Though there are plenty of lumps in the novel along the way, Salander and Blomkvist have survived the authorship transition intact and are just as compelling as ever ... Mr. Lagercrantz’s efforts to connect unsavory doings in Sweden to machinations within America’s National Security Agency are strained and fuzzy — a bald attempt to capitalize on Edward J. Snowden ... In Spider’s Web, Mr. Lagercrantz demonstrates an instinctive feel for the world Larsson created ... Mr. Lagercrantz captures the weariness, even vulnerability, that lurks beneath these two characters’ toughness ... Spider’s Web is less bloody, less horror movie lurid than its predecessors. In other respects, Mr. Lagercrantz seems to have set about — quite nimbly, for the most part — channeling Larsson’s narrative style, mixing genre clichés with fresh, reportorial details, and plot twists ... Instead of pausing to parse the implausibility of some of the interlinking conspiracies in Spider’s Web, the reader quickly turns pages to see how Salander and Blomkvist will put together the puzzle.
The series that began with The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo doesn't lose its spark in the hands of a new author. Lagercrantz deftly blends the spirit of Larsson's work and characters with his own literary skills and bright imagination ... Spider's Web is an intelligent novel that has Salander entangled in one of the most contentious issues of our times ... a riveting political/techno thriller. It's as gripping as The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.
Unfortunately, the fourth installment, The Girl in the Spider's Web, written by crime journalist David Lagercrantz, does nothing to elevate the series, and one might venture to say it even hurts the legacy of the original ... the novel becomes a soup of flimsy plotlines and convoluted characters that fails to reach the thrilling heights of its predecessors ... He instead awards even the most minor players digressive back-stories, which act as a drag on the momentum of the story ... Most egregious of the digressions, however, is Lagercrantz's commitment to deflating any sense of urgency within the larger murder plot ... What is most frustrating about Lagercrantz's installment is that he never fully trusts the reader, and so key revelations are repeated several times by different characters in connected scenes with little to no new insight. We are forced to wait for the detectives to play catch-up in an exhausting game of telephone ... Lagercrantz seems uncomfortable and out of depth in Larsson's dark world, skirting away from conflict and the bleak parts of life in which Larsson artfully immersed his readers.