THE SWEDISH publisher of the best-selling The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo trilogy has hired an author to write a sequel to the series by Stieg Larsson, who died in 2004.

Norstedts said yesterday that it enlisted David Lagercrantz, the author of I am Zlatan, a biography of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, the captain of Sweden's soccer team, to write a new novel about journalist Mikael Blomqvist and hacker Lisbeth Salander scheduled for release in August 2015. Larsson's trilogy about a darker side of Sweden, including murder mysteries, sex-trafficking scandals and a secret government unit, has been a huge international success, with more than 75 million books sold in 50 countries.

The head of publishing at Norstedts, Eva Gedin, said the book will be an original work that includes nothing from the fourth book in the series that Larsson began writing but hadn't finished when he died at age 50. "Obviously it will build on the previous books," she said. "Blomqvist and Salander will be included and many of the other characters."

Gedin said the decision to continue the series had been taken after careful considerations and long discussions with Larsson's father and brother, Erland and Joakim Larsson, who own the rights to his work.

Larsson's longtime partner, Eva Gabrielsson, has been in a legal dispute with Erland and Joakim over the rights to the trilogy.She and Larsson were a couple for more than 30 years but never married. Larsson didn't leave a will, so only his brother and father inherited the rights to his works.