Maybe you’re looking forward to the release next month of The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest. Maybe, like me, you couldn’t bear to wait, and mail-ordered the U.K. edition when it was published last fall. Either way, once you have read the last novel in Stieg Larsson’s insanely popular Millennium trilogy, then what? Larsson is dead, and obviously can write no more books about Lisbeth Salander, dragon-tattooed Swedish computer genius and violent righter of wrongs.
Larsson had written half of a fourth novel at the time of his death, but it’s unclear whether it can ever be completed by another writer.
Here are a few other favorite novels whose heroes are tormented masterminds like Salander—improbably brilliant schemers and ace duelists who handily crush all adversaries except their own demons.
- Lisbeth Salander in The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, by Stieg Larsson
- Francis Crawford of Lymond in The Game of Kings, by Dorothy Dunnett
- Miles Vorkosigan in Memory, by Lois McMaster Bujold
- Richard St. Vier in Swordspoint, by Ellen Kushner
- Stephen Maturin in Desolation Island, by Patrick O’Brian
- Sherlock Holmes in The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, by Arthur Conan Doyle
- Batman/Bruce Wayne in Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, by Frank Miller
Other suggestions? Add them in the comments below.