen and unresponsive. Eventually she asks why he wants to know; he tells her he is simply trying to understand something. Finally she says she does not talk to “crazy-doctors” because they refuse to listen to her. Leaning uncomfortably close to her, Jonasson asks how she feels about Teleborian, and she again asks why he wants to know. He explains that Teleborian has twice tried to see her and he has not allowed it; he simply wants to know how she feels about the man. She says he is a “beast.”
Jonasson tells Salander that an official who also wants Teleborian to have access to Salander has twice approached him, but he refused. Salander is his patient, which means he works for her and no one else. As he leaves, he tells her she is actually doing too well because he no longer has a reason for her to remain isolated. The prosecutor will soon have her transferred to Stockholm, where Teleborian will have the right to examine her. She thanks him as he walks out the door, then she locks it behind him.
After he leaves, Salander stares at the ceiling and discovers something hard under her pillow. It is her handheld computer; she realizes Jonasson is full of unexpected surprises. Eagerly she turns on the computer, only to discover it is password protected. There is a tiny note at the bottom of the bag; Blomkvist tells her she is the hacker, so she can figure it out. She does.
The first document she reads is from Blomkvist, in which he tells her that he and several others (who have nicknamed themselves “Knights of the Idiotic Table”) are working diligently on her behalf. Her lawyer knows nothing about the computer, and Salander must only contact him through an encrypted e-mail because he believes others are reading his mail. Salander wonders what good her computer will be without connectivity, but she is stunned to discover she is able to connect to the Internet. In a few moments she deduces there must be a mobile phone somewhere near that gives her access (via Bluetooth). Blomkvist must have someone charging the phone batteries regularly. He also sent her the charger for her computer. She finds a suitable hiding place for the equipment.
The first thing she does is contact her fellow hackers; they have missed her. Of the sixty-one other members of Hacker Republic, Salander has only met two of them in person: Plague and Trinity, the man in London who helped her and Blomkvist locate Harriet Vanger. She briefly tells them what has happened to her, and they offer to do many retaliatory things, including sending a virus to shut down Stockholm. Salander knows this is not an idle threat because they have, on occasion, used their skills to shut down companies who have damaged their members. She tells them it is not necessary now but she will let them know if she needs their help.
When she checks the private e-mail account Blomkvist created, there is one message. He says he has the Bjurman DVD, her Irene Nesser passport, and the keys to her apartment. He has not revealed anything about any of them to the authorities or to Giannini. Salander will be charged with aggravated assault and attempted murder against Zalachenko and aggravated assault against Lundin and Nieminen. Lundin is under arrest for Wu’s kidnapping and Nieminen has been released; neither of them has said anything to the authorities about the incident.
He tells her she must be kept locked in an institution or the organization will be faced with serious consequences for its actions over the past several decades—and none of them is willing to allow this. Salander must be discredited; if not, the 1991 incarceration will be deemed illegal and the ramifications of that are far-reaching. Salander had already come to the same conclusion but does not know how to proceed.
Blomkvist asks her to help him in two ways. First, he needs her to find something to show that Ekstrom is working with Teleborian to get her reinstitutionalized. Second, he wants permission to discuss some of her secrets. He says, “Privacy in this situation is wildly overrated” considering everything that has already been written about her. If he has these two things, he can begin a media campaign to reshape the public’s perception of her.
Last Updated on August 31, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 916
Wednesday, May 18
Yesterday Figuerola compiled information on Martensson, and the only area of concern to her is that he has licenses for at least sixteen weapons. This is perfectly legal, but it is of concern to her. Today she sits outside his apartment and waits.
Salander has developed a prolonged headache and fever. Jonasson orders a cranial X-ray that shows a slightly darkened area near the bullet wound. It is possible that there is minor bleeding, so Salander should remain under strict observation until further notice.
Berger receives another crude and vaguely threatening e-mail, again from a false address and sender. She creates a folder and saves both messages.
Martensson drives to Blomkvist’s apartment building, where he sits and waits. Figuerola follows and watches. She knows she is rather exposed but tries to remain inconspicuous and still watch. At 9:10 Blomkvist leaves his building and walks in her direction. She pretends to talk on the phone and looks down at a map so her face is at least partially obstructed from view; Blomkvist looks at her as he walks by but does not stop. As she watches, another man joins Martensson, and they enter Blomkvist’s building. In her rear view mirror, she sees Blomkvist watching them punch the code and go inside. She figures he must be up to something or he would have reacted to the intrusion.
In his office, Blomkvist looks up the license plates of a car he saw parked near his apartment building; it is registered to Monica Figuerola. Although there was nothing particularly suspicious about her, he has become keenly observant of deviations in his environment and asks one of the reporters to research the woman.
Berger presents an unusual proposal to the SMP budget committee, and the reaction is distinctly negative. Berger suggests the paper has lost readership because there are too few reporters and their writing is necessarily superficial and lacking credibility. The cutbacks implemented by the board have directly caused the crisis. Therefore, no outrageous bonuses should be given and stockholders should not be paid dividends; there would be a zero-profit budget for one year and wage cuts for management, including herself. She wants the rules of capitalism (profit and loss) to apply to everyone, not just the employees. The others are outraged, but Borgsjo reads the proposal carefully.
When the men leave the building, Figuerola photographs them but is shocked to see a woman filming them with a digital camera. She decides not to follow Martensson because she already knows who he is; instead she follows the second man as he gets into a van emblazoned with Lars Faulsson Lock and Key Service on it. She writes down the license number and phone number before she sees the woman also entering Blomkvist’s building. Ten minutes later she emerges, and Figuerola follows her to the Milton Security building. Back at the office, Figuerola spends two hours pondering what she has seen.
Cortez tells Eriksson and Blomkvist they have a problem. His research on Vitavara Inc. revealed that it is owned by Svea Construction Inc., whose CEO is Magnus Borgsjo, a professional board member who is also CEO of Svenska Morgon-Posten and owns ten percent of the paper. Berger’s boss is a crook who exploits children for profit.
Assistant editor Fredriksson shows Berger a series of suggestive e-mails supposedly sent by her to one of the reporters named Eva Carlsson. Carlsson did not believe Berger sent them but was too embarrassed to ask her boss about them. Fredriksson explains that clearly someone has faked Berger’s address and is harassing one or both of the women. Berger thanks him and asks to see Carlsson. Berger writes a company e-mail explaining that someone is sending fake e-mails from the company and asks if others have received them. Carlsson does not believe Berger sent them.
Faulsson has a significant criminal past, including breaking and entering, receiving stolen goods, burglary, and even cracking safes. The woman, Susanne Linders, is a former cop and current employee at Milton Security. Figuerola tells Edklinth what and whom she saw. They assume Faulsson was helping Martensson break into Blomkvist’s apartment to look for documents and Linders is working with Armansky and Blomkvist; she probably went in to retrieve surveillance film.
Cortez’s article is powerful and well documented. When it is published, Borgsjo will be vilified around the world for his greed and his stupidity. Millennium will run the article, but it puts Berger in a terrible conflict of interest as editor of SMP as well as board member and part owner of the magazine. At the very least, it is a conflict of loyalties. Blomkvist will tell her this evening.
Berger is ashamed to realize she has not thought of Blomkvist in weeks. This job is wearing her out, and she has only been there three weeks. When Blomkvist tells her about Borgsjo, she is furious and immediately assumes this is an act of sabotage. Blomkvist tells her the revelation was an accident of research, but it will affect her in any case. He has delayed publication of the article until August so she will have time to consider her options, including showing the documentation to Borgsjo and demanding he resign. She wonders if this is how Morander felt before he dropped dead in his office. The couple gets a room in a nearby hotel, and they fall asleep immediately. Neither of them noticed a man in the lobby watching them.
Last Updated on August 31, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 867
Thursday, May 19–Sunday, May 22
Salander reads all of Blomkvist’s Millennium articles and the chapters for the book he is writing. The publishing date is June 20, right before Ekstrom has tentatively scheduled Salander’s trial at the beginning of July. He has a month to finish the manuscript. The most powerful thing she reads is a message from him: she can remain silent and let herself be convicted, but if she wants to win her case and her freedom she must fight. He is asking her for permission to tell the truth about her in his book. He is complicating her life. After some reflection, she begins typing her own story.
Holmberg knocks on the front door of his father’s friend, former Prime Minister Thornbjorn Falldin. Holmberg explains that he is here without his boss’s permission but he had to come. Falldin listens as the younger man tells Salander’s story.
Berger and Blomkvist still have no idea what Berger should do about Borgsjo. Berger leaves the hotel first and discovers the tires of her BMW have been punctured.
