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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 Epilogue Summary

How It All Goes Down

Inventory of Estate: Friday, December 2 - Sunday, December 18

  • When Salander returns to Sweden, Giannini gives her a hard time for not being more reachable.
  • Before Christmas, Salander gets curious about a piece of property she inherited from Zalachenko.
  • She drives out to it and finds it's an abandoned factory.
  • She goes inside and realizes she's in a place where people have been kept against their will. She finds a woman's Russian passport and a dead body in a brick oven full of water.
  • In a room upstairs, Salander realizes somebody is living here – there's a space heater going and the coffee machine is on. Suddenly, she is face to face with Niedermann.
  • Niedermann has been hiding out here since he disappeared back in April.
  • What has Niedermann been up to? Time for a flashback.
  • Niedermann finds two women trapped and almost starved to death in the warehouse. He learns that the Ranto brothers (big players in Zalachenko's sex trade organization) had promised them student visas in Sweden, but kidnapped them instead.
  • Niedermann doesn't know what to do with the women, so he kills them.
  • Now that Zalachenko is dead, he's feeling better. He's not seeing "phantoms" (Epilogue.140) anymore. Now he's being haunted by Salander – she is in his nightly dreams. He must kill her before he leaves Sweden.
  • Imagine his delight when she walks right in the door.
  • Salander can see Niedermann wants to kill her. She evades him by hiding in a tool cabinet and then nailing his feet to the floor with a nail gun.
  • Since he can't feel pain (we learned this back in The Girl Who Played With Fire), it doesn't hurt, but he will rip his feet apart if he tries to move.
  • Salander contemplates killing him, but decides not to.
  • She leaves the factory and calls some of his enemies from the Svavelsjö MC telling them where they can find Niedermann. She waits until the motorcycle gang shows up, then calls the cops.
  • When the cops arrive, she goes home and takes a hot bath. Somebody rings her doorbell while she's soaking. She answers it. It's Blomkvist. He wants to be friends.
  • She decides she wants this too and "open[s] the door wide and let[s] him back into her life" (Epilogue.261).

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