Study Guide

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest Lies and Deceit

By Stieg Larsson

Lies and Deceit

He assumed it was not his real name; in his experience, Swedish amateur spies had a real obsession with using false names even when it was not the least bit necessary. (4.162)

This is Zalachenko mentally bragging that he's a smarter spy than the spies in the Section.

On three occasions Zalachenko was arrested […] for drunkenness, and twice more in connection with fights in bars. Each time, the Section had to intervene discretely and bail him out, seeing to it that documents disappeared and records were altered. (5.126)

Why does the Section feel compelled to cover Zalachenko's crimes? Reasons aren't entirely clear, and are more than a little irrational.

"I think I have an argument that will persuade Zalachenko to keep his mouth shut." (6.88)

Gullberg does a good job of setting us up. We didn't suspect that his persuasive argument was a bullet in Zalachenko's head. When Gullberg shoots himself, we get the idea all his lies weigh heavy.

"It contains no diagnosis. It almost seems to be an academic study of a person who refuses to speak." (9.150)

Dr. Jonasson quickly catches on that Salander's supposed psychiatric evaluation is a complete falsehood and he doesn't hesitate to tell Teleborian what he thinks.

The seduction always involved discovering someone's weaknesses. Prosecutor Ekström's weakness was his belief in his own importance. […] The trick was to make him feel that he had been specially chosen. (11.32)

This is from the perspective of Georg Nyström, a very bad guy in the Section.

What the hell. Is there some sort of spy convention on Bellmansgatan today? (14.70)

Figuerola spies on the Section, which is spying on Blomkvist, who is spying on Figuerola, who spies yet another spy, detective Linder, spying on the spies from the Section. Sheesh!

"The only thing left to do is to get rid of Zalachenko's daughter," Clinton said. […] This time we have to bury her so deep she'll never come back to haunt us." (23.100)

Clinton, like his partner Gullberg, is terminally ill. He also seems terminally dangerous, and quite possibly crazy.

"Do you think you could put your hands on…let's say fifty grams of cocaine?" (23.246)

You guessed it. That's Clinton again. He arranges for cocaine to be planted in Blomkvist's apartment. Luckily, the pros at Milton capture the whole thing on tape.

You can see for yourself that her tattoos are grotesque and extend over large parts of her body. That is no normal measure of fetishism or body decoration. (25.80)

Teleborian tries to convince the court that Salander's tattoos are symbols of self hatred, but Giannini demolishes his ludicrous arguments.

The story that had begun on the day she was born had ended at the brickworks. 

She was free. (Epilogue.231-232)

A big reason she feels so free is because she doesn't kill her brother. If she had, she'd be involved in another whole mess, which would likely involve lies and deceit.

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