Our books of the year 2022

2022 has been another busy and great year for our agency and authors. We therefore wanted to take a moment to review our year in books with you and once again celebrate the highlights that made us proud and kept us going. We also want to share our personal books of the year with you – maybe one of them will end up being your holiday read!

We would also like to take this chance to wish you all happy holidays and a good start into the new year – we are excited to talk more about books with you in 2023 and can’t wait to share our spring list with you soon! But first, enjoy your well deserved break and time with friends and loved ones!

All the best from us at Elina Ahlbäck Literary Agency,

Elina, Elsa, Sten-Erik, Linda, Mimi, Anna

2022 Award highlights

We were thrilled that so many of our agency’s authors got chosen for literary awards this year! A big round of congratulations to all award winners and nominees! 

Award winners: 

Award nominees: 

2022 Sales highlights

We were thrilled to see that our authors had a successful year in sales in Finland and abroad! Here is a selection of sales that we would like to highlight:

  • INHERITED LAND by Maria Turtschaninoff was sold into 18 territories and was our fastest-ever selling fiction title in our agency’s history
  • Max Seeck is now Finland’s no 1 bestselling author in e-books and no 2 in all formats. Over 300,000 copies of his books have been sold in Finland and rights for his books have been sold to 40 countries and Hollywood
  • Elina Backman is now Finland’s no 4 bestselling author. Over 60 000 copies of Elina’s books have been sold in Finland, rights have been sold for 16 territories, and an international TV-series based on Elina Backman’s books is in development by Aurora Studios
  • PUTIN’S TROLLS by Jessikka Aro is now sold to 16 territories
  • MY ONLY HOME by Hanna Brotherus sold over 70,000 copies in Finland.
  • MEMORY OF WATER by Emmi Itäranta is now sold in over 25 territories

2022 Film news:

2022 was a good year for film news – and watch this space for new exciting announcements in early 2023!

  • MEMORY OF WATER by Emmi Itäranta hit the cinemas. You can see the trailer here.
  • the TV series to SUNSET GROVE TRILOGY by Minna Lindgren will go into production in 2023
  • Film rights for ARCTIC MIRAGE by Terhi Kokkonen sold to SF Studios
  • Aurora Studios have acquired the film option for THE RED ROOM by Kaj Korkea-aho
  • napafilms has now acquired the film and TV rights for Mia Kankimäki’sTHE WOMEN I THINK ABOUT AT NIGHT
  • Film and TV rights to PUTIN’S TROLLS by Jessikka Aro have been acquired by Onerva Pictures Oy
  • Film & TV rights for Johanna Sinisalo’s TROLL acquired by Måns Mårlind and Tuppence Middleton
  • The Itty Bitty Princess books by Hannele Lampela and Ninka Reittu will be turned into a movie, with filming starting in summer 2023

2022 Review highlights

We were happy to see that so many of our authors’ books received great reviews in Finnish and international media. Here are just some highlights:

Review for INHERITED LAND by Maria Turtschaninoff:

“Turtschaninoff has written the perfect novel to give as a Christmas gift. [–] Maria Turtschaninoff’s novel is an allegory for Finland and offers enchanting praise to the land of marshes. Maria Turtschaninoff digs deep into the Finnish relationship with nature, into the mundane and mystical bogholes of the marshlands. The topic is universal: the rights to the novel have already been sold to 18 countries.” – Anni Valtonen in Helsingin Sanomat newspaper, starred review

Review for THE ENCHANTMENT by Riikka Pulkkinen:

“The seventh novel by Riikka pulkkinen is an aesthetic ensemble of the endless creative power of language. [–] The language of The Enchantment breathes in a sleek rhythm of its own, and forms into a deliberate, aesthetic composition. [—] One of the most powerful aspects of the novel is how girl talk, and through it the whole of what we call being a girl, is recycled in a new, experimental way. The protagonist Philippa takes the conventional girl discourse fully as her own. [—] Side by side with the heavy topics, the novel is pierced by the mutual endorsement of the characters, which lives on as one of the most beautiful features of The Enchantment.” – Joel Suontama in Turun Sanomat newspaper

Review for MISS STEIN’S COOK BY Leena Parkkinen: 

“Miss Stein’s Cook is a thrilling and tensive, multi-sided and multi-layered, thematically rich novel with a strong sensual power. [–] The answer to the ‘What really happened there?’ mystery is skillfully avoided for so long that on one hand, the reader feels impatient, and on the other hastens their reading to find the answer. The unbearableness and loveliness of reading were real at least for me.”  – Kaisa Kurikka, Turun Sanomat newspaper

Review for ARCHIPELAGO by Max Seeck:

“The fourth instalment of the Jessica Niemi series of detective novels is the best to date and proves Seeck’s mastery of the genre’s traditions.” – pertti Avolain in Helsingin Sanomat newspaper, starred review

Review for THE SECOND COMING OF CHRIST by Aki Ollikainen:

“Aki Ollikainen continues to write shining novels. [–] The nearly 160-paged novel is a beautiful book. [–] Ollikainen’s omniscient narrator does not explain the narration or the events which in the context of a historical novel cross the lines of realism into that of magical.”– Arttu Seppänen in Helsingin Sanomat newspaper

Review for PUTIN’S TROLLS by Jessikka Aro:

“Aro’s book is a superb work of journalism“ – Joshua C. Huminski in Diplomatic Courier 

