Faithful Reader a.k.a. The Witch Hunter, by New York Times Bestselling Author, Max Seeck!

the witch hunter

Rights sold:

WORLD ENGLISH: HarperCollins

CROATIA: Planetopia
ESTONIA: Rahva Raamat
FINLAND: Gummerus
FRANCE: Editions Leduc.s

Original title: Uskollinen lukija

Author: Max Seeck, New York Times Best Selling Author

Illustrator: Max Seeck, New York Times Best Selling Author

Published: 2019 August

Publisher: Tammi

Class/genre: Crime & Thriller

Pages: 400

Reading material

Full English manuscript
English synopsis

Download reading materials

The coolest Nordic Noir comes from Finland! In this psychological thriller from New York Times bestselling author, Max Seeck, a strong female detective chases a serial killer.

Detective Jessica Niemi is called to investigate a murder case that is out of ordinary. The wife of a famous writer, Roger Koponen, seems to have been killed in a bizarre ritual. As more ritual murders occur, it becomes obvious that Jessica is after a serial killer.
But the murders are not random – they follow a pattern taken from Roger’s bestselling trilogy. Has a fan gone mad, or is this case more personal? How can Jessica stop a criminal who knows every detail of the book even better than the author?

Rights sold:

FINLAND: Tammi (orig.)

ARABIC: Arab Scientific Publishers (World Arabic)
ARMENIA: Guitank
BELGIUM, A.W. Bruna (2-book deal)
BULGARIA: EMAS (2-book-deal)
CANADA: Berkley/Penguin Random House (2-book-deal)
CZECH REPUBLIC: Grada (2-book-deal)
DENMARK: Gutkind (2-book-deal)
ESTONIA: Pegasus (2-book-deal)
ICELAND: Forlagid
ISRAEL: Tchelet Books
ITALY: Piemme/Mondadori
FRANCE: Michel Lafon (2-book-deal)
GERMANY: Bastei Lübbe (2-book-deal)
GREECE: Livani (2-book-deal)
HUNGARY: Animus (2-book-deal)
KOREA: Cheongmirae
LATIN AMERICA: Editorial Maeva/Maeva Noir
LATVIA: Latvijas Mediji (2-book-deal)
LITHUANIA: Baltos lankos
MACEDONIA: Matica (2-book-deal)
NETHERLANDS: A.W. Bruna (2-book-deal)
NORWAY: Aschehoug (2-book-deal)
POLAND: Sonia Draga (2-book-deal)
PORTUGAL: Bertrand Editora (2-book-deal)
ROMANIA: Litera (2-book-deal)
SERBIA: Vulkan (2-book-deal)
SLOVENIA: Didakta (2-book-deal)
SPAIN: Editorial Maeva/Maeva Noir
SWEDEN: Albert Bonniers Förlag
TURKEY: Doğan Kitap
UNITED KINGDOM & COMMONWEALTH: Welbeck Publishing UK (2-book deal)
UNITED STATES: Berkley/Penguin Random House (2-book-deal)

TV RIGHTS: Stampede Ventures


Foreign covers

Review links

”The heroine’s personal problems provide a fascinating counterpoint to a disturbing tale of murder and madness.” – Kirkus Reviews, August 19th, 2020


Editorial praise:

„I was gripped by the thriller right from the first page. An interesting plot, original and likable characters, good writing style – it all makes FAITHFUL READER a great read. When you start reading, you want to continue till the very end!”
– Sonia Draga, President, Sonia Draga publishers, Poland

”We are happy to join so many publishers worldwide and to be the future publisher of FAITHFUL READER in Russia! FAITHFUL READER is the Nordic noir at its best with the intricated plot and the beautiful setting and the carefully elaborated characters – it’s the title you don’t want to miss!”

– Anastasia Filippova, Foreign Rights Executive, AST, Russia

“A gripping page turner! FAITHFUL READER will keep you on your toes till the very end. Max Seeck is the master of creating tension and atmosphere. I was captivated from the beginning of the novel and felt as if I was side by side detective Jessica Niemi. Winter in Finland makes the setting very creepy and I just could not put the book down. This is a must-read for anyone who’s been sleeping too well at night.”

