Review: The Ice Coven by Max Seeck
The Ice Coven is the the second installment in the Detective Inspector Jessica Niemi series that takes place in Finland, though it was the first I’d read and it works well as a standalone. I am loving Scandinavian noir and this example doesn’t disappoint. The protagonist is strong and relatable. She continues to have nightmares about events that took place in the first book in the series—nightmares that involve her mother and a murderous coven of witches—and those nightmares make her more approachable, I find, that other “hard-boiled” crimefighters.
A young woman’s body has washed up on a frozen beach and two Instagram influencers have disappeared, and all three have ties to yet another cult—author Max Seeck seems to be interested in closed mysterious groups—and a clue surfaces via a strange painting. The current investigation intersects with Jessica’s nightmares and her past in ways that are, frankly, terrifying.
This author knows everything about pacing and forward momentum: it’s almost impossible to put this book down. This is a dark, atmospheric read set in the remote rural countryside surrounded by dense woodland that translates into an unsettling and claustrophobic vibe running through the story.
It will be interesting to see where Seeck takes this character next. She is flawed and compelling and could carry a less interesting story—but thanks to his skill, she doesn’t need to. Read it!