Review for ME, MY DOG AND HUMANITY by Tiina Raevaara:

“Faith in humanity is being tested at the moment. It is comforting to remember that we’re not alone on Earth. During the last years, the ability of humans to communicate with other animals has been explored a lot in literature: how we talk to animals and with them, how do we confront other beings, what do they mean to us. Biologist and writer Tiina Raevaara’s ME, MY DOG AND HUMANITY starts with a personal experience, familiar from the works of Helen Macdonald. When Raevaara has a burnout, even close people feel burdensome, but a dog – never, despite how much care and attention a dog requires. From the friendship of the writer and a dog, and interesting survey of the history, causes, and consequences of the co-existence of species branches.” – Arla Kanerva, Helsingin Sanomat newspaper

Review for SANG by Elina Pitkäkangas:

“In the dystopian world recovering from a brutal war the different societal classes are miles apart, and the distance grows with a citizenship debt to be paid yearly. [–] Pitkäkangas describes the inequality and abuse of power skillfully. Warmth and balance is brought by the love between the brothers, but also romantic love and sexual desire. The object of the feelings is a friend, another boy, and the queer theme fits Sang without a fault.” – Arla Kanerva in Helsingin Sanomat newspaper

Our agents’ personal books of the year 2022

Elina’s pick: INHERITED LAND by Maria Turtschaninoff: “The perfect book for Christmas and a future classic. We can already see that one main trend for 2023 in international translation and publication sales is the demand and the need for classic, epic, unique stories set in the Nordic countries, in atmospheric settings and landscapes. In the tradition of family sagas like One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez this episodic novel depicts human relationships with nature across centuries and generations, and tells multiple enchanting stories.”

Elsa’s pick: SANG by Elina Pitkäkangas: “I’ve read plenty of fantasy, but rarely have I come across world-building like this: done with such passion and care. Add to this a gripping plot and humane, fleshed-out and complex characters, and you have a rare gem in your hands. Pitkäkangas is insanely talented, and I cannot wait for the sequel Naraka!”

Sten-Erik’s pick: THE STORY OF AINO AND ALVAR AALTO by Heikki Aalto-Alanen: “The Story of Aino and Alvar Aalto is not only an informative, but an emotional and moving title. Instead of focusing solely on Aino and Alvar’s works in architecture and design, it highlights their personas, their love, their life with all of its ups and downs. Furthermore, the book shows that far from being just her husband’s co-worker, Aino Aalto played an essential role in Alvar’s work and, most importantly, was an award-winning and renowned architect and designer on her own right.”

Linda’s pick: LILI FLAME INVESTIGATES: MURDER AT THE MANSION by Laura Andersson: “Glamour, charm and intrigue in Helsinki on the cusp of a new era”

Mimi’s pick: ELLA – HELENE SCHJERFBECK by Mari Tossavainen: ”A charming book about one of the most famous artists in Finland. When reading Ella, you can feel the inspiring moments and the people who made a great impact in Helene Schjerfbeck’s life”

Anna’s pick: ITTY BITTY PRINCESS AND THE TRUTH ABOUT BABIES by Hannele Lampela & Ninka Reittu: “A warm and funny take on “where to babies come from/new sibling” books – the humour is on the side of the children, poking fun at the ridiculousness of adults trying everything to avoid giving a straight answer. But don’t worry, determined Itty Bitty won’t rest until she has some hard facts to share with her sandbox crew!”


Books That Have Inspired Me: Max Seeck

We asked our rising star author Max Seeck, author of The Angels of Hammurabi, to give us a flavour of his most memorable reads – titles that have stayed with him and also influenced his writing.

“I try to keep up with the times and read a book a week. I don’t always succeed, but overall I manage to read quite a lot.

Most recently, I’ve read the Finlandia Prize-winning book, Watercolours of Engel’s City by Jukka Viikilä; Marko Lönnqvist’s My Life as a Gangster; Bryan Cranston’s A Life in Parts; and Anthony Doerr’s All the Light We Cannot See.

Here are some of the books that have particularly inspired me:

Stieg Larsson’s Millennium trilogy
Crime as a genre really opened up to me in 2008, when I first laid my hands on a copy of the first instalment of the trilogy.

Animal Farm by George Orwell
I read this as a youngster; it left me with enduring questions about the use of power and how status can change the individual. 

The Reader by Bernhard Schlink
An exceptional book about basic human needs, and ghosts from the past. 

The Bat by Jo Nesbø
I remember thinking to myself that nobody had written anything like this before. A broken, alcoholic detective with a plot full of surprises and multi-dimensional characters. 

And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie 
Perhaps the thriller of all thrillers, which has everything in it: a chilling point-of-departure, every character a suspect, and an entirely unexpected twist at the end.” 

About author


Max Seeck, New York Times Best Selling Author

Max Seeck - 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.

Bibliography


2022, Crime & Suspense

The Archipelago

Max Seeck


2021, Crime & Suspense

The Last Grudge (a.k.a. Bad Blood)

Max Seeck


2020, Crime & Suspense

The Ice Coven (a.k.a. Evil's Net)

Max Seeck


2019, Crime & Suspense

The Witch Hunter (a.k.a. Faithful Reader)

Max Seeck


2018, Crime & Suspense

The Mephisto Touch

Max Seeck


2018, Crime & Suspense

The Call of Hades

Max Seeck


2016, Crime & Suspense

Angels of Hammurabi

Max Seeck