Chapter 18 Summary
Wednesday, June 18
Salander wakes with a start when the doorbell rings at 9:30 in the morning—something no one she knows ever does. Mikael Blomkvist invites himself into her home. He has bagels. She fumes that they do not even know each other, but he insists she knows him well. After she showers they talk. She likes discovering other people’s secrets, and he seems to know a few of hers. Blomkvist explains that he talked to Dragan Armansky, her boss, because he needs a skilled researcher to help him on a project. He wants Salander to help him find a murderer.
It takes Blomkvist an hour to explain everything, including Cecilia Vanger’s face in the window and the mysterious list of names and numbers. There are more names on the list. Rebecka’s is only the first. It appears that Rebecka was not the only victim, and he wants Salander to help him investigate the other four potential killings in the 1950s and 1960s, which are all somehow linked to Harriet Vanger. He has checked, and hers is the only potential murder connected to Hedestad. Salander is silent for a long time and then agrees as long as he is willing to sign a contract with Armansky.
They go to see Armansky, and he leaves to draw up the contract. When he re-enters the room, he sees Blomkvist with his hand placed casually on Salander’s shoulder; she even laughs at something the journalist says. The two of them are closer in five minutes than Armansky has ever been with her, and Armansky feels loathing for Blomkvist.
For the first time since the trial, Blomkvist visits the Millennium offices. It feels odd but familiar. From Berger he learns that Janne Dahlman is still spewing his negativity; she does not trust him. Blomkvist does not tell Berger why he is in town.
Blomkvist reflects on his new researcher; Salander is a “strange girl.” Salander reflects on her new boss. Blomkvist “crossed her threshold” by barging in on her—and she let him. Oddly, she feels no threat or hostility emanating from him. When he asked her how she accessed his computer he was not angry, he was simply curious. Unlike Blomkvist, Salander has no ethics. When she finds negative information, she reports it, based on her personal feelings about the client and the information. She believes bad people and their activities need to be revealed.