Summary and Analysis Part 3: Mergers: Chapter 19



After a brief visit with Vanger, Blomkvist returns to his cabin, deciding to make the most of this strange Midsummer's Eve. He sits on his front porch and receives two visitors, the first of which is Frode. Frode assures him that he'll continue to back Blomkvist no matter how much the rest of the Vangers complain about his investigation. Frode, like Blomkvist, feels not only a real storm coming as clouds form above them, but also a storm brewing among the family.

Blomkvist's next visitor is Martin, who asks Blomkvist to stop the investigation. When Blomkvist again refuses, Martin reminds him that he's now in charge of Vanger Corporation's relationship to Millennium since Henrik is incapacitated. Martin wants a board meeting to take place soon, and Blomkvist realizes that Martin is threatening the magazine.

The next morning, Blomkvist drives north to find the woman in the Children's Day Parade photograph. He uses the sticker he saw on her vehicle, advertising a carpentry shop, to track down former workers at the shop. After a couple fruitless days, he finally finds Mildred, the woman from the photograph, who is happy to share her photos from that day. Sadly, Blomkvist is unable to make out the shadowy figure standing where Harriet's gaze fell.

Interspersed with Blomkvist's quest are narrative shifts to Salander's investigation of the women from the Bible verses. Through an initial Google search, she discovers the brutal rape and murder of Magda, who was tied in a horse stall after her death, matching one of the verses from Leviticus. She also discovers a murdered prostitute, whose death fits another Leviticus verse Harriet did not catalog. Both murders remain unsolved.


In Chapter 19, physical surroundings and the change of seasons once again highlight shifts in plot development. First, the arrival of Midsummer, the longest day of the year, indicates that summer has begun and what clues Blomkvist discovered in the spring will come to fruition. The foreboding moments on this Midsummer's Eve — the gathering clouds; the veiled threats from Martin, Cecilia, and Berger — all indicate that Blomkvist is on to something, and he is making more enemies than allies through his perseverance.

Secondly, the shifting focus between Blomkvist's search for Mildred and Salander's research on the murdered women at once compares and contrasts these parallel figures. Blomkvist, unlike Salander, turns to people to solve the mystery. Everyone he meets immediately trusts him, offers him coffee, and provides him with suggestions in his search. In contrast, Salander first turns to technology to begin her search. Furthermore, while Blomkvist is more of a people person and Salander more of a tech geek, they both respect the other's abilities and share in them as well. Although Blomkvist is no hacker, he is tech savvy; Salander is good at phoning people and coming up with likable alibis for her questioning. Together, the two researchers make a powerful team, despite the increasingly gruesome mystery they're up against.