Figuerola follows Martensson to a café, where he meets the blond man who has also been following Blomkvist; she takes a photo but misses her opportunity to follow the blond man.
Salander contacts Plague and asks him to copy everything from Goran Martensson’s computer to Blomkvist’s computer; then she does something she never thought she would have to do. She asks Plague to make himself available to Blomkvist in case she cannot be reached for some reason. Plague hesitates but agrees, understanding she is in trouble. She also needs Trinity’s help; she will pay for him to come to Sweden and do what he is best at doing.
Jonasson calmly explains to an exasperated Inspector Faste that he cannot dismiss Salander yet because she has had a setback, which is not particularly unexpected with such a serious injury and operation. No matter how urgent the matter, Jonasson cannot release Salander yet, and he is no position to do so for perhaps another two weeks.
Figuerola asked to meet with Bublanski. In a two-hour conversation, Bublanski explains everything he knows about the Salander/Zalachenko case.
After much thought, Edklinth recognizes that something is, indeed, “rotten within” Sapo—and it has been at least since 1976, when Zalachenko arrived in Sweden. The key to discovering Zalachenko’s connection to the Secret Police is Bjorck, for he was the one who “handled” the Russian defector. As Edklinth analyzes the possibilities, he is certain the events happened as Blomkvist believes, but Salander’s incarceration in a psychiatric hospital in 1991 is inconceivable to him. Someone must have made that decision, not the government; if the government did this, Sweden is no better than any other dictatorship in the world.
Edklinth does not believe in coincidences on such a grand scale, but he does not know whom he can trust. There is only one constitutionally correct option available to him: he must gain the support of the Prime Minister. Edklinth calls the Minister of Justice, a long-time friend, and asks for a meeting with him and the Prime Minister immediately. It is an outrageous request and his career is at stake, but they agree to meet him at 9:30 that evening.
Edklinth tells the men everything he knows, and he can see their minds are racing. Figuerola says nothing. Neither man has ever heard of Zalachenko; both agree this would have been information one Prime Minister would have passed to the next if he had known about it. It is distressing that this might have happened, and the Prime Minister wants to ensure that the perpetrators of these crimes are punished and law and justice are maintained. After much discussion concerning the legalities, the Prime Minister grants Edklinth and the Constitutional Protection Unit the authority to find out how such a travesty of law and justice could have happened and who perpetrated the crimes. The government can do nothing to interfere with an ongoing criminal case, so their only direct help for Salander will come after the trial, if she needs it. It must also not be seen as trying to suppress the story, so they need to find out when Blomkvist will run his article.
Jonasson comes to visit Salander, who still suffers from headaches and a fever. He expresses his sympathy and tells her he will not be able to release her for another two weeks; she tells him “two weeks should be sufficient.”
When he was thirteen, Trinity hacked his first computer, and he has since become an expert in electronics and computer science. It is fortunate for the world that he is an inquisitive rather than a malicious hacker. Trinity and his companion Bob the Dog take turns driving through Europe on their way to Sweden. They are driving because he would not be allowed to bring his more than sixty pounds of electronic equipment on a plane. When they are close to Stockholm, Trinity calls Plague and gets directions to their hostel. Because Plague rarely leaves his apartment, they will meet him there tomorrow; tonight Plague does something quite rare for him—he cleans his house.
Last Updated on August 31, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 905
Part 3: Disk Crash, May 27–June 6
Friday, May 27–Tuesday, May 31
Blomkvist leaves the office without being seen and goes to Salander’s huge but virtually unfurnished apartment. Since his apartment was broken into and is under surveillance, he has been using this as his headquarters. He restored her computer to usable condition and spends several nights a week here. He contacts Salander and she sends him the two new chapters she wrote since they last communicated. Plague copied information from Ekstrom’s computer starting in April, and she has set up another contact group comprised of him, her, Plague, and Trinity in case Blomkvist ever needs it.
Blomkvist goes directly to Ekstrom’s files and reads his preliminary investigation notes and strategy for the trial; his case centers on Salander’s mental state, and he is desperate for her to have a psychiatric examination. Ekstrom has plenty of information on Niedermann, though police are no closer to finding him than they ever were; there is surprisingly little in his files about Zalachenko. What he does find is false, as if someone were feeding Ekstrom believable but misleading information.
Plague contacts Salander and tells her Trinity was finally able to access Teleborian’s computer. She spends hours reading his files and discovers his encrypted correspondence with someone named Jonas; the two men have an “unhealthy interest” in making sure Salander does not thrive. Salander also finds nearly 9,000 photographs of explicit child pornography and links to people all over the world with whom he trades child porn. She remembers the excitement she sensed when he saw her strapped to the table in the stimulus-free room at St. Stefan’s. Although he never touched her, she knew what he was then, and she should have dealt with him years ago.
Blomkvist meets Modig, who insists he agree to protect both her and one of her colleagues who risked his career to talk to former Prime Minister Falldin as anonymous sources. Blomkvist agrees. Bublanski does not know anything about that visit or this one, and Modig is nervous. When Holmberg told Falldin that Salander was probably mistreated by whomever was protecting Zalachenko, the old man was visibly upset. He told Holmberg that the chief of Sapo and a colleague came to him shortly after he was elected and told him about a Russian defector who was the “most sensitive military secret Sweden possessed,” and nothing in terms of Swedish intelligence was as important. The Prime Minister was inexperienced and directed Sapo to be in sole charge of the defector and pledged never to discuss the matter with anyone—he did not even know Zalachenko’s name.
Falldin did insist that an undersecretary of state be informed in case there was a need for a go-between. His name is Bertil K. Janeryd; he is now the Swedish ambassador to The Hague. Falldin wrote a letter to the ambassador urging him to listen to the bearer of the letter and answer any questions. Neither Modig nor Holmberg have the authority to interview the ambassador, but Blomkvist can do it.
Blomkvist pockets the letter, and Modig is adamant that he share with them whatever information he gathers. He asks her the name of the Sapo chief’s colleague, but Falldin could not remember it. He was introduced as the head of the Section for Special Analysis or some such thing; Falldin could not find that department on the Sapo organizational chart. Blomkvist knows that must be Zalachenko’s club. As Modig leaves, she tells him Holmberg requisitioned the Prime Minister’s visitors’ logbook and has the second name: Evert Gullberg.
Blomkvist flies to Amsterdam and finally persuades Janeryd to meet with him. The ambassador reads the letter and says he has virtually nothing to tell—and if he does talk it should be to the constitutional committee. Blomkvist assures him he will probably have to do that soon and tells him this will be published and he can control his image. He can be seen as “an honest civil servant making the best of an impossible situation” or he can be shredded by the media.
Janeryd knew the defector as “Ruben” and got updates twice a year, which never amounted to much. He was told Ruben was providing invaluable information. Janeryd gives Blomkvist some names: Evert Gullberg, Fredrik Clinton, and Hans von Rottinger. Blomkvist tells him these men worked for the Section for Special Analysis, not Sapo. No one briefed Falldin’s successor on Ruben. Blomkvist has what he came for—the names—and he has it on tape.
Berger receives another vile anonymous message, the ninth, and she knows she is dealing with a cyber-stalker.
Trinity and Bob the Dog have no trouble tapping Ekstrom’s home phone, but it takes them five days to hone in on his cell phone.
Edklinth establishes a legitimate operations department with four investigators, and Figuerola heads the team. However, their progress is slow. After eleven days, they have a breakthrough regarding the letters Gullberg sent. Swedish International Security (SIS) sent a fax of a letter they had not yet received, making it clear the SIS was somehow involved in Zalachenko’s murder. Their second discovery is a photograph of Gullberg with Hans Wilhelm Francke, assistant chief of the Security Police in the fifties and sixties. The photo was taken four months before the SIS was established. They have one month before Millennium publishes the story.
Last Updated on August 31, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 766
Wednesday, June 1
Blomkvist is surprised to see Monica Figuerola sitting in his stairwell. She does not have to introduce herself; he knows who she is from his research. She needs him to come with her to an important meeting. When he hesitates, she says she understands his reluctance to trust anyone from SIS but assures him they can be trusted. When he walks into a borrowed apartment, Blomkvist is shocked to find the Minister of Justice and the Prime Minister with Edklinth.
Blomkvist thinks quickly and realizes Armansky must have contacted someone powerful and trustworthy to get some kind of an investigation started. He also realizes he is in a strong position and speaks with confidence; he posits correctly how Edklinth got the other two involved and they are shocked that he seems to know exactly how this arrangement happened. They propose a “cooperation.”
