Crime fiction news round-up of March

We’ve got some criminally good news! This time our news batch includes the best debut winner of the year, new titles in an exciting series and some film news…

The Debut Thriller of the Year Award 2018 to Heikki Valkama for his novel Fugu
Quoting the jury: “Heikki Valkama’s novel Fugu takes the reader on an interesting and appetizing cultural journey. […] For his novel Valkama has chosen a particularly interesting protagonist: a top chef is not your typical crime-solving character. […] Valkama delivers the story naturally and surely. The text is smooth, it doesn’t falter and sweeps the reader away with an ease. Fugu is an exceptionally developed example of entertaining writing.”

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Max Seeck’s The Angels of Hammurabi published in Germany
Max Seeck’s novel has been well received in Germany, where it was published under the name of Der gesetzlose Richter (“The Lawless Judge”) in January. The Finnish readers are already anticipating his third and final novel in the Daniel Kuisma series, the title of which will be Hades Calling, and it’s due to be published in Finland in fall 2018.

The Austrian newspaper Wiener Zeitung called the novel cinematic in its review:
”Max Seeck delves deep into the bloody history of the Balkans and tells a gory action thriller begging to be filmed.”

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The Guardian Angel film gets more distribution deals
The Guardian Angel, the novel by Arto Halonen & Kevin Frazier based on an international feature film set to premiere in 2018-2019 with a star-studded line-up, keeps gathering interest. After Berlinale Film Festival, more distribution deals have been confirmed for the movie.

Nationwide film distribution deals have been closed in France, Denmark, Finland, Croatia, Serbia, Slovenia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Macedonia, Poland, India, China, Japan, and the Middle East. Further distribution deals will be announced soon!

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RIGHTS SOLD – Fugu by Heikki Valkama:
FINLAND, Tammi (Orig. Publisher)

RIGHTS SOLD – The ’Daniel Kuisma’ series by Max Seeck:
FINLAND, Tammi (Orig. Publisher)
ESTONIA, Pegasus
GERMANY, Blanvalet
ICELAND, Forlagid
ITALY, Newton Compton

RIGHTS SOLD – The Guardian Angel by Arto Halonen & Kevin Frazier:
FINLAND, WSOY (Orig. publisher)
DENMARK, Hr. Ferdinand
ITALY, Edizioni Piemme
SERBIA, Vulkan
PORTUGAL, Grupo Planeta


Arto Halonen & Kevin Frazier

ARTO HALONEN is a film director and screenwriter, known for his strong socially-conscious stance towards his subjects. He is one of the few people in the world who have ever interviewed the killer Palle Hardrup. KEVIN FRAZIER is a novelist, nonfiction writer, essayist and reviewer who lives in Helsinki. Previous collaborations between Halonen and Frazier include the award-winning Shadow of the Holy Book.

The duo was previously known under the pseudonym Einar Hansen.

Heikki Valkama

Heikki Valkama is an acclaimed journalist who has worked as an editor-in-chief at several Finnish quality magazines. Additionally he has written books about Japan as well as translated from Japanese to Finnish. He grew up in Japan; when he was a teenager, a local yakuza boss tried to marry him off to his daughter. Fugu is his first novel.

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.