Chapter 27 Summary

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Last Updated on May 5, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 906

Saturday, July 26–Monday, July 28

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Blomkvist takes Salander to her mother’s funeral and stays by her side. When the ceremony begins, they are the only two in attendance besides the pastor. Armansky comes in and puts his hand on her shoulder, which she acknowledges with a nod, then ignores both men. Salander does not speak a word. On their drive to Hedeby, Blomkvist tells her about finding Harriet and hearing her story.

Salander is furious that Harriet could have done something back in 1966 that would have prevented so many women’s being raped and killed by Martin over the past thirty-seven years. Blomkvist tries to explain Harriet’s lack of choices, but Salander has no sympathy. She even turns her anger toward him. Calmly, Blomkvist tells her he would like to be her friend if she wants a friend.

When Blomkvist visits Vanger, he learns that Frode has told him everything he knows about Martin and Gottfried. Vanger is ashamed. Blomkvist tells him everything he has learned since the ordeal with Martin; he tells him that Harriet is in Hedestad and can be here in an hour if he would like to see her. Vanger is silent; he finally says he wishes Harriet had confided in him. Blomkvist explains that Harriet is afraid her uncle will not want to see her after knowing what she did, and she sent the flowers because she still loves him and hoped he would get the message that she was okay. Henrik wants to see Harriet.

When Harriet arrives, Blomkvist barely recognizes her because she has dyed her hair brown again and is wearing more professional clothing. Vanger looks at her from top to bottom; Harriet kisses his cheek. Frode and Blomkvist discreetly leave the room.

When Blomkvist gets back to the guesthouse, he sees that Salander has taken all her belongings as well as the surveillance equipment. He sees Isabella arrive home in a taxi. Frode arrives to tell him Isabella went to the hospital to tell Vanger to drop the investigation of Harriet’s disappearance and that Blomkvist drove Martin to his death. When Harriet said hello to her mother, Isabella accused Blomkvist of “dragging in an impostor.”

Salander is driving, and she is angry. She is angry at the Vangers for needing her but not caring about her otherwise. She is angry about her mother’s death because her questions will never get answered. She is angry at Armansky for attending the funeral; she had to ignore him or he would have wanted too much from her. She is angry at Bjurman, though he is compliant for now. Toward Blomkvist she is ambivalent. He is nosy but she does not seem to mind.

At 8:00 she arrives at Blomkvist’s; she has decided she likes his company. Blomkvist compliments her research skills and finally realizes she must have something like Asperger’s syndrome. Salander explains she sees patterns where others see nothing. They decide to be friends, though each has a different definition of the concept. They do not attend Martin’s funeral, and Blomkvist packs all of Vanger’s investigative material. His own work on Wennerstrom has been neglected for the past six months.

Frode visits and looks harried. The media has discovered Harriet’s existence, and the family’s explanation is that she ran away from home years ago. She is now the head of a very successful corporation. There are forty Vangers in town, but only Harriet and her uncle know about Martin. The Vanger Corporation is in crisis because there is no natural heir; however, Harriet owns a large share of the company and can leave the running of Cochran Corporation to her son. Henrik will become temporary CEO; he appreciates Blomkvist’s efforts but is no longer interested in a family biography. He knows it is wrong to hide this evil, but Vanger is more interested in protecting Harriet and the company.

Blomkvist is furious; the murdered women deserve more and he has his own journalistic integrity. Salander offers a compromise to help protect Harriet. They must find each woman’s family and compensate them; and they must make a substantial yearly donation to an organization for abused women. Frode agrees and then delivers the worst news. The Wennerstrom information, though damning, is not viable thirty years after it happened. Releasing it would be annoying to the magnate but do no real damage.

When Frode leaves, Blomkvist stalks out the door. Salander finds him later, distraught at his wasted time. She reminds him that Martin would still be killing if he had not been working on this case. Finally Salander asks him why he did not defend himself during his trial. He tells her his friend gave him a true story of fraud, which he documented thoroughly; however, he and Berger were threatened. Then a Wennerstrom insider came forward to give him a story about Wennerstrom’s giving money to buy weapons in the war in Yugoslavia. That was the story he wrote and published, and it was false. Any defense would have cost Millennium money as well as integrity.

Salander tells Blomkvist she can prove that Wennerstrom is a true gangster with ties to the Russian mafia and Colombian drug cartels. When Frode originally asked her to research the trial, she got plenty of information. Later, she wanted more and got it. Salander has Wennerstrom’s entire hard drive on her computer.

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