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The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest


by Stieg Larsson

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest Chapter 5 Summary

How It All Goes Down

Sunday, April 10

  • Blomkvist and Berger (long-time lovers) spend Saturday night together catching up.
  • On Sunday, Blomkvist meets with Dragan Armansky, CEO of Milton Security, where Salander used to work as a private investigator. Armansky is on Salander's side, as long as he doesn't have to do anything illegal.
  • In the evening, a 78-year-old man named Evert Gullberg comes to Stockholm and checks into a hotel. He drinks whisky and reflects on his career with the Security Police, known as Säpo, where he's worked his whole life.
  • Enter flashback.
  • In the 1960s, Gullberg is head of a top secret section (a.k.a. the Section) within the Security Police.
  • Gullberg can and does investigate and spy on anybody in Sweden, including public officials, and other members of Säpo, without having to ask for approval.
  • It is the Section that gets Zalachenko, an ex-Russian spy, a new identity, and then covers up the crimes that the violent and crazy Zalachenko commits.
  • After a while, Zalachenko calms down. Unfortunately, he keeps beating up his girlfriend, Agneta Salander, even though the Section orders him to stay away from her.
  • Things get really bad when Zalachenko's daughter, Lisbeth Salander, throws a gasoline bomb on Zalachenko after he beats her mother unconscious.
  • If Salander's story is investigated, the Section's existence could be discovered, and its role in covering Zalachenko's crimes could become a huge scandal.
  • To quiet twelve-year-old Lisbeth Salander, Björck gets a psychiatrist, Peter Teleborian, who had worked for Säpo before, to have Salander committed to a psychiatric hospital.
  • After that, Zalachenko fades from Gullberg's life.
  • Back in the present, Gullberg muses about how Zalachenko and his daughter threaten the very existence of the Section, and Säpo itself.
  • Meanwhile, Zalachenko has made it to Salander's hospital room and is listening at her door.
  • She hears him and wishes she had a weapon so she could kill him.
  • She sees a pencil on the nurse's table and with some difficulty gets her hands on it. Then she falls back asleep.

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