Chapter 25 Summary

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Last Updated on May 5, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 834

Saturday, July 12–Monday, July 14

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While Blomkvist sleeps, Salander goes back to Martin’s basement to examine and photograph the crime scene. She finds pornographic magazines, torture devices, and Polaroid photos in albums. She does not find a diary, but she does find passport photos and handwritten notes about each of Martin’s victims. She takes it all and his computer. She reads everything that night, wondering how such a thing could happen: one or two women have been murdered every year for fifteen years without anyone actively searching for a killer. She discovers the victims were often new arrivals in the country or immigrants—the outcasts, the friendless, and the troubled.

It becomes clear to her that Martin loved the hunt. On his laptop she finds a database of all the women he met; all of them were potential victims. Countless hours had been dedicated to the hunt. Salander keeps two photographs of one woman, then she burns the binders and drops the laptop into the water under the bridge.

Frode barges into the guesthouse at 7:30 in the morning. Because Blomkvist is sleeping, he tells Salander about Martin’s accident. She is unmoved by the news, and the lawyer is appalled by her lack of concern. When he looks in at Blomkvist, Frode is shocked at the physical trauma he has suffered and then collapses on a bench in the kitchen. Salander tells him everything without emotion. She will leave the next steps to him but will deny any involvement in the incident. She gives him the key to Martin’s basement chamber but insists he leave the two of them out of anything concerning Martin.

Frode wants to tell everything and says the victims’ families will want to know. Salander simply reminds him he has some time to think and to do what is best for everyone involved. She suggests he first do what must be done when the CEO of a major corporation dies, because many people are dependent on the company.

Blomkvist cannot go to the police now, though he wants to; it is too long after the fact. Condolences are pouring in to Isabella, Martin’s mother, but Blomkvist and Salander concentrate on the mystery of Harriet. Salander shows Blomkvist the two photos she took from Martin’s basement. Both are of a young girl; in one photo she is half naked and in the other she is completely naked on a bed. Blomkvist believes it might be Harriet and explains what he learned about Martin. He was apprenticed, abused, repressed, and influenced by his father. Gottfried connected his heinous acts to the biblical concepts of punishment and purification. Martin did not even pretend to have an excuse.

They presume Gottfried taught Martin to molest Harriet until she moved in with her uncle, Henrik; then they moved the abuse to Gottfried’s cabin. After Gottfried died, Martin continued the abuse until Isabella sent him away to school. When Harriet saw Martin again, she tried to tell Henrik about her situation but did not get the opportunity. Then she disappeared.

Blomkvist and Salander are leaving Hedeby but stop at the hospital to visit Vanger. He knows about Martin’s accident but none of the rest. Blomkvist asks Vanger if he really wants to know the painful things he discovered during his investigation. Vanger insists he wants to know. Blomkvist tells him he has one more mystery to solve; once he does, he will tell Vanger everything.

Blomkvist and Salander go to Blomkvist’s apartment. After Salander visits her friend Plague, they leave for London, where they meet Trinity, one of Salander’s connections. Plague has assured them that Trinity can do the job they need done. They watch Anita Vanger’s house; once she gets home, eats her dinner, and gets settled for the night, Blomkvist introduces himself to her. He tells her Vanger sent him. Anita is wary; she knows who he is. Blomkvist tells her it is time to tell the truth about Harriet but she refuses. Blomkvist suggests that she must have moved to London to escape from her father as well as Martin, which means she knew about the evil things Martin was doing to Harriet. And the only person who could have told her was Harriet. Anita slams the door shut.

In the van outside, Salander is listening to Anita’s telephone calls. After she shuts the door, Anita immediately calls someone in Australia to say that Martin is dead and that a journalist is snooping around and seems to know things he should not know. After a long silence, the commanding voice tells her to write everything down and send it in the mail but to hang up the phone immediately.

Blomkvist and Salander are touring London when Armansky calls to tell Salander that her mother has died. Salander is emotionally frozen and unhappy. Blomkvist wants to go back to Sweden with her, but she says he must stay and finish the job they started.

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