The third volume of the Millenium series. Two badly injured bodies arrive at the hospital, one being that of Lisbeth Salander whose wounds include a bullet wound in her head. The second person is her father, Zalachenko, who after defecting from Russia lived under the name of Karl Alex Bodin.
Lisbeth survives surgery and is kept under guard in hospital until well enough to be tranferred to prison and then tried for a number of offences including attempted murder. She continues her policy of limited communication with the police but is persuaded by her lawyer, Advocat Gianni, and the lawyer's brother, Mikael Blomkvist, to prepare her story to present at the trial
Lisbeth has many supporters, particularly Mikael Blomkvist, the staff at Millenium, her former employer, Armansky, her former guardian, Palmgren, her doctor and some members of the police who with many others work to help her and to expose the injustices that have been done to her in the past. Millenium plans to publish a special issue of the magazine and a book to coincide with the beginning of the trial. However Lisbeth also has made many enemies, especially those who will lose their jobs if the truth is revealed.
Like the two other books in the series - The girl with the dragon tattoo and The girl who played with fire - this book is hard to put down as the plot unravels. The girl who kicked the hornets' nest provides a fitting conclusion to this three volume story, unravelling a number of events that commenced in the earlier volumes.