The minister of justice explains that an investigation is being conducted and the government has the same objective as the journalist: the criminal activities must be stopped and the responsible parties must be held accountable. The government wants him to share his information for the sake of the country. Blomkvist has gaps in his story that he wants answered; if he gets that information, he will not try to compromise the government despite his anger at its treatment of a twelve-year-old girl. The Prime Minister nods his agreement to Edklinth, allowing classified information to be given to a journalist. Edklinth hires Blomkvist as an independent consultant for his investigative team.
Two weeks after Blomkvist gave her Cortez’s story, Berger finally has a chance to consider what she is going to do about it. The article is clear and well documented; it would be impossible for Borgsjo to claim ignorance about the use of child labor for products he was buying. Because this is a time when the newspaper is on the brink of obliteration or rejuvenation, she decides to show him the document and offer him a chance to resign from SMP; if he does not, she will force the board to dismiss him. If that fails, she will resign immediately. As she walks through her apartment, she cuts her foot on a shard of glass. She looks around and notices a brick on the floor and a shattered picture window. Outside, someone has painted “WHORE” in three-foot-high letters on the back wall of her garden.
Figuerola drives Blomkvist home, and they stop for dinner. The two are realists about the need for oversight in a democracy; she ensures accountability with the law and he does the same with the press.
Salander works on her story five hours a day. She is careful to express herself precisely and omit anything that could be used against her. The text is now thirty-three pages long, and she is coming to the end of her story. It is a chain-of-events story. She does not go out of her way to give anyone evidence; they should be able to work it out for themselves.
Giannini arrives and is worried about their July 13 trial date. Salander still refuses to say a word to the police; in court, all the prosecutor will have to use is the statement she is preparing. Giannini asks when she will start to write it, and Salander has to carefully tell her she has a “hypothetical” computer and will be sending her a “hypothetical” e-mail containing her statement. The lawyer is concerned, but Salander reminds her the prosecutor has all the ammunition and is trying to get her committed to a secure psychiatric ward for the rest of her life—so she is not against fighting dirty. Giannini finally nods. Salander says one of her secrets is being good with computers, and she can read and copy Ekstrom’s documents. None of it can be used at trial, but Blomkvist can publish selected excerpts. Giannini will not break the law, but she must be willing to accept that Salander will if they have any chance to win.
Eriksson is concerned about Millennium’s budget; they cannot afford the huge expenses Blomkvist is charging to the magazine. She needs to talk with him.
Berger’s house is still not as secure as she would like, but Armansky will see that she gets a complete security system in the morning. Tonight she goes to bed with a golf club next to her, but she cannot sleep as she ponders the series of threatening incidents. Suddenly she realizes her slashed tires at the hotel were probably another incident—and she knows someone is following her.
Last Updated on August 31, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 898
Thursday, June 2
The security specialist arrives at Berger’s in the morning. An alarm will be installed this afternoon, after he has a chance to examine and evaluate her home. The cut on her foot is quite painful and she is late for work. Holm has discovered that she gave Frisk a secret feature assignment; he is incensed and has contacted the board. Borgsjo is coming for a meeting with her at 2:00.
Figuerola meets with her team and gives them their new deadline; Salander’s trial begins July 13, so they have less than six weeks. They assume the Zalachenko club was formed in 1964, before Zalachenko came to Sweden and right after a spy scandal caused paranoia in the country; however, there is no evidence of it in the personnel files or in the budget.
Jonasson visits Salander and apologetically tells her he can no longer postpone her dismissal; she tells him she is ready. She will leave her computer for him and tells him he has done much more than his job required; she will not forget that.
Blomkvist’s meeting with Ekstrom’s team starts rather awkwardly. The Security Police does not usually share information on an ongoing confidential investigation with a journalist, and a journalist does not generally reveal the contents of an unpublished story to the Security Police. They both want to bring charges against the Zalachenko club, so they begin there. The photograph of Gullberg confirms that the Section murdered Zalachenko.
Gullberg was the person with primary responsibility for Zalachenko; he met with Falldin six weeks after the Russian’s defection. Blomkvist explains what he learned from the former Prime Minister and from Janeryd and assumes the Section for Special Analysis must be somewhere in this building. Edklinth suggests the group is probably somewhere outside the building; it has employees who are paid by Sapo but work for the Section when needed. Martensson is one of those people.
They suspect Chief of Secretariat Albert Shenke but cannot prove it yet. Blomkvist gives them the three names he got from Janeryd. Clinton and von Rottinger can be proven, but Teleborian is the only link to a man called Jonas. Blomkvist cannot tell them that Salander hacked Teleborian’s computer and that he has read correspondence showing him conspiring with Jonas just as he conspired with Bjorck in 1991; however, the team is free to investigate Teleborian. After the meeting, Figuerola walks Blomkvist out of the building and propositions him.
Berger’s meeting with Borgsjo is pleasant enough, considering he wants Berger to keep Holm in his position and Berger is determined to demote him if he does not cease his “divide-and-rule” strategy that prevents the staff from working as a team. She reminds Borgsjo she has the right to do whatever is necessary to increase SMP’s circulation and improve the quality of the publication. He appreciates her toughness. She does not talk to him about the impending scandal. As he leaves, Berger receives another e-mail that mentions Borgsjo. Her stalker can only be someone at SMP.
Berger’s new security system is complete. The specialist explains what he has done to ensure that she and her husband are protected in their large and relatively isolated home. Because she has had specific threats and an attack on her home, he has replaced the bedroom door with a steel safety door and installed sensors on the ground floor. Four attack alarms have been placed throughout the house, and surveillance cameras will be installed later in the week. The key to security is ensuring that an attacker never has a chance to get too close, and these measures should help achieve that goal. Because the security system is not yet complete, the specialist asks Berger if she will stay in a hotel for a few nights for her own protection, until everything is installed. Berger is not willing to do that, but she allows the specialist to call Susanne Linder to see if she will stay in the house with her overnight for the rest of the week.
Blomkvist and Figuerola understand that they have just complicated their relationship, but they have the shared goal of uncovering and punishing the criminals associated with Zalachenko, so they believe all will be well. When Figuerola asks about his relationship with Salander, Blomkvist tells her simply that she is his friend.
Linder tells Berger to forget she is here and not worry about entertaining her; if there is any trouble, Berger is to lock herself in her safe room (her bedroom) and press the attack alarm. They talk for several hours, and Linder explains that she was a police officer but got tired of always arriving on a scene after a crime has been committed; in her job with Milton Security, she gets to help prevent crimes. Berger contemplates her day and suddenly realizes the file containing Cortez’s story on Borgsjo is missing.
Someone got into her bathroom between the time she cut her foot and the arrival of the specialist, and the intruder took the file. Berger immediately thinks of several other things she would not want to be made public, including some photos of her that could be interpreted as kinky and a videotape of her, her husband, and another man. When she checks the drawer, it is empty—except for the now-familiar word “whore” spray-painted on it.
Last Updated on August 31, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 865
Friday, June 3–Saturday, June 4
Salander finishes her autobiography and sends it to Blomkvist. She turned twenty-seven while in the hospital, and she wonders if she will spend any more birthdays in some kind of confinement. She determines she will never accept such a situation again. Her body is nearly healed, and she has done some serious risk assessment. She will take Blomkvist’s advice and test the system; if justice does not prevail, she will simply find a way to escape from whatever institution they lock her into. More than anything, the deciding factor for her decision is simple: revenge. Zalachenko, Bjurman, and Bjorck are dead; Teleborian and Niedermann are not. Undoubtedly there are others who helped in the conspiracy against her, and she will make sure they pay.
Having the truth about her life known cannot be much worse than the utter nonsense that has already been published about her—though she has not told the whole truth, of course. She opens a notebook to examine Fermet’s Last Theorem, something she was in a “frenzy” over while she was in the Caribbean last winter. It is maddening to her that she knows she saw a solution and even feels as if she had discovered a solution but cannot remember what it was. Her photographic memory is intact, though.
She absentmindedly checks Armansky’s current file and is shocked to see that Berger has a stalker who entered her house while she was at the hospital for a cut on her foot and took several important and potentially damaging items. Salander has mixed feelings about this. She once hated Berger for being with Blomkvist, but she also understands the feeling of having something stolen that could be devastating to her.
At a Millennium meeting, Eriksson announces Svensson’s book went to the printer yesterday and the themed issue of the magazine called “The Lisbeth Salander Story” is nearly ready to print and can be distributed to coincide with the first day of the trial. Blomkvist’s book, The Section, is “a nightmare.” The first half is finished; the second half will reveal everything that is known about the Section. If it is to get printed by the trial date, the book needs to be completed by the end of the month at the latest. They have two weeks. Blomkvist will not have time to write everything that is left to write, so he divides the work and adds Cortez and Eriksson as authors of the book.
