The difference a week and a half makes from the first photo I took to this one. Last time it was all the beautiful leaves from fall and now it’s all the snow (which works really well with the book cover)
Thanks to Berkley Pub for the free copy in exchange for my honest review
THE WITCH HUNTER – Max Seeck (Released October 27th, 2020)
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.
My Thoughts: 4/5 stars
I’ve always been a fan of the Nordic Noir genre when it comes to mysteries and police procedurals. Also, who doesn’t enjoy a book where you’re the main character? THE WITCH HUNTER is the first book in the Jessica Niemi series. If you’re looking for something creepy, atmospheric, and suspenseful then this needs to be on your TBR.
This was very unique when it came to the plot – a string of gruesome murders based on a book. Who doesn’t love a book within a book? Jessica Niemi is one the case of the murder of the wife of a famous author. The murder scene was staged to look like an occult ritual, but the horrific scene was eerily similar to a part of her husband’s book. When more bodies are discovered the investigators must turn to the books to see what could happen next.
There were enough characters to keep you guessing, but not too many to cause confusion. The pacing of the investigation was spot on. Sometimes with Nordic Noir books they can feel painfully slow moving, so this was a nice surprise as the book progressed. The best part about this genre though, is the way the authors set the scene and create the atmosphere. I felt like I was right there with Jessica in Helsinki following the clues and scouring the books.
I loved how the author offered us little clues and details throughout the book, and there were even some that clicked later on for me. I would caution that there were some graphic and twisted parts that not all readers may enjoy (the darker the better for a murder mystery if you ask me). I can’t wait to see where book two takes Jessica Niemi!
Author Photo By: Marek Sabogal
About the Author:
Max Seeck devotes his time to writing professionally. An avid reader of Nordic noir for personal pleasure, he listens to film scores as he writes. His accolades include the Finnish Whodunit Society’s Debut Thriller of the Year Award 2016. Max Seeck has a background in sales and marketing and loves to promote his works, and is fluent in English and German.