In addition to the “mystery of the fourth book,” what additional books might Stieg Larsson have written had he lived? (Parts I, II, III run over 3 days.)
Part II: Softer yes on “further fiction books” with other characters and plots
Despite the great success of the “Tattooed Girl” trilogy (which of course he did not live to see), and his indicated desire to write five or ten “Salander” novels, Larsson undoubtedly had many other ideas for fiction involving other characters, other genres, etc. He was a prolific science fiction writer in his late teens and early 20s (see John-Henri Holmberg’s piece on p. 89-98 of our book). Robert Aschberg, the TV personality and Publisher of Expo (who was ultimately instrumental in finding Norstedt’s as a publisher for Larsson) said he was on a list of a small number of Stieg’s friends that Stieg used to send short stories and sketches to. Any of these stories could have matured into plots and characters for novels. There are surprising similarities as well as dissimilarities between Larsson and his rival as the leading Swedish author of thrillers, Henning Mankell. But you could take the Mankell example: Mankell wrote 10 Wallender novels for which he is best known, but he has written many other novels with many other characters and plots outside the scope of the Wallender series.
In the “Tattooed Girl” trilogy, you find elements of financial thriller, espionage thriller, noir murder mystery, locked room murder mystery, super heroine anime, courtroom drama, Scandinavian noir, American noir, political thriller, sex crime, etc. etc. You find far more characters well drawn than in the average genre thriller. Larsson was such a student of so many writers; he particularly liked Hammett, Chandler, and Ross Macdonald among classic noir writers, and found Ludlum, Forsythe, and Clancy interesting stylists among more recent writers. If he had lived to Elmore Leonard’s age, he would have gone in at least several other directions.