Eriksson says they are terribly understaffed and she has discovered she is not a good editor-in-chief. It is time to re-evaluate. Blomkvist tells her it will get better and easier and that she is doing a good job; Eriksson knows this is not true.
The Constitutional Protection Unit’s operations team is meeting in an office outside the Security Police building. It has discovered several important pieces of information. Both Clinton and von Rottinger were associated with the Security Police in the sixties and early seventies, and their documented careers after their time there are false. Now they have to discover what the two men have really been doing. Figuerola reports their findings to Blomkvist when he arrives at her apartment that night, and he immediately wants to interview Clinton, the only living link they have to the past. He is on dialysis and is dying, so it is important to talk to him soon. Figuerola reminds Blomkvist that he agreed not to take any initiatives that might interfere with the investigation.
Jonasson is prepared to release Salander, and the prosecutor wants to transport her to the prison in Goteborg tonight. However, Jonasson is annoyed with Ekstrom’s pushiness and says Salander cannot be released until Sunday.
Berger does not sleep as she worries about seeing herself become the target of the next media frenzy, and she stays home from work. Linder stays with her. On Saturday she goes to work, prepared to face whatever storm is brewing, but the newsroom is quiet. Holm is off and Fredriksson is the acting news editor. Berger has nothing specific to work on and feels helpless and paralyzed; she decides to go home.
Berger is about to shut down her computer when she receives a real-time message from Salander, who is not using her real name. Salander asks Berger if she can trust her not to tell the authorities she has access to a computer, and the editor agrees. Millennium has backed Salander, and now Salander wants to help Berger track down her stalker.
Berger is stunned that Salander knows about this, though nothing about this woman should surprise her. Salander suggests it is more likely the stalker is someone who has a personal vendetta against her and is trying to get even. In order to help, Salander needs access to SMP’s intranet; they both assume the stalker is someone within the company. Berger hesitates but then acquiesces. Salander needs her help and directs her through the process. Now Salander can do what she does best.
Figuerola wants to spend more time with Blomkvist. He concurs but says things will be a bit “up and down” until after the trial.
Last Updated on August 31, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 907
Saturday, June 4
Blomkvist prints out Salander’s autobiographical statement and begins to read.
Salander is narrowing the focus of her search for Berger’s stalker, but she still has to take care of her own case and checks the usual places for any new activity. There is nothing new from Blomkvist or Plague, and Ekstrom has little new activity. She always feels a chill when she checks Teleborian’s files, and today she discovers that he has already written his psychiatric evaluation of her even though he has not seen her since these problems began. Salander e-mails the document to Blomkvist and does a routine check of Teleborian’s e-mail. Then she finds a terse e-mail from Jonas to meet Teleborian at the Ring in Central Station at 3:00 today—less than an hour from now.
Salander tries to reach everyone but no one is available. Finally she makes an impassioned plea for Jonasson to see her; when he arrives she borrows his cell phone. She does not have Blomkvist’s second phone number and cannot give him this information on a tapped phone line, so she calls Berger. She gives Berger the message to relay to Blomkvist on his secure phone line, and Berger immediately dials the number. Blomkvist leaves right away; he calls Cortez with the information. Cortez is closer and runs for the station. Jonasson has never seen Salander so agitated and hopes she knows what she is doing. Salander hopes so, too.
Cortez runs like a madman and arrives at Central Station at 3:00 sharp, but he does not see Teleborian or the man from the photo who they think is Jonas. After a few moments of frantic searching, Cortez catches a glimpse of the psychiatrist as he walks away with the man from the picture. He follows. Blomkvist arrives at 3:07 and does not see them. Cortez calls and tells Blomkvist he followed the pair into a pub but there may be a problem: Jonas has car keys.
Blomkvist calls Figuerola and asks if she wants to join him as he watches Teleborian have a beer with an undercover agent named Jonas—in the interest of information sharing. He adds that Jonas has car keys. Blomkvist calls all of his staff and they arrive to help follow the two men.
Salander narrows the list of possible stalkers in SMP to eighteen; she contacts Plague and asks him to research them by tomorrow because she will no longer have computer access.
Jonas leaves in a car and Blomkvist and Figuerola follow; she makes a call and finds out it is registered to Jonas Sandberg, born in 1971. Sandberg parks and enters a building. Teleborian leaves the pub and walks to the police station. Figuerola calls Inspector Bublanski and asks him to find someone at police headquarters who will see if there is a meeting in Ekstrom’s office.
It is Saturday, and Modig is near the office; Bublanski asks her to get the Niedermann file from his desk and deliver it to Ekstrom as an excuse to see if he is having a meeting and, if so, with whom. At the last moment, Modig’s courage deserts her and she feels foolish knocking on the prosecutor’s door on such a flimsy pretext. She does hear more than one voice inside the office, so she waits in the dark conference room across the hall.
Plague cannot do the SMP search in twenty-four hours, but he agrees to continue searching. Salander does a few searches of SMP employees on her own but finds nothing.
Edklinth meets Blomkvist and Figuerola, though he is unhappy at being summoned by someone of lesser authority. Civilians are not routinely allowed in police headquarters, and he is unhappy at having Blomkvist here. Edklinth asks how they discovered Teleborian was meeting Jonas. Blomkvist tells him it was a tip from a protected source. Jonas Sandberg was a policeman who was recruited by SIS Counter-Espionage in 1998. Two years later he was reassigned to a secret post in Madrid—but Madrid has no record of a Jonas Sandberg on their staff.
The building Sandberg enters is owned by Bellona Inc., and there is a clear connection to the men already identified as Section members. Blomkvist is thrilled that the Section is becoming something tangible so quickly.
Ekstrom’s door opens abruptly and Modig sees four men come out: Faste, Teleborian, Ekstrom, and an older, gray-haired man she has never seen. She gets a photo of the group before they leave.
Bublanski calls Figuerola to report Modig’s findings and promises to get her the photo. Edklinth and Figuerola wish they knew what the meeting was about, and Blomkvist tells them: they were finalizing their courtroom strategy against Salander. The pair is stunned, but he shows them Teleborian’s report dated the week of the scheduled trial date—despite the fact that he has not examined Salander since she left St. Stefan’s. Blomkvist says Faste is an “unadulterated idiot” who delights in scandalizing Salander and Ekstrom is likely just an honest man who has been duped by professionals like Teleborian. Blomkvist turns down Figuerola’s invitation to spend the night.
Berger is home when Linder arrives for the night, and Berger asks her if it is possible that the stalker is actually someone she knows who has some kind of grudge against her. Linder thinks it is an interesting theory and asks to read the e-mails.
Last Updated on August 31, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 912
Saturday, June 4–Monday, June 6
Salander dismisses Holm as Berger’s stalker, though he clearly despises his new editor. Something about assistant editor Fredriksson strikes her as odd, and she asks Plague to follow up on him; if he finds anything but cannot reach her, he should inform Blomkvist. Salander is being moved to prison tomorrow, and “all that’s left is the finale.”
Early Sunday morning, someone trips the sensors on the ground floor of Berger’s house. Linder is prepared to meet an intruder, but it is Greger Beckman, Berger’s husband, who is sitting at the kitchen table reading the paper. She introduces herself, and Greger is stunned to learn that there has been trouble while he was gone.
Jonasson visits Salander one last time before she is released, and he brings her a gift: a book entitled Spirals—Mysteries of DNA. She loves it, and he says she must one day explain how she is able to read and enjoy texts he cannot even understand. Salander checks her computer one last time; Plague messages her that Fredriksson is Berger’s stalker and he has rigged his computer to crash if he loads anything too big on it. She thanks him and sends a message to Blomkvist to have him call Berger immediately and tell her Fredriksson is Poison Pen (Berger’s nickname for her stalker). As soon as she sends the message, she hears movement in the hall and hides the computer where she told Jonasson to look for it.
Giannini brings her some clothes and soon two uniformed policewomen escort her out of the hospital. She nods at a few of the friendly staff and at Jonasson, who immediately heads to her room; she does not say one word to the police.
Blomkvist spends the night with Figuerola, and Berger spends the day with her husband. She tells Beckman it was a mistake to move to SMP more because of the atmosphere than the actual job.
Faste meets Salander for the first time Sunday afternoon, and it only takes her a moment to determine he is “an idiot” whose existence she will ignore. He tries to talk to her all the way to Stockholm but she is mute; he agrees with Teleborian that Salander is “retarded.” She does not look powerful enough to have done some of the things he thinks she has done, nor does she look like a Satanist.
