Praise for The Angels of Hammurabi:
“A deeply atmospheric debut.” – Radio Helsinki
“Exceptionally refined.” – Debut Thriller of the Year Award jury
“Sometimes, very rarely though, while reading an unpublished manuscript, you get a feeling of astonishment and disbelief: this is too good to be true, this has to be a skillful modification of something already published. But you just cannot put your finger on exactly which books and authors.
This is what happened to me when I started reading The Angels of Hammurabi, a thriller by Max Seeck, an unsolicited manuscript sent to Tammi Publishers by email this January. And yes, even the name Max Seeck is uncommon in Finnish! It has to be a pen name. Am I being played here?
But the further I went into the manuscript, this feeling was completely replaced by another notion. No, this is too skillful. Too well written. Too original. Very aware of the thriller and crime fiction tradition, yes, but has effectively went a long way into its own powerful direction.
It turned out that Max Seeck was an actual person, a young brand agency executive living in Helsinki. A big fan of Jo Nesbø. But The Angels of Hammurabi is no piece of fan fiction. Nor it is an amalgam of influences that you can trace. It is a truly original, very fast paced story of an army intelligence officer named Daniel Kuisma sent to help Croatian police with a missing person case. The person in question is a Finnish embassy employee. Kuisma is accompanied by a determined young foreign office analyst Ms Annika Lehto.
We learn contradictory details of the disappearance which gradually gets linked and evolves into a bigger chain of mysterious and shocking events, both contemporary and related to the violent civil war in the 1990´s Balkans. And not all people and their motives are what they seem.
My years in publishing have made me cautious of the saying “I could not put it down”. I wish I could have been able to say it more often. When it is true, you definitely want to share it with other people. Because you are certain they will enjoy it too.”
— Hannu Harju, Publishing Manager of Finnish Fiction, Tammi Publishers