Of course, David Lagercrantz had to let the project evolve, had to find a motive to write the fourth book of the hit Millennium series. As is often the case when successful concepts are recycled in popular culture, that motive turns out to be psychological and existential depth. We're getting “serious” if you will: The silence of James Bond conceals a grief, the anger of Batman can be traced to his murdered parents.

Here, we meet Mikael Blomkvist as a depressed has-been who hasn't made a scoop in years. Lisbeth Salander is, of course, still the feminist avenger that she was, but is now haunted by the past and by nightmares of her father. The Salander has become a neurotic.

I think this is a mistake. Lagercrantz has given us quite an intriguing story, in a language more straight forward than Larsson's. But the aura from the Millennium world fades away. A more innovative path would have been to underline the exaggerated and cartoonish features of the series. This is standard crime.