Linder visits Berger Sunday evening. She is no longer staying at the house, but she wants to check on the woman she now sees as a friend. Linder is aware that Berger’s job is more stressful for her than she wants anyone to know. Blomkvist calls Berger and relays Salander’s message. Berger is incredulous at the news and shares it with Linder, though she will not tell her where she got the information. Linder makes the connections and assumes it must have been Salander who discovered Fredriksson, but it is an absurd conclusion because Salander is in prison. Berger’s vehement denial tells Linder the impossible is the truth.
Linder questions Berger extensively about Fredriksson, but nothing strikes her as being threatening. Berger feels torn between confronting Fredriksson and denying it could be him. Linder decides to go to Fredriksson’s house and ask him some questions, but she knows Armansky would be furious at her ill-formed plan. As she approaches his building, Fredriksson walks past her toward his car. She hurriedly follows him.
Although Blomkvist delivered the message as requested, he does not know what is happening with Berger and feels frustrated. He calls Ghidi and tells him the job is finished. Then he revises his manuscript based on the new information he has learned about the Section.
At 11:15, Fredriksson parks several blocks from Berger’s house; Linder is watching and waiting. She needs to catch him doing something, and she is ready to do what she most wants to do: prevent anyone from getting hurt. Baton in hand, she finds Fredriksson peering into several windows. As he rounds the corner, she stops him and he is in shock. When he tries to run, she directs a “devastatingly painful blow” to his kneecap; he puts up no resistance when she handcuffs him and walks him to his car. She drives to his house and begins her search.
Immediately she finds the stolen photos of Berger pinned to the wall behind his computer. She bags the photos and also finds the missing video and letters. When he does not tell her his computer password, she calmly removes the hard drive. She sees a high school yearbook and finds the connection: Fredriksson was a year behind Berger in school. Suddenly he explodes with vitriol about Berger being a “whore.”
Linder tells him she is someone who “takes care of” people like him, and he believes her. He will never contact Berger again in any way or she will beat him so badly his mother will not recognize him; he is fired effective immediately and will leave Stockholm. He protests that he meant no harm but agrees to Linder’s conditions.
After Linder explains everything to Berger, Berger gets her yearbook and remembers Fredriksson as a “quiet and totally uninteresting boy” with whom she had virtually no contact. Linder gives Berger her belongings and will destroy the hard drive; she hopes Armansky will approve of her actions and not fire her. Berger will speak on her behalf.
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Monday, June 6
For the first time, Berger feels good about going to work. The first thing she does is ask maintenance to pack up Fredriksson’s belongings. Holm nods at her when he arrives, and she thinks he might possibly survive as news editor since he has stopped trying to cause trouble. Soon Borgsjo demands she come to his office. He is white with rage: he has Cortez’s article and research. Fredriksson sent him the file.
Borgsjo is scathing in his disdain and calls Berger a “media whore” who has been “looking for dirt” ever since she arrived. She explains the article is going to be run in Millennium but, out of courtesy for her, Blomkvist postponed it for a month to give her time to protect herself and SMP. She has wanted to talk to Borgsjo about the matter, but now there is no choice—he must resign. Borgsjo is incredulous and fires her; she is adamant and reminds him only the board has the power to fire her. He approaches her and makes his threat clear: if Millennium prints the article, Berger will be fired immediately. He will be gone until tomorrow, and she has until then to make this matter disappear.
Back in her office, Berger calls in Holm and tells him she is resigning immediately and wants Holm to call as many board members as possible for an afternoon meeting. She will recommend that he be named editor in her place. He reads Cortez’s story and studies some of the source material before she explains why she has the article. Berger gives him the article, and his respect for her grows. SMP will print the article; it is the only way the newspaper might survive.
Berger calls Cortez and explains her immoral action of giving his story to SMP for publication. It will still have his byline and he can name his price. He finally agrees and Eriksson concurs on behalf of Millennium. When Eriksson learns Berger has resigned, she begs Berger to come back to Millennium as editor—or as anything else she wants. Though she had never considered returning, Berger realizes she longs to be back at Millennium.
Linder tells Armansky every detail of the Fredriksson episode—except her deduction about Salander’s probable hacking because she knows he is involved with Blomkvist in Salander’s case. Beckman called earlier and ordered a complete security system and a new safe, and he insisted that he be billed for Linder’s time over the weekend. Armansky sighs and scolds Linder for overstepping her instructions and committing multiple illegal actions; then he tells her they will forget the incident ever happened.
When the SMP board meets, Berger explains Cortez’s story and how she got it. It will be published as the lead story tomorrow; she is unbending when they want to find another solution. She tenders her resignation effective immediately and recommends Holm as acting editor; her last official action is to offer part-time reporter Carlsson a full-time contract.
The old man in the meeting with Ekstrom is Georg Nystrom, a police superintendent; he has been associated with the Security Police since 1983. Currently he conducts internal checks and examines completed cases for the agency. Since Saturday, six persons of interest have entered the building, including Sandberg and Nystrom. Clinton is also working from there. Another man has been identified as Otto Hallberg; he worked for the SIS in the eighties but is now working for the navy and military intelligence.
The fifth man has not been identified, but the sixth is Wadensjoo. He worked in the terrorism division fifteen years ago, resigned in 1991, and had lunch just one hour ago with Chief of Secretariat Shenke and Chief of Budget Gustov Atterbom. Edklinth and Figuerola want to keep all of these men under surveillance but are understaffed. That evening, Edklinth will meet with Bublanski and Armansky.
Salander’s first interrogation is with Ekstrom. She stares at the wall above his head and neither moves nor speaks. Ekstrom wonders if anyone will ever believe such a doll-like girl could have beaten up two motorcycle thugs. Salander spends her free time thinking about spherical astronomy equations, but the next interrogation causes the numbers and letters in her mind to shatter. Teleborian sits across from her. She examines him as she listens to his “smooth and treacherously friendly voice.” He puts a notebook and pen on the table, and she considers making the pen a weapon.
She sees a scar on his finger; it took three guards to unlock her jaw from the doctor’s hand. She was a girl then; now she is a woman and can kill him whenever she wants. He watches her and interprets her lack of surface emotion as fear and shame; he feels confident this behavior will seal her fate in the courtroom.
Berger sends an e-mail to the SMP staff and gives two reasons for her resignation. First, the board has refused to cut manager and owner salaries and bonuses so she was faced with cutbacks that would not allow her to strengthen the newspaper. Second, Borgsjo wanted her to cover up the damaging story about him but she could not do so. She concludes that SMP has a management problem, not a personnel problem. As she leaves the building, she asks Holm to let Frisk continue his secretive story, and she promises he will not regret it.
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Part 4: Rebooting System, July 1–October 7
Friday, July 1–Sunday, July 10
Two weeks before Salander’s trial, Blomkvist’s book The Section is ready to be published; he delivers the CD to the printer. At least 500 of the first printing of 10,000 will be ready on the first day of the trial. For the first time since Christmas, Blomkvist goes to his cabin. He readies it for a weekend stay with Figuerola.
Figuerola likes the cabin and wonders whom else he has brought here. Berger and Salander spent time here, and they are his friends. Figuerola says she is falling in love with him and does not want to be just another girl he brings to his cabin. He does not apologize for the way he has lived his life and says this is not some secret love nest. Their relationship began at full speed and he is afraid to lose her, but he has no intention of changing his life. Figuerola feels a great sadness, but she stays.
Friday before the trial, Blomkvist reads that Borgsjo resigned for family reasons. An ethics committee will begin investigating Swedish companies who do business with companies who exploit child labor. He calls the television host who interviewed him in an exclusive arrangement after the Wennerstrom story. He wants to make her an exclusive deal on an even bigger story; they plan to meet for dinner, with Berger, to arrange the details.
Clinton is resting and thinking about his friend, Gullberg, who just died—three months after shooting himself in the head and four days before the Salander trial. He was a strong man, but the cancer killed him. It will not be long before Clinton joins his friend, but he is glad to have been recalled to duty in these last months. He looks up to see Wadensjoo enter the small room in the Section’s headquarters. Clinton has concluded that the man is deadweight and wonders how he and von Rottinger could ever have thought Wadensjoo would be an appropriate successor. Wadensjoo is effective until there is a crisis; then he is paralyzed and incapable of making a decision.
Clinton has summoned Wadensjoo. He tells him must resign when this crisis is over. Although he is a capable and patriotic administrator, his inability to make decisions makes him a weak replacement for Gullberg. Now that Gullberg and von Rottinger are gone, Clinton must make crucial decisions himself—but Wadensjoo has obstructed every one of them in the past several months. With Clinton’s guidance, the Section might survive; without it, the Section would have collapsed months ago. All they have to do now is get rid of Zalachenko’s daughter. They will “bury her so deep” she will never be a problem for them again. When it is finished, they will restructure the entire organization. Nystrom will serve as director. When Wadensjoo scolds Clinton for playing God and ordering the death of Bjorck (a loyal, long-time employee of the Section), Clinton assures Wadensjoo that he is God when it comes to the Section. Clinton says Wadensjoo is free to confess his crimes to Bublanski. The director says he has certainly considered it and is doing his best to protect the agency.
