'Fifth' Stieg Larsson book in existence

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo front cover Larsson's books have become major best-sellers

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The existence of an unfinished manuscript by late author Stieg Larsson's Girl with the Dragon series has been confirmed by his family.

His brother Joakim said in a US TV interview that the writer told him 10 days before his sudden death in 2004 that the book was "nearly finished".

Mr Larsson told CBS's Sunday Morning show that it was written as the fifth story rather than the fourth.

The three existing crime stories have gone on to sell millions worldwide.

Larsson, who died of a heart attack aged 50, did not live to see his books become publishing sensations.

His younger brother said: "This book number four, that's book number five, because he thought that was more fun to write than book number four."

Mr Larsson and his father told CBS they would not allow the manuscript to be published.

But it is said to be in the hands of Eva Gabrielsson, Larsson's long-term partner, who lost control of his estate to his father when he died.

Swedish law does not recognise common law marriages.

The two sides have been locked in a legal dispute over the issue since the author's death.

It is unclear whether the manuscript held by Ms Gabrielsson is actually the fourth book in the series or the same one - the fifth take - referred to by his brother.

She has claimed that his brother and father have not presented his work in the way he would have wanted it to be.

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