The Girl in the Spider's Web: David Lagercrantz reveals he wrote Millennium trilogy sequel in 'manic depressive' state

Lagercrantz's continuation of Stieg Larsson's Lisbeth Salander books is on the shelves

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David Lagercrantz has revealed that he penned The Girl in the Spider's Web while in a "biopolar, manic depressive" state.

The Swedish author has written the sequel to Stieg Larsson's bestselling Millennium trilogy about troubled but fierce computer hacker Lisbeth Salander and journalist Mikael Blomkvist, which went on sale in 25 countries today.

Larsson died suddenly in 2004 after suffering a heart attack aged 50, before his novels sold 80 million copies worldwide and reached the big screen in Swedish and Hollywood films.

Rooney Mara as Lisbeth Salander in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo'

Lagercrantz admitted at a Stockholm press conference earlier this week that he had found the process of continuing Larsson's legacy "terrifying".

"I've been terrified...and I used to say that I was bipolar, manic depressive all the time and I think it was a good thing to write in this condition," he told reporters, including Larsson's father Erland. "I was not the easiest person to live with because I was thinking about it all the time. I'm scared to death that I won't live up to Stieg."

Lagercrantz described The Girl with the Spider's Web as "the passion of [his] life". "God I did my best. I dream of being Blomqvist. He's a nice guy with great values," he said.


Larsson's family are yet to be won over by Lagercrantz's book, with Erland telling AFP that "Stieg would probably have been more relaxed and would have been more cautious".

Eva Gabrielsson, Larsson's partner of 32 years until his death, dismissed Lagercrantz as a "totally idiotic choice" to write a continuation earlier this year. "They say heroes are supposed to live forever. That's a load of crap, this is about money," she said.

Eva Gabrielsson opposes the idea of a sequel by another author

Publishing house Norstedts have defended the novel, insisting that Lagercrantz has a "special talent for depicting the world of others" and the book is "not a copycat" of Larsson's work.

The storyline follows Salander as she targets the National Security Agency and comes under by "ruthless cyber gangsters" known as the Spiders.

Lagercrantz reassured fans when the sequel was announced that he has stayed true to Larsson's writing style and made use of the "vast mythology he left behind".

So far, 2.7 million copies of The Girl with the Spider's Web have been printed.