Nystrom and Sandberg enter as Wadensjoo is leaving, and they are worried because Giannini has just submitted Salander’s autobiography with the prosecutor. Things are happening that they do not understand.
Ekstrom and Faste are astounded by Salander’s story. They call Giannini in for an informal conversation. The men claim the document is going to prove Salander is mentally ill, and they tell Giannini she is too inexperienced to conduct a criminal case. Giannini listens to them with equanimity and says she is acting according to her client’s wishes and thinks the court might believe the document is true.
Clinton listens to Nystrom and Sandberg and wonders if the lack of reaction to Salander’s trial from Blomkvist and the Millennium staff is somehow a decoy. Something should have been published about it before now but even the thefts, break-ins, and attack on Giannini were not reported. The men of the Section should have suspected before now that their targets have been acting. Salander’s statement may be implausible and make her sound crazy, but the essential facts are true. Ekstrom is upset because this document appears to be Giannini’s defense strategy. Before they disperse, the men decide their best option is to make sure the trial never takes place.
Sandburg and Faulsson intend to steal a copy of the next issue of Millennium but are deterred by a Milton Security surveillance vehicle. Now the men are convinced that Blomkvist and the others have duped them. They cannot quietly eliminate Salander now that she is in prison, and they must assume Blomkvist has and will publish the 1991 Bjorck report. Fortunately, Shenke has replaced the original file in the Sapo archives with a modified report, but there is still too much risk. They have to discredit Blomkvist. Nystrom will find some cocaine.
Figuerola reports that Sandberg and Faulsson intended to break into the printer’s where Millennium is published but did not finish the job. This means the Section is getting suspicious. Edklinth advises Blomkvist to increase security at the Millennium offices—something Blomkvist did many weeks ago.
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Monday, July 11
Armansky calls Blomkvist early on Monday and says he needs to see him as quickly as possible.
Several of Armansky’s best men are pondering a surveillance video from Blomkvist’s apartment. They watch as Sapo officer Sandberg enters Blomkvist’s apartment with his own set of keys and places 120,000 kronor in cash in Blomkvist’s closet and 180 grams of cocaine in a speaker. Linder retrieves it all several hours later. Obviously the Section is getting nervous and wants to discredit Blomkvist before he publishes anything damaging about them. Blomkvist takes two copies of the video, one for Edklinth and one for the television host in case it needs to be aired quickly.
Edklinth is amazed that the Section has become so reckless, but they undoubtedly assume any repercussions would fall on Sapo; they do not know their existence is about to be revealed. At the television station, an exposé of the Section is being prepared for release on the third day of the trial, the same day Millennium’s special issue will be distributed. When the host sees the surveillance video of a police officer planting cocaine and cash in Blomkvist’s apartment, she is ecstatic.
Clinton, Nystrom, and Sandberg have arranged a gang-style killing for Blomkvist at dinner this evening; they will use the same men who killed Bjorck. Berger may be there, and Sandberg is quick to say that would not necessarily be a bad thing; Clinton is dismayed that Sandberg is so casual about taking a life. Clinton is disgusted at being, at this point in his life, a “primitive mercenary.” Zalachenko’s death was necessary, as was Bjorck’s because he would have revealed everything. Blomkvist’s death may be needed, but Berger’s is certainly not. He hopes Sandberg will not become a psychopath. The men agree not to tell Wadensjoo about the plan.
Blomkvist tapes his interview, and only one question gives him trouble: how is it possible that civil servants become willing to commit murder? His answer is not satisfactory, but it is what he has concluded after months of reflection. Over the years, the Section has become a kind of cult, isolated from the rest of society. Therefore, they feel the rules of society do not apply to them.
Prosecutor Ragnhild Gustavsson is assigned to lead the investigation of the Section. She is amazed by the documentation she receives from Edklinth. She initially sorts through the various criminal activity committed by the Section. Once the crimes are delineated, she assembles an operational team and appoints Figuerola to head the investigation. Everyone connected to the Section and the Salander case is discreetly interviewed, and everyone gives detailed answers except when the journalists need to protect their confidential sources. Some interviewees even offer supporting documents. Gustavsson is annoyed that she is on a deadline set by Millennium’s publication of the story; however, this case will get maximum media publicity and break so quickly that the Section will have virtually no time to discover the investigation.
Two days before the trial, the thirteen members of the team are reviewing all materials and dividing up work assignments. During a break, one of Figuerola’s colleagues from Constitutional Protection makes his surveillance report of the past few hours. The only interesting activity is a photo of Nystrom meeting with two unidentified men in a café. Someone recognizes the two men as the Nikolich brothers, Serbian hit men.
It takes a moment for Figuerola to realize the Section plans to kill Blomkvist and allow the drugs and money to speak for themselves once he is dead. Andersson and Modig go with Figuerola to the restaurant where Blomkvist is meeting Berger.
Berger and Blomkvist get settled at their table; Blomkvist heads for the bathroom and collides with a man with a sub-machine gun. As if in slow motion, Berger sees the man raise a weapon at Blomkvist. Blomkvist reacts instinctively, first reaching for the gun and then attacking the gunman with his body. Berger drops to the floor as bullets fly above her head, and she sees the man bashing Blomkvist with his fists.
Figuerola is nearly there when the police radio announces shots have been fired at the restaurant. When they arrive, Figuerola sees one of the brothers in a car and arrests him; Modig and Andersson enter the restaurant.
Andersson shoves the shooter against the wall. Figuerola arrives to a chaotic scene, but no one is dead or wounded. She takes Berger and Blomkvist away as quickly as possible. Andersson must claim he and Modig came here for dinner and he recognized the shooter from the police wanted list. Events happened so quickly that patrons and staff are not likely to remember anything specific, at least until tomorrow’s evening papers. Figuerola takes Blomkvist to the hospital for a broken finger.
Clinton rants about their “dumb luck.” Nystrom tells him they are not even sure Blomkvist was in the restaurant, so no harm was done.
Blomkvist and Berger spend the night at a safe house after sending all Millennium staff home. Linder arrives, and Figuerola stays as well. She and Berger have a brief discussion. Berger can see Figuerola is in love with Blomkvist and tells her she is no competition; she tries to keep her distance when she knows Blomkvist is serious. Figuerola goes to be with Blomkvist and Berger feels “deeply sad.”
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Wednesday, July 13–Thursday, July 14
Blomkvist has a clear view of the defense table. Salander is facing sixteen charges ranging from the attempted murder of her father to several misdemeanors. Prosecutor Ekstrom has leaked information that Salander’s mental condition will feature prominently in the trial. The press also knows Salander has been interviewed seven times, and on each occasion she refused to speak one word despite every form of persuasion. Therefore, the charges against her are based solely on forensic evidence and police investigation.
Ekstrom has made it clear his goal is to obtain secure psychiatric care (not lengthy prison sentences) for Salander, and he believes the declaration of incompetence against her should not be rescinded. Media interest has increased because Giannini has not spoken to the press and only one side of the story has been told.
Armansky is also at the trial. Blomkvist thinks Giannini looks nervous. Salander enters the courtroom and her appearance is shocking. She is dressed in gothic-type clothing and makeup; she looks like a vampire in a sixties pop-art movie. Blomkvist is surprised his sister would allow such a display, but he realizes Salander is in costume. She has exaggerated her usual style for the public, and it is all part of their defense strategy. Her message is clear—she has nothing to hide and if anyone has a problem with her appearance it is of no concern to her. Salander sees the bruises on Blomkvist’s face and the surgical tape on his finger. Blomkvist sees the merest hint of a smile in her eyes.
The spectators are allowed to remain in the courtroom for thirty minutes. Ekstrom makes a twenty-two minute opening statement as all the reporters in the room—except Blomkvist, whose story is already written—write furiously. Giannini’s opening remarks take only thirty seconds. She says Salander is guilty of one crime, possessing an illegal weapon (a can of Mace), and she is innocent of the rest. Her client’s rights have been grievously violated and the prosecution’s assertions are flawed. Salander must be acquitted of all charges, her declaration of incompetence must be revoked, and she must be released.
Ekstrom requests a private meeting with the judge. He explains that the case hinges on the defendant’s vulnerable mental state and involves matters of national defense; therefore, he asks that the courtroom be cleared. Giannini does not care either way, and the judge agrees to clear the courtroom.
