cover image Ghost Island

Ghost Island

Max Seeck, trans. from the Finnish by Kristian London. Berkley, $18 trade paper (384p) ISBN 978-0-593-43886-2

Seeck follows up The Witch Hunter with an exceptional combination of hardboiled Scandi-noir and eerie ghost story. Reeling from a breakup and plagued by strange hallucinations, Helsinki homicide detective Jessica Niemi is convinced her life has no meaning. After vomiting in the street one night and assaulting an onlooker who accuses her of being a drug addict, Jessica is suspended from her police duties indefinitely. She takes refuge at an old inn on a remote island in Finland’s Aland archipelago, where she becomes enmeshed in a mystery when one of three other guests—all elderly friends who grew up in a long-demolished nearby orphanage—drowns in the same spot where two others died years earlier. The deaths all have roots in a local legend about an orphan named Maija, who disappeared decades ago and supposedly haunts the pier near the drowning spot. While Jessica initially tries to keep her distance, she’s gradually drawn into the investigation and sets out to determine whether the island has a vengeful spirit—or a flesh-and-blood killer­. Seeck marries breathtaking suspense with an expertly drawn heroine. This is guaranteed to send shivers up even the most unshakable readers’ spines. Agent: Rhea Lyons, HG Literary. (Feb.)