#BookBeginnings Comparing Two Books by Stieg Larsson

Today let’s compare the beginning lines of two books by Stieg Larsson for Book Beginnings on Fridays.

Book Beginnings is a fun meme hosted by Rose City Reader blog. To participate, share the first sentence or so of a novel you are reading and your thoughts about it. After you’ve published, add your URL to the Book Beginnings page linked above. Hope to see you there!



We start reading The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest next week for The Bestseller Code 100 challenge, which means the computer algorithm picked the third book of a trilogy as the best. Karen and I decided we should read the books in order, so we will be reading three books this time.  Wish us luck!

Book 1:

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo*

(*Amazon Affiliate links)

Summary: This is the first book in the trilogy. Disgraced journalist Mikael Blomkvist and prodigy Lisbeth Salander team up to investigate the disappearance of a woman forty years before.

First sentence of the Prologue:

It happened every year, was almost a ritual.

First sentence of Chapter 1:

The trial was irretrievably over; everything that could be said had been said, but he had never doubted that he would lose.



Book 2:

The Girl Who Played with Fire* by Steig Larsson

(*Amazon Affiliate links)

Summary: In the second book in the trilogy, Mikael Blomkvist tries to clear Lisbeth’s Salander’s name after she is implicated in a murder.

First Sentence of the Prologue:

She lay on her back fastened by leather straps to a narrow bed with a steel frame.

First sentence of Chapter 1:

Lizbeth Salander pulled her sunglasses down to the tip of her nose and squinted from beneath the brim of her sun hat.


Looking at all the first lines, I was struck how different they are from one another.

Between the two books, it looks like the first chapter has shifted focus from Mikael Blomkvist (the reporter) to Lizbeth Salander.

What do you think of the first sentences of the prologues versus the first sentence of chapters? Should the first sentence of a prologue “hook” for the reader or should it be the first chapter, because some readers skip the prologue?


What are we reading next for the Bestseller Code 100 Challenge?

If you ever have questions about what we are reading next or when we’re starting the next discussion, check the 100 Book List tab in the navigation bar at the top of the blog.

The next book is number 94 on the list, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets’ Nest by Stieg Larsson (Third in a series, originally published in 2007) -Discussion begins January 30, 2017.


  1. Bev

    Both the prologue and the beginning should hook the reader. These are all great. I agree with you about the focus changing. I think that was intentional.

    My Friday Book is Faithful , by Alice Hoffman.

    • Roberta

      Do you think the first sentences of the chapters were hooks? Did they grab you?

  2. Laurel-Rain Snow

    Yes, the opening lines should hook the reader, but in different ways. The prologue might be a hint of something that will occur some time in the future….while the first chapter jumps into what is happening now.


    Thanks for sharing, and for visiting my blog.

    • Roberta

      I agree. The first sentence of the the prologue of the second book definitely grabs your attention, but the first sentence of the chapter seems to set up the story.

  3. Sandra Nachlinger

    I read the first book in the series but haven’t read the others. Although the violence bothered me, the author kept me riveted to the story.
    I’m not a fan of prologues because the whole time I’d reading, I’m wondering where the prologue fits in the story. The prologue in the second book definitely gets your attention!
    Thank you for leaving a comment on my blog today.
    Sandy @ Writing With a Texas Twang

    • Roberta

      I’ve heard about the violence, so I’m hesitant about reading these books. I started reading The Bestseller Code list to get myself out of my comfort zone, and I have a feeling this trilogy is going to do that.

  4. Karen

    How can you skip reading the prologue?!!

    I start with the cover and read everything, front to back. Even all the publication stuffs. Maybe I have a bit of a problem? LOL

    The first sentence in the prologue of the second book really hooked me. I had to keep reading to find out what the heck, who the heck, why the heck!

    • Roberta

      I tend to read all the extra things, too. The first Larsson book has a family tree in the front matter, which I also read. It helped keep all the family members straight.

  5. Lauren @ Always Me

    I do love this series! 🙂

    Lauren @ Always Me

  6. This series is one I’m on the fence about it. It sounds interesting but at the same time the violence has scared me off. I know Larsson didn’t write all of these but I don’t remember what his last book was. It could definitely explain the change of feel in the books. I’m a fan of beginnings that really hook but a lot of my favorite books openings are kind of flat so it isn’t a deal breaker. Hope you enjoy these!

    • Roberta

      From what I read, he completed manuscripts for the trilogy before he passed away.

  7. Elizabeth @ Silver's Reviews

    I have only read the first book in this series.

    Thanks for sharing today.

    Have a great weekend.

    Silver’s Reviews
    My Book Beginnings

    • Roberta

      I have made it most of the way through the first and can see why it isn’t for everyone.

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