–  Marina Hulala, Foreign Rights manager, Vydavatelstvo MOTÝĽ, Slovakia

”Faithful Reader has a very interesting and gripping plot, I couldn’t stop reading. Very intense and full of mystery. A well-written thriller with a  lot of suspense and great characters. We’re so excited to publish Faithful Reader and we’re sure the Albanian audience will love it and won’t miss the opportunity to discover Max’ incredible book in crime literature. ”

– Irini-Klaudia, Muza publishing, Albania

”I’m not going to hide how excited I am for this book – and hopefully, series in the making. FAITHFUL READER is gripping from the very beginning and both narrative and characters feel fresh and engaging, and the suspense will make you fast-forward through the pages but then regret not going slower when you reach the end. Absolutely love the build-up and the atmosphere. We’re proud to add Seeck’s amazing novel to our collection of the best crime authors of Scandinavia!”
– Yoana Vancheva, Editor, EMAS Publishing, Bulgaria

”FAITHFUL READER is a smart and gripping thriller that I just couldn’t put down. A tour de force of brilliant insights on the dark and twisty side of human nature with a shocking ending.”
– Ronnie Beck, Rights Manager, Tchelet Books, Israel

”The perfect mix of Scandinavian thrill, frosty Helsinki and the novelty of the plotline caught me so much I could not get it out of my head. From the first moment I started, I could not stop reading it. There is simply everything a riveting thriller should have!”
– Marie Hajdová, Editor, Grada, Czech Republic

“The way Max Seeck manages to build tension, while at the same time showing exactly what is going on in his troubled and beautiful characters’ minds, is awesome. The Faithful reader is one of those gems that make an editor really happy: perfect plot, great characters, a fantastic idea which is well developed until the very end. But more than that, Max Seeck is a real writer.”
– Giulia De Biase, Editor, Piemme/Mondadori, Italy

”It grips you like a claw. It’s powerful. It’s intense. It’s a memorial of thoughts and emotions. It’s ruthless. It’s Max Seeck. If you need a novel well written, grab the Reader. The Faithful one.”
-Matica Makedonska, Publisher

”I read Max Seeck’s FAITHFUL READER in a day – and a night. I was blown away immediately. And who needs sleep anyway when you have the privilege to read a manuscript like this? FAITHFUL READER is more than very, very good. It has a quality, tension and a level of suspense which are just exceptional. In every chapter, I was convinced that Max did not just want to tell a dramatic story. I was certain that he had a vision. A vision to add something extraordinary to the world of thrillers and crime fiction, something that I have not seen in a suspense novel for many, many years. Bastei Lübbe is proud and honored to share Max‘ vision as his German publisher. And I wish I could read this story for the first time again.”
– Marco Schneiders, Publishing Director, Bastei Lübbe AG, Cologne, Germany

”What a creepy and well-written thriller! Max Seeck definitely knows how to create tension. I couldn‘t help but rushing through the pages once I started reading this amazing novel – with a very fascinating detective Jessica Niemi and her team. And I loved the setting: Finland in wintertime! It backs up the scary atmosphere in a perfect way. Let’s say it in short: THE FAITHFUL READER is a stirring read!”
– Claudia Müller, Editorial Director Fiction, Bastei Lübbe AG

“I couldn’t stop reading. A book full of mystery, unexpected, wonderful.A real page-turner. I believe the Greek audience will discover a new mastermind in crime literature”.
– Giota Livani, Publisher, Livani Publishing, Greece

”On behalf of the whole team Animus, we are very welcome Max Seeck in our publishing house! Our readers always looking for fresh, new talented voices, the author and his books are perfect choices to have a new bestseller series for the upcoming years. Happy to made a deal with you, Ahlback Agency!”
– Laszlo Marosi, Publishing editor, Animus Kiado, Hungary

“A breathtaking pageturner that cost me a sleepless night. Ingenious, rich, emotionally charged, packed with tension and chock-full of twists and turns, this is a book I simply could not put down. I loved the characters, the eerie Finnish setting – and the Venice backstory was the cherry on top of the cake. An amazing read that would sit PERFECTLY on our list.”
– Susan Sandérus, Commissioning Editor, A.W. Bruna Uitgevers, The Netherlands