Salander is on the stand and is frustrating Ekstrom. She answers his questions precisely but only when he asks her something; she does not answer when he makes an assertion to which he expects her to agree. She admits to going to Bjurman’s cabin to retrieve information, to having been sexually assaulted by Bjurman, and to not reporting those assaults to any authority. Ekstrom inserts his own conclusions. He says Bjurman had no history of aggressive sexual behavior. Salander, however, has been diagnosed as a paranoid schizophrenic, and her own words in her autobiography diminish her credibility. Giannini’s only response is that Ekstrom’s conclusions are “nonsensical.”
The afternoon is spent cross-examining witnesses. A representative from the guardianship agency speaks adamantly about Bjurman’s fine reputation and does not believe Salander’s declaration of competence should be rescinded until a professional examines her. Giannini’s cross-examination consists of one point: the representative was not in Bjurman’s apartment on the night in question; therefore, she has no knowledge of the events that transpired.
Blomkvist and Giannini meet at the end of the day, and she tells him things went much as expected. There is, however, one potential glitch in the proceedings. The representative from the guardianship agency made the argument that Giannini has no right to represent Salander because she is under guardianship and has no right to choose her own lawyer. Giannini argued that the state had three months to raise this objection but was silent, and bringing it up now is an “unwarranted provocation.” The judge will rule in the morning.
On Thursday, Ekstrom argues that Salander went to Gosseberga with a gun, which demonstrates her intent to kill her father. The fact that Zalachenko (according to Salander’s autobiography) or perhaps Niedermann tried to bury her alive is not a mitigating circumstance to her intent. He insists she be convicted based on her premeditated act. Giannini’s questions are again limited to what is knowable; it is clear that no one but Salander could know her intent, and her explanation that she simply had the gun in her bag because she did not know what else to do with it after taking it from Nieminen is as likely as any other speculation.
Wadensjoo leaves the Section’s apartment Thursday evening feeling an ominous sense of turmoil. He is the director of this agency in title only, and every entreaty, opinion, or protest he makes is overridden by a man he considers insane. Everyone else obeys without question. Although Clinton is not self-serving in his actions, the entire organization is at the edge of an abyss and no one but him seems to notice. Suddenly he is surrounded by several men, including Edklinth and Bublanski. He is being arrested for a long list of crimes, including accessory to murder.
Edklinth questions Wadensjoo, and soon the director of the Section is confessing to everything, including Nystrom’s hiring of two Serbs to kill Bjorck. He talks for five hours.
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Friday, July 16
Dr. Teleborian is an impressive witness, answering every question with calm authority. He is unwilling to give a precise diagnosis because he has not examined Salander for many years, though he is certain she suffers from a mental disorder to some degree.
The doctor has read Salander’s autobiography and does not find it credible. The description of Bjurman’s rape is the kind of erotic fantasy that even very young mentally ill children can have. It is not a lie to her if she believes it.
He believes Salander’s depiction of Teleborian as a pedophile is a “manifestation of her inability to interpret reality.” She gives reality her own interpretation and cannot tell the difference between fantasy and reality.
When Ekstrom is finished, everyone anticipates Giannini’s usual brief cross-examination, which makes others believe Salander is not getting an effective defense. Instead she asks that the court dismiss for lunch (it is 11:30) so she can conduct her cross-examination without interruption afterward. The judge grants her request.
At noon, Andersson and two other policemen arrest Nystrom outside of a restaurant; they say he is charged with accessory to murder and attempted murder, among other things. Nystrom seems confused but goes compliantly with the imposing Andersson.
Bublanski and Modig, accompanied by seven other officers, enter the Security Police building also at noon. They stop at Chief of Secretariat Shenke’s door and arrest him for violation of the Swedish constitution; the specifics of the charge will be explained to him later in the afternoon. Bublanski has the office sealed and leaves armed guards to protect it. The procession moves down the hall, where the procedure is repeated with Chief of Budget Atterbom.
Inspector Holmberg has an armed response team with him when he goes to Martensson’s apartment at noon. The man is heavily armed but opens his door to Holmberg. He is arrested and his service weapons are confiscated. Holmberg charges Martensson with illegal phone tapping and dereliction of duty, among other things. Holmberg looks around the room and sees mountains of electronic equipment; he leaves an officer to guard the premises. As Martensson is led through the front door of his building, Cortez takes a series of pictures; though he is not a professional, Cortez later sells the photos to a newspaper for “an obscene sum of money.”
Figuerola is the only one who experiences some difficulties making her arrest. At noon she and her team use a battering ram to open the front door of the building that houses the Section’s apartment on the top floor. Figuerola is surprised to find Sandberg there because agents lost track of him overnight, but she arrests him for accessory to murder, among other things. Once she hands Sandberg over to a colleague, Figuerola continues through the apartment to a room at the very back, a small cubbyhole according to the blueprints. She sees an emaciated figure and knows he is mortally ill. She arrests Fredrik Clinton for a long list of crimes, including attempted murder. An ambulance comes for him.
Malm is a better photographer than Cortez is, and he takes photos of each member of the Section as they leave the building one by one and get into police cars. The ambulance arrives, and Clinton looks nervous and confused. That photo later wins the Picture of the Year award.
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Friday, July 15
Holmgren joins Giannini at the defense table before she begins cross-examining Teleborian. Giannini reminds the judge that Teleborian claims Salander is a liar; she is now going to prove that every word of her client’s story is true through documents and testimony. The prosecutor has many opinions but is woefully devoid of facts. He believes, he claims, and he assumes, but it is all based on one source—Teleborian. The defense case is simple: if Teleborian is right, Salander should be committed to an institution; if he is wrong, the prosecution’s case disintegrates. Even worse, if Teleborian is lying, Salander’s civil rights have been cruelly violated.
Salander claims she was kept in restraints in a stimulus-free room for 380 out of the 786 days she spent at St. Stefan’s; Teleborian estimates the number is more like thirty. Giannini presents her client’s medical records from St. Stefan’s that show she was kept in restraints for 381 days. The doctor demands to know how she got the records, and Giannini says she got them from a Millennium reporter—and excerpts from the document were published today in the magazine.
Ekstrom admits to having gotten a copy of the confidential records from Teleborian, which proves the doctor lies and breaks laws. Judge Iverson is suddenly on the alert as Giannini launches a serious attack on this witness’s credibility.
Giannini conducts a cross-examination in which many things become clear. First, Ekstrom and Teleborian have seriously underestimated her. In addition to law, she has trained in psychology, and her questions are incisive. More importantly, Giannini knows more than either of them assumed she knew. Second, Teleborian strapped Salander to a bed for more than a year based on nothing but his desire to control her; she was not violent unless provoked, she only refused to eat when he drugged her food, and she was not a danger to herself. In fact, members of the staff sneaked her food and objected to the harsh treatment given to her. Third, a secret police report written by Bjorck does exist. Giannini traps Teleborian into revealing this information, then she asks why he and Ekstrom had such a report but never turned it over to the defense and why she was told by the police that no such report exists.
Fourth, Dr. Caldin, director of St. Stefan’s, did not approve of Teleborian’s treatment of Salander. Holmgren has a letter written by Caldin that states that he ordered the restraints and force-feeding to stop. After this, Salander became calm and no longer needed psychotropic drugs. Caldin observed her for a year and then recommended that she be released to a foster home. Fifth, Teleborian tried to get Salander committed to a psychiatric clinic three times, though he only succeeded once. The courts approved his recommendation when Salander was twelve. When she was eighteen, Teleborian tried to interfere in her life again when one of his doctoral students wrote a report—based on Teleborian’s assessments—recommending her incarceration. Now she is twenty-seven and he is again recommending that Salander be committed to a mental institution.
Sixth, Teleborian’s report is completely fabricated. He admits Salander has refused to speak one word to him since the night of her thirteenth birthday, and his only recent observations are of her sitting in silence with her arms folded. Giannini forces Teleborian to admit his evaluation of Salander between the ages of fifteen and seventeen is false. She was not arrested repeatedly for drunkenness; she was arrested twice, and he cannot prove anything beyond that. He claims she exhibited “uncontrolled promiscuity” and was probably a prostitute but has virtually nothing to substantiate that claim. In fact, when Teleborian was seventeen, he got so drunk he smashed windows all over town and was detained until he got sober. Teleborian explains, “People do so many stupid things when they’re seventeen.” Giannini reminds him that his foolish and even destructive behavior did not lead anyone to believe he suffers from a mental illness. Teleborian is angry, but Giannini continues. She outlines a series of random facts about her own life that are similar to things Salander has done, then she asks the question again: why is it that these behaviors do not make her mentally ill but they make Salander a dangerous, mentally ill sadist?
