New deals for Max Seeck and Leena Lehtolainen

We have exciting news on our latest crime & thrillers from Finland: first up, Max Seeck’s hot-off-the-press sophomore novel The Mephisto Touch has been acquired by Newton Compton in Italy.

The novel is an explosive standalone follow-up to Seeck’s Best Debut Thriller of the Year winner, The Angels of Hammurabi, taking readers on a manhunt, and in to the deep, dark layers of a psychopath’s mind.

“A brilliant novel, for readers who love adventurous thrillers but who appreciate the psychologically well described characters too,” said Raffaello Avanzini, CEO and publisher of Newton Compton, of the acquisition.

In Germany, Rowohlt will continue to champion Leena Lehtolainen in a deal for her 14th book in the best-selling Maria Kallio series, The End of Innocence. A female detective police procedural, the novel also examines issues of young men’s fragile sexuality and the devastating consequences of abuse.

English sample materials for The Mephisto Touch and The End of Innocence are available – please get in touch with your requests.


The Mephisto Touch by Max Seeck

With this second novel, Max Seeck is well on his way to earning a permanent position in the ranks of Finland’s top crime and thriller writers.” — Anssi Väisänen, Kaleva newspaper, Finland

Fast-paced like a fighter jet, Max Seeck’s The Mephisto Touch is an unputdownable novel. With its short chapters and fluid plot progression to be devoured in one sitting, the book will leave you wanting more of Daniel Kuisma and Annika Lehto after the story has ended.” — Leena Lehtolainen, author, Finland

The End of Innocence by Leena Lehtolainen

“In her characteristic style, Lehtolainen tackles contemporaneous issues in society, allowing Maria [Kallio] plenty of space to contemplate the ethics of her cases, as well as her own approaches. Maria is by no means a robotic character whose only objective is to catch the perpetrator.” – Etelä-Suomen Sanomat newspaper, Finland

“The End of Innocence does not disappoint. The Maria Kallio series still has well-drawn, believable characters and enough spark to keep the reader hooked.” – Chocolate and Sparkles blog, Finland

Publishers of Max Seeck:
ESTONIA, Pegasus
FINLAND, Tammi (Orig. publisher)
GERMANY, Blanvalet
ICELAND, Forlagid
ITALY, Newton Compton

Reading material for The Mephisto Touch:
English sample & synopsis
Finnish edition


Publishers of Leena Lehtolainen:
BRAZIL, Autentica
ESTONIA, Pegasus
FINLAND, Tammi (Orig. publisher)
GERMANY, Rowohlt
GREECE, Livani
HUNGARY, Animus (r)
JAPAN, Tokyo Sogensha
LATVIA, Zvaigzne
POLAND, Rebis (r)
TAIWAN, Linking
TURKEY, Bizin Kitaplar (r)
WORLD ENGLISH, Amazon Crossing

Reading material for The End of Innocence:
English sample & synopsis
Finnish edition

Leena Lehtolainen

Leena Lehtolainen is the top female crime author in Finland: her new titles always head straight to #1 on the Finnish bestseller lists.

Leena’s brand new title The Oathbreaker was published in August 2019! This new standalone is set in the icy cold rural Finland. A man is abducted at Helsinki airport and left to die in the winter. He survives, and an international journey for answers begins!

* * *

The 1993 book Ensimmäinen murhani (My First Murder) kicked off Lehtolainen’s first and on-going crime novel series, which has brought an enthusiastically-received female perspective to the male-dominated detective genre through its distinctively down-to-earth heroine Maria Kallio. The Bodyguard Trilogy, meanwhile, stars a New York-trained bodyguard who is fiercely self-sufficient, highly alert to her surroundings, and haunted by horrific violence in her past.

Lehtolainen published her first novel at the age of 12; this work of juvenile fiction appeared in 1976. Leena Lehtolainen has also published outside the crime genre; her book The Charm of Figure Skating was voted sports book of the year 2010 in Finland and A Life in Six Scenes showed her return to literary fiction.

In her free time, Lehtolainen enjoys all kinds of music from 70’s punk to Schubert and Bach – just like Maria Kallio, the heroine of Lehtolainen’s crime novel series. And just as events in the Bodyguard (trilogy take the heroine Hilja Ilveskero all around Europe, Lehtolainen’s own work takes her to book festivals, exhibitions and other events across the globe.




Max Seeck

Author photo Max Seeck b&w

Max Seeck, the most anticipated newcomer of the literary season, has received great reviews for his debut thriller The Angels of Hammurabi.

“Another star has been added to the firmament of thriller writers. The opening pages of Max Seeck’s hot-off-the-press debut, The Angels of Hammurabi, are chilling and the flowing text hooks the reader swiftly,” stated Iltalehti newspaper, and Helsingin Sanomat newspaper called it a promising debut: ”Seeck’s next novel will be worth the wait.”

The German rights to The Angels of Hammurabi were recently sold at auction to Blanvalet. Quoting Beatrice Lampe, editor at Blanvalet, “Max Seeck’s action thriller develops at a breakneck speed – as mesmerizing to read as it would be to watch from a cinema seat.”

See also the UK-based Euro But Not Trash blog’s book review and Q&A with Max here.

Max Seeck has a background in sales and marketing, and has lately been able to dedicate his time to his lifelong love of writing. His interests include well-conducted research, reading Nordic Noir and listening to movie soundtracks as he writes.