”It’s time to look to Finland and Helsinki, and this brilliant first book in the series of Jessica Niemi – a character I am looking forward to follow. Seeck manages to make the well established Nordic Noir feel fresh, he knows what he’s doing, and he’s doing it very well.”
– Vidar Strøm Fallrø, Development Editor Fiction, Aschehoug, Norway

“Even though the weather’s getting colder, we guarantee that the chills you’ll feel running down your spine will be from Max Seeck’s intriguing thriller; so buckle up and get ready for a breathtaking ride as you’ll race against the clock along with detective Jessica Niemi to put together the pieces of this mysterious and deadly puzzle. “
– Alexandra Dram, Rights manager, Litera Publishing house, Romania

”What a captivating thriller, the one you have to read in one sitting since you can’t wait for tomorrow to come to find out the truth. Gripping story, believable characters and action-packed pages are just some of the reasons why you should pick up FAITHFUL READER from the shelf. I can tell you that Max Seeck deserves to be among the bestselling thriller authors and VULKAN is more than happy to be a part of his road to success.”
– Ana Babovic, Vulkan publishing, Serbia

“Faithful Reader is gripping, fast-moving with nice twists. It’s Nordic Noir which will satisfy all avid crime fiction readers. Jessica Niemi, an intriguing female detective is fascinating.”
– Hülya Balci, Editor, Doğan Kitap

“When I was reading THE WITCH HUNTER (a.k.a. Faithful Reader), I was thoroughly transported by the ice-cold Scandinavian setting and all the incredibly creepy twists and turns.  Max Seeck deftly weaves a police procedural with fascinating occult elements and fully realized, compelling characters. I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough.”
– Michelle Vega, Senior Editor, Berkley, An imprint of Penguin Random House, USA


Praise in Finnish media:


“ The cat-and-mouse play works! The chaser becomes the chasee in this skillfully written thriller with remarkably good ending.” – Turun Sanomat newspaper


”Seeck has a new style. The Faithful Reader switches from high-octane international excitement to a psychological thriller featuring horror elements.” – Kansan Uutiset newspaper


“The suspense in this book is the creeping kind, one that makes the reader stay up all night and fear their own shadow. The atmosphere keeps thickening towards the end and the tension builds up until we come to the dramatic end.” – Iltalehti newspaper


”Super exciting and gripping plot! – – Compared to all international and domestic thrillers The Faithful Reader is one of the best ones!” – Kirsin book club blog


”The story folded out rapidly and swiped me up instantly. The investigation part was not slow-paced like they usually are but filled with surprises and game change moments. I loved it! It was like someone took you off your sofa and added in the middle of the crime scene investigation.” – Heini’s books blog


“Ingenious: short chapters, cliffhangers and lots of surprises!” – blog


“Max Seeck writes the most addictive crime of our time! Faithful Reader brings the evil in front of us and proves again that Seeck has an unbeatable skill to create amazing cliffhangers and surprise the reader time and time again.” – DekkariNet


“Far from traditional detective novel! – – -Fast-paced with no boring moments!” – Kirsin kirjanurkka blog


“Best Seeck so far! This book has every element a good thriller should have: well written, interesting and surprising story, great characters, secrets, cliffhangers and surprises!” – Kirjarouvan elämää blog


Jessica Niemi is a fantastic character – I hope to hear more of her! – Sanoissa ja sivulla blog


Max Seeck, New York Times Best Selling Author

Author photo Max Seeck b&w

Max Seeck is the New York Times Bestselling Author of THE WITCH HUNTER.  “Another star has been added to the firmament of thriller writers,” announced Iltalehti newspaper, when Max’s debut novel was published in 2016. Four years and four books later, Max Seeck’s novels have been sold to more than 40 countries, including US, UK, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Nordic countries and as far as Korea!

His debut trilogy following protagonist Daniel Kuisma sold over 40,000 copies in Finland. His new Jessica Niemi series landed him on the New York Times Bestseller list! In Faithful Reader, AKA The Witch Hunter (US title), book 1 of the Jessica Niemi series, Helsinki Police Detective Jessica Niemi hunts an occultist serial killer. In Evil’s Net, AKA Ice Coven, Jessica and her team follow clues hidden on Instagram to solve the disappearance of a young influencer and a manga artist.

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.


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