I loved these books, so I’m not trying to criticize anything – I just think I may have missed something, or possibly there is a real hole in the plot.

On page 652 of the US Vintage Crime edition, when Lisbeth goes to the car rental agency ‘Auto-Expert’ in Eskilstuna and holds up Refik Alba, she’s looking for who rented the white volvo. But how does she know about the white volvo? And she would presumably need to know the number plate so she could trace it? Niedermann, ‘the blond giant’ has beaten up Mimmi and Paolo Roberto, but even though Paolo notices the white volvo (page 543), we are not told that he notices the plate number.

I don’t recall Lisbet ever seeing the white volvo. Mimmi is abducted in the large van, not the volvo.

If we add to that the detail that Paolo Roberto speaks to the police and to Micke, but that Micke has not opened his computer all day (so Lisbeth can’t get any details from him) then how does she know about the white volvo?

If Paolo did remember the volvo’s number he’d have told the police or Micke right away,but we have no evidence of that, so the facts couldn’t get to Lisbeth.

Did I miss something? I’d be grateful to be put right if I have.

Posted by allan hunter i Watertown USA , 10 July 2011

I don’t recall Lisbet ever seeing the white volvo. Mimmi is abducted in the large van, not the volvo.

If we add to that the detail that Paolo Roberto speaks to the police and to Micke, but that Micke has not opened his computer all day (so Lisbeth can’t get any details from him) then how does she know about the white volvo?

If Paolo did remember the volvo’s number he’d have told the police or Micke right away,but we have no evidence of that, so the facts couldn’t get to Lisbeth.

Did I miss something? I’d be grateful to be put right if I have.

Posted by allan hunter in Watertown USA , 10 July 2011

By Editor

14 thoughts on “Plot hole?”
  1. I too was wandering if I’d missed something when

    Lisbeth suddenly shows up at Auto-Experts. Don’t recall her coming across a white volvo anywhere in

    the book previously.

    Posted by Ted in Greensboro USA,

  2. Ted, I’m glad I’m not the only one who noticed this. If there’s no way for Lisbeth to know about the Volvo then that’s a large hole. And if Paolo had told the police about it (so Lisbeth could read about it in their emails) and mentioned its number then they’d have been right on it, surely? But they aren’t, so I have to assume they don’t know.

    Posted by Allan Hunter in Watertown USA,

  3. Page 140 of the hardback edition by Viking Canada – start of Chapter 10. Salander sees ‘the blond giant’ leave Blomberg’s Cafe and get into the White Volvo. She takes down the plate number. It’s so early on that you forget it has happened!

    Posted by katastrophe,

  4. No problem! It was bugging me and I had just finished reading the book yesterday so it was easy to flick back through and sort it out!

    Posted by katastrophe,

  5. That’s great. I’m watching Dragon Tattoo now. I must

    say the film is superb, wonderful adaptation. Also

    reading Hornet’s Nest. Looking forward to the other

    two films. I can tell these are movies I’ll probably

    end up purchasing the dvds of.

    Posted by Ted,

  6. That’s really great, katastrophe. It sorts out that confusion of mine perfectly. I think I’m relieved to know the plot’s water-tight!

    Posted by Allan Hunter in watertown, USA,

  7. Allan, the plot is far from water tight!

    What about Camilla Salander, Lisbeth “pretty” sister?

    What about the bank account with 3 million kronen, the police discovered about Lisbeth? Will it spoil the big theft she performed? (will she report it to the Swedish income service, now that’s in the open?)

    What about all the people Lisbeth took a “mental note” to get back at them later?

    Posted by Tom in Tel Aviv, Israel,

  8. you can’t really call that plot holes. since stieg had partly finished a 4th book before he died, plus had plans for further books, featuring liesbeth salander, it’s possible issues like that would have come up then. liesbeth’s story didn’t end with the 3rd book, after all, nor was her whole story told yet! it’s a shame that we won’t likely find out how it would have continued…

    Posted by karin p. in salisbury, uk,

  9. I was wondering why there were no guards or police at the hospital when Lisbeth and Zalachenko were admitted after having tried to kill each other. A policeman was installed after Zalachenko was murdered but why did they not have one there before that? Why would they leave two people on the same woard with access to each other when they had just tried to kill each other?

    Posted by Alex in Toronto,

  10. Swedish police procedure is undoubtedly different from Canadian and US police procedure. Also…the facts of the case are not clear at the time these two entered hospital. For all the police knew the fugitive Beiderman could have done the damage to both. The police did not even know they were father and daughter.

    Posted by LPB in Langley,BC

  11. There was a guard in the ward from the moment both patients were admitted to the hospital. But the police had been looking for Salander – she was the villain. Also the cop who arrived at the crime scene was an idiot and he was convinced that the victim of the crime was Zalachenko. He was convinced Blomkvist was a baddie – badly handled police work at the time.

    Posted by DB Marquis in Johannesburg

  12. Phew – I’m glad someone posted this question AND that someone had the answer. I am really enjoying these books, and think over the characters and plots while I am drifting off to sleep. That visit to the car hire office had me stumped and leafing back through about 50 pages did not help. I kept saying to myself – Darn you, Larsson! You describe every cup of coffee these characters drink – even making sure someone turns off the coffee maker before leaving his flat! I know there must be a good explanation for why LS goes to THAT particular office.

    Many thanks Allan Hunter and katastophe!

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