Seventh, Teleborian claims that most of what Salander wrote is fantasy and continues to dismiss her claim of rape by Bjurman because there is no evidence. Giannini plays nine minutes of the Bjurman DVD. Everyone in the room is horrified, but it proves Salander was not lying about the rape.
Finally, Giannini calls Blomkvist and Edklinth as witnesses to verify that the report Teleborian claims to have made after his first examination of her on June 5 was actually written and submitted on June 4. Sandberg helped Teleborian write the report, just as he did in 1991. Edklinth reveals that Sandberg and another dozen or so men were arrested earlier today as part of a criminal unit that has been protecting Zalachenko and is responsible for the decision to institutionalize Salander in 1991.
The courtroom is transfixed. The judge allows two officers to arrest Teleborian for violation of the law on child pornography. They seize his laptop as evidence and lead him out of the courtroom. Salander’s eyes blaze as he leaves.
Last Updated on August 31, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 898
Friday, July 15–Saturday, July 16
Judge Iversen is unsure how to proceed; he asks Ekstrom if he has anything to say. Ekstrom stands, knowing this battle is lost and suddenly afraid Blomkvist will expose him and ruin his career. He was so sure he knew everything and now he realizes he knew only what Nystrom and Teleborian wanted him to hear. They had been so competent and convincing. Now he has to figure out how to extricate himself from the consequences. He considers blaming others but knows Bublanski and others will be uncompromising in their accusations.
Suddenly he realizes Salander is the victim. He requests the trial be suspended until he can make adjustments to his case; however, Giannini demands that Salander be immediately acquitted on all counts, be declared competent by the courts, and be compensated for egregious violations of her civil rights.
The judge is still confounded. Palmgren suggests that common sense might overrule the formalities. He explains this is just the first stage of a political scandal in which twelve Sapo officers have been arrested for hundreds of crimes. Salander is innocent and her “fantastical” autobiography is true. The judge can dismiss the prosecutor’s entire case and a new investigation, if warranted, can be started.
Iversen considers adjourning court until Monday and asks if Salander will appear if he releases her from jail. Salander is adamant—as soon as she is released she is leaving the country and will not appear in court. The matter is finished, as far as she is concerned, and she will not make herself available for questioning by any officials. Iversen cannot make a quick decision regarding the declaration of incompetence, but Giannini reminds the judge that her client was falsely declared incompetent and therefore the order must be immediately rescinded. Salander is a victim, and there is no legal reasoning that forces the victim of a crime to undergo a psychiatric examination to prove she is not mentally ill.
After a fifteen-minute recess, the judge asks Giannini for a summary of events from the beginning, and she starts with the story of a group of men known as “the Section.” Iverson releases Salander and rescinds her declaration of incompetence, but he has one condition. Once she is declared competent, she has all the same rights and responsibilities as every other citizen. She must make herself available for questioning during the investigation that is certain to come, just as any other citizen with vital information is required to do. He reminds her of the consequences if a citizen refuses to appear. Salander does not like this condition but recognizes the logic and begrudgingly agrees.
Ekstrom withdraws all charges against Salander. Palmgren is exhausted and needs to rest. Giannini calls Blomkvist to tell him Salander has been acquitted of all charges but will be at police headquarters for several hours for her interview. The entire Millennium staff has gathered at the office. The magazine was distributed at noon, just as the arrests were happening, and the first special program on the case has just appeared on television.
Blomkvist’s and Svensson’s books have been published, but Blomkvist wishes Svensson had been able to see the end of what he started. He sinks into a chair in Berger’s office and turns down an opportunity for a television interview that night. He is tired and wants to go home; he admits he thinks he is in love with Figuerola. Berger will do her best to stay away. Armansky and Linder arrive to celebrate.
Bublanski and Modig conduct the interview with Salander, and she is forthright in her responses except for two consistent lies. The first is that it was Nieminen who accidentally shot Lundin in the foot as she stunned him with the taser she confiscated from Lundin. The second lie is that she went to Gosseberga simply to convince her father to turn himself in to the police. The only person who knows differently is Blomkvist.
Salander leaves police headquarters with no fanfare because the media do not know she is leaving. (The television host who breaks the story later wins the award for best News Story of the Year.) Salander wants to see Wu, but Giannini tells her Wu is recovering in France with her parents. Giannini hands Salander some keys from Blomkvist and Salander asks her lawyer to drop her at a generic site. Giannini is surprised Salander is unwilling to tell her where she lives. She also asks why she hates Blomkvist. Salander does not hate him but does not want to talk about him. Gianni guesses correctly that Salander “fell for him” and explains that her brother is rather irresponsible when it comes to relationships. Salander still does not want to talk about him. Giannini suggests Salander get a new lawyer for the inevitable proceedings ahead of her, but Salander wants her. Giannini has several stipulations, most of them dealing with Salander’s answering her questions and being where she is supposed to be if Giannini deems it necessary for her to be there, all without complaining—and she refuses to be in the middle of drama between Salander and Blomkvist. Salander agrees to everything and then gives her real address so Giannini can drive her home. In the car she cannot say the word; once Giannini pulls away, she is finally able to say, “Thanks.”
Last Updated on August 31, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 869
Saturday, July 16–Friday, October 7
Salander enters her apartment and finds her handbag, her handheld computer, her car keys, and mail from her post office box. She finds traces of Blomkvist everywhere, including an envelope with his cell phone number in it. He has finished the story and put things right; if she wants to contact him, she can do so.
Now that she is free, she feels more claustrophobic than ever. She is indebted to many people and feels the weight of it. Everything is over now, they all believe, and for them it is. For her, though, it is only the first day of the rest of her life. After a sleepless night of thinking, Salander flies to Gibraltar, using her own name and passport. It is a comfortable place for her.
Less than a week later, she falls off a stool at a bar two blocks from her hotel. She has been almost continuously drunk since she arrived in Gibraltar. Harry O’Connell, the bartender, is surprised at how much the slender young woman can drink. She is not interested in conversation and usually just sits alone, sometimes working on a handheld computer. Once she is sober enough to leave the bar, she takes a walk and ends up at her hotel. After she cleans up, she sits at the hotel bar with coffee and observes the people around her.
One man sits down a few feet from her with a beer and has a conversation in German on his cell phone. She hears him say he will only be here five or six days and then will be going home to someone he obviously loves. When he leaves, she follows him into the elevator. She pretends to be drunk and tells him she wants to have sex with him; she does not care that he is married and she does not want his phone number. She gives him her room number and invites him to keep her company; if he knocks on her door that is his choice. Twenty-five minutes later he is in her room. The man is confused, but she explains she chose him because he was the only man in the bar who was alone, and she has been celibate for six months.
While she is in Gibraltar, Salander visits Jeremy MacMillan, her financial manager. When he arrives at his office, she is already there and has accessed his computer and opened his safe. He is not surprised. Salander wonders how she is doing financially, though she did not come to Gibraltar specifically for that. She spent almost a week getting drunk and then a few days having sex with the German man, who panicked about what his wife was going to say. Now she wants to examine her finances firsthand.
She chose MacMillan because he is a crook and she needed him to manage the funds she stole from Wennerstrom. He was a brilliant financial manager in the eighties but made some terrible life choices and was fired. She made a deal with him to be his only client on two conditions: one, that he never get in trouble with the law that might draw attention to her finances; two, that he never lie to her. After hacking his computer, she already knew everything about him, so he had nothing to hide from her. She gave him a week to phase out his other clients and stop all of his other schemes, and he took the deal. He has been well paid and is generally content with their arrangement.
Salander bought this office for him and is well aware of all its security measures, so it is no surprise that she is here now. Her finances have been consistent, though he is beginning to earn money for both of them in the market. MacMillan has to tell her that when he accumulates ten million dollars (he has one million so far) he intends to quit this job. The pressure of managing such huge amounts of money is too much for him, and Salander understands. He has begun to prepare for his exit.
Salander only intended to stay in Gibraltar for several weeks, but she has no idea what she wants to do next and so she stays. She answers some e-mails from Giannini and ignores the rest. She goes to the bar but does not get drunk. Salander is bored, and early in October she has dinner with MacMillan. He asks what is upsetting her. She surprises herself when she tells him about Miriam Wu. Macmillan tells her friendship is the most common kind of love and suggests she go to Paris and see her friend.
After Salander lands in Paris, she contacts Wu and they meet. Wu asks her forgiveness for not being at her trial; Salander is shocked and says she is the one who must be forgiven for inadvertently putting her in danger. Niedermann is to blame. Wu still wants to be Salander’s friend, though she will be studying in Paris for at least a year. They talk for several hours and tell one another everything that happened to them, and they go back to Wu’s apartment.
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