Article courtesy The New York Times. Remember that mysterious, unpublished, unconfirmed manuscript of the fourth book in Stieg Larsson’s best-selling “Millennium” series? It’s actually the fifth book. So said Mr. Larsson’s brother, Joakim, in an interview on CBS that was broadcast on Sunday. “I got an e-mail from Stieg 10 days before he died, where he said that book four is nearly finished,” Joakim Larsson said in the interview, which also included his father, Erland. “To make it more complicated, this book No. 4 – that’s book No. 5,” he added. “Because he thought that was more fun to write.” The disclosure – should it be true – adds another turn to an already twisty personal story that is nearly as complicated as the plots of the Swedish crime mysteries that Mr. Larsson wrote.
The first three books of the “Millennium” series, beginning with “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo,” and ending with “The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest,” have become a publishing phenomenon, with tens of millions of copies in print. Mr. Larsson did not live to see the books published; he died of a heart attack in 2004, at the age of 50. The author had said he intended the series to consist of 10 books, and he was working on a manuscript when he died. Under Swedish law, control of his estate went to his family, not to Eva Gabrielsson, his longtime companion. Ms. Gabrielsson, who is reportedly in possession of a laptop containing the manuscript, declined to comment to CBS. Paul Bogaards, a spokesman for Knopf, the American publisher of the “Millennium” books, said he believed the unpublished manuscript existed but did not know whether it was intended to be the fourth book or the fifth. Whether it will ever be published is another question. Depending on the plot and substance of the story, it is possible that it could work as the fourth book in the series, even if it had been intended to be the fifth. According to CBS, the Larssons said they would not allow the book to be published.