Eva Gabrielsson, the partner of the late Stieg Larsson, has described David Lagercrantz as an “idiotic choice” for the job of writing a sequel to Larsson’s Millennium trilogy. Without putting it in those terms myself, I did wonder - after reading Lagercrantz’s novel Fall of Man in Wilmslow, which uses the death of Alan Turing as the springboard for a glacier-paced, ludic and philosophical crime novel - if he was the right man to reproduce Larsson’s straightforward mixture of kiss kiss bang bang storytelling and strident social commentary.
Stieg Larsson's editor on why David Lagercrantz can revive the Milennium series
But in fact as I read Lagercrantz’s The Girl in the Spider’s Web, I found that I kept forgetting for several pages at a time that I wasn’t reading genuine Larsson. I have read uncountable numbers of these ersatz sequels in which one writer appropriates another’s characters, but never one that enabled such close replication of the experience of reading the original author.