Last Updated on May 5, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 547
Part 4: Hostile Takeover, July 11–December 30
Martin finds the key to Gottfried’s cabin in Blomkvist’s pocket. When Blomkvist asks Martin why he does such evil things, Martin answers, “because it’s so easy.” Women disappear all the time and no one misses them, he says. Blomkvist is shocked to realize that Martin is still killing women. Martin tells him his latest victim, Irina from Belarus, was actually locked in the cage all winter.
He disposes of the bodies by taking them out to sea; unlike his father, he leaves no traces of his victims. In contrast, Gottfried “spread his victims out all over Sweden.” Martin learned from his father. The first murder he just watched; the next woman he raped and strangled while his father watched. Martin brags he is really a serial kidnapper and rapist; he only kills to get rid of the bodies. Blomkvist is now naked and inside the cage.
Salander finally makes the connection between Gottfried and Martin and exits from the nearest door of the Vanger offices, neglecting to notify the night watchman. At the guest house she sees Blomkvist is gone, so she checks the surveillance images recorded on her computer. The last image is of Martin trying to open the cottage door, disgusted to discover they changed the lock. Suddenly Salander is afraid.
Martin leaves. When he returns, Blomkvist asks him why he killed his own sister. Martin is outraged and demands to know what happened to Harriet. Gottfried and Martin tried to initiate her, but she was planning to tell Henrik their family secret. Martin had plans to kill her but could not get back to the island because of the accident on the bridge. He does not know what happened to Harriet. Martin prepares his prisoner for a painful molestation, including being hung by a leather noose. He tells Blomkvist the only other man he ever touched was his father, but that was “his duty.” The noose begins to tighten.
Salander arrives in time to hear Martin’s intent. When she makes her presence known, Martin grabs his pistol. At the same time, Salander swings the golf club she had hidden at her side, breaking his collarbone. Blomkvist is stunned at the feral anger and violence he sees in Salander as she attacks Martin. Blomkvist finally calls to her because he is near suffocation from the noose. She has to cut his neck a bit to release the pressure of the leather strap. Martin is sneaking away as Salander turns around; she picks up the pistol and follows him as Blomkvist collapses to the floor. Salander hears a car and follows Martin on her motorcycle. She chases him for a short while, then Martin drives his vehicle directly into an oncoming truck. Salander barely slides by the accident and turns around to see the driver of the truck emerge from the flames.
Blomkvist is slowly recovering as Salander returns and tells him about Martin’s suicide. As they prepare to leave the basement, Salander asks what Blomkvist touched while he was down there and wipes away his fingerprints. She has taken charge, and he simply follows her. As she massages his pained body, she tells him she refuses to involve the police. He falls asleep almost immediately.
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