Monday, November 2, 2020

Max Seeck Interview - The Witch Hunter

Photo Content from Max Seeck

Max Seeck (b. 1985) has a background in sales and marketing, and has recently been able to dedicate his time to his Lifelong love of writing. His interests include well-conducted research, reading Nordic Noir and listening to the movie Soundtracks as he writes.

Max writes in Finnish, his native language. The foreign publishing rights have been sold to 38 countries (as of 04/2020).

In early December 2019, Greg Silverman’s Stampede Ventures announced that they have acquired The Faithful Reader for a TV series adaptation in Hollywood.

Max's latest novel The Evil's Net will be released in Finland September 2020.

In addition there are a few other projects that remain a Mystery until the near future.


Tell us your latest news.
I just signed a further 3-book-deal with my Finnish publisher so definitely more books to come.

What was the greatest thing you learned at school?
I only learned later in life that I actually learned something at school.

What was your favorite book as a child and why?
Animal Farm by George Orwell. I think it made me think deeper about the human nature.

Tell us your most rewarding experience since being published.
When my 4th novel The Faithful Reader reached international success in a very short time and was sold to 38 countries, including the US (The Witch Hunter)

What do you hope for readers to be thinking when they read your novel?
Wow, what a ride!

In your new book; THE WITCH HUNTER, can you tell my Book Nerd community a little about it.
Basically the book tells a very creepy story about a murderous coven, that go after people they think are witches. All the murders are copied from a bestselling author’s trilogy.

What was the single worst distraction that kept you from writing this book?
Family and friends =)

What part of Jessica did you enjoy writing the most?

Her secret past. Her being imperfect.

If you could introduce one of your characters to any character from another book, who would it be and why?
It would be my previous protagonist, Daniel Kuisma, a really masculine former soldier and I think he and my new protagonist Jessica Niemi should meet.

What was the most surprising thing you learned in creating your characters?
I guess there’s a little bit of someone I know in every of my characters.

  • It’s really creepy.
  • It’s said to be very cinematic - it makes you think of how it would look like on screen.
  • It shows you that everyone has secrets.
  • You learn something about the medieval witch hunt
  • You get to know my home town a little bit
  • You get to learn something about the Finnish culture
  • The police work is researched pretty well, so you see how murders like this are investigated
  • The book is fast paced and entertaining
  • You will be surprised not just once.
  • There are flashbacks that take place in Venice, Italy.
What’s the most ridiculous fact you know?
After writing my 5th novel I learned about how many bees are required to make a small portion of honey.

Choose a unique item from your wallet and explain why you carry it around.
I only have boring stuff in my wallet. Driver’s license and credit cards. =( 

If you had to go back in time and change one thing, if you HAD to, even if you had “no regrets” what would it be?
Perhaps I would start writing a couple of years younger. In the other hand, everything worked out just perfectly as it happened now.

If you wrote a journal entry today, what would it say?
Today I’m going to write my answers to Jean Book Nerd’s interesting questions!

Last Halloween Costume you wore and when?
I dressed as a ski jumper. It’s a rather big sport where I come from. Don’t ask why, to both facts.

Which incident in your life that totally changed the way you think today?

There are many separate incidents that made me realize how short life is.

What is one unique thing are you afraid of?
I’m afraid that one day I’ll reveal my biggest fears publicly and everyone will laugh at me.

What was the best memory you ever had as a writer?
When one of my writer idols told me that she loved my book.

Jessica Niemi is an edgy character, she’s 34-years old, black haired and very beautiful. She’s basically single and the few people she considers her friends are her colleagues at the police force. Jessica has devoted her entire life for police work and you can sense a certain joylessness and cynicism in her. What nobody (except for Erne Mikson, her boss and mentor) knows is that she has committed a serious crime in her youth, she’s suffering from a mild mental illness and that she’s very rich after inheriting her late parent’s enormous wealth. Jessica is basically doing everything she can in order to hide her fortune from her co-workers. She’s afraid that if they would know, they wouldn’t like her anymore.

Erne Mikson, Jessica’s boss and mentor, is an Estonian man in his 50s. Erne has known Jessica for a long time and he’s the only one who knows her secrets. All of them. Erne is somewhat cranky yet warm and reliable and he looks after his subordinates in every possible way. A life-long heavy smoking Erne is very seriously ill though; he’s been recently diagnosed with incurable cancer which he’s trying to hide from his team. He knows he’s running out of time and that it’s only of a matter of weeks before he has to come clean and retire from the service.

A shocking murder in an affluent Helsinki suburb has ties to the occult in this thrilling US debut from Finnish author Max Seeck.

A bestselling author’s wife has been found dead in a gorgeous black evening gown, sitting at the head of a formally set dinner table. Her most chilling feature—her face is frozen in a ghastly smile.

At first it seems as though a deranged psychopath is reenacting the gruesome murders from The Witch Hunter, the bestseller written by the victim’s husband. But investigator Jessica Niemi soon realizes she’s not looking for a single killer but rather for dozens of believers in a sinister form of witchcraft.

They know her every move and are always one step ahead. As the bodies start piling up, Jessica knows they won’t stop until they get what they want. And when her dark past comes to light, Jessica finds herself battling her own demons while desperately trying to catch a coven of killers before they claim their next victim.


“The Witch Hunter, translated with icy precision by Kristian London, is written in short, sharp, present-tense chapters, a technique which adds to its relentless tension. Flashbacks to earlier episodes in Jessica’s life suggest that the strangeness currently unfolding is tied to her personal history. Discovering the how and why of it brings a resolution as bleak as anything Poe might have conjured.” Wall Street Journal

"The Witch Hunter, Finnish novelist Max Seeck's pulse-quickening English-language debut, is a genre twofer: it gives crime-novel enthusiasts a satisfying puzzle to logic out, and it offers fans of supernatural tales a look at the world of, as one character puts it, ‘amulets, rabbit feet, you name it… a police procedural with paranormal activity at its black heart.” 
Shelf Awareness

“[A] rich, intensely suspenseful thriller. Seeck’s debut is dark and intricate—the moments of revelation are as vividly cinematic and impactful every time. Seeck has an uncanny ability to unspool reveals at just the right pace to get the reader’s heart pounding as they make the connection at the same moment as the detective on page. His expertise with pacing, his careful plotting, and his choice to use short, quick chapters all combine to create a vivid, robust thriller.” 

“One twist follows another, baffling the police and readers alike. Seeck imbues this riveting procedural with a deliciously creepy undertone. Readers will be excited to see what Seeck does next.” 
Publisher’s Weekly STARRED REVIEW

"Seeck's riveting, multi-layered debut, blending masterful police procedural with a chilling exploration of the occult, kept me up all night, devouring it in one amazing gulp, and checking under the bed." —Sara Blaedel #1 International Bestselling Author

“The Witch Hunter is everything I wish for in a thriller: exceptional story, exceptional characters, exceptional writing, and shocking twists—exceptional everything. I loved this book, and you will too.” —Chris Mooney, author of Blood World

“One of the best books I have read. Ever. Absolutely thrilling, well-written, and oh-so-hard to put down.” —Emelie Schepp, author of Slowly We Die

You can purchase The Witch Hunter at the following Retailers:

And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you MAX SEECK for making this giveaway possible.
1 Winner will receive a Copy of The Witch Hunter (Jessica Niemi #1) by Max Seeck.


  1. The best date I ever had was the day my husband proposed. (50 years ago).

  2. "Best date you've ever had?" Luckily I've never dated.

  3. I’m with Darlene, when my husband proposed.

  4. The best date I ever had was sitting on the beach watching the sun come up over the Lake.