German and Dutch pre-empts for CARGO by A.M. Ollikainen!

We are beyond excited to announce an amazing start for the winner of the National Crime Competition – CARGO by A.M. Ollikainen, due to be published in Finland in May 2021 by Otava Publishers.

Bastei Lübbe – German publisher for Lars Kepler and Dan Brown pre-empted Cargo and its upcoming sequel.

The Bastei Lübbe team is absolutely thrilled, and Publisher Marco Schneiders shares their enthusiasm:

Finland is the new Mecca of crime fiction. You need proof? Just read the first novel by A.M. Ollikainen. I couldn’t imagine a better start for a series. CARGO is outstanding.
– Marco Schneiders,  Publishing Director, Bastei Lübbe

That is not all – also the Dutch publisher HarperCollins Holland pre-empted both titles!

Download the English sample and synopsis here.

We see a great readership for this thriller series starring Paula Pihlaja: she’s a great detective, but also a person people can relate to as she copes with her past and the challenging times ahead of her. Add to this the themes that every great thriller novel needs: an intriguing murder method, a perfect writing style and a suspenseful plot, and I think you’ve got a winning combination in Cargo! We see A.M. Ollikainen as a very promising crimewriting powercouple, and look forward to introduce them to our Dutch readers.
– Soraya Vink, Commissioning Editor, HarperCollins Holland

Jo Nesbø publisher Varrak in Estonia last week pre-empted the book after one night of reading the Finnish manuscript.

Varrak is the largest publisher in Estonia, and a publisher of Jo Nesbø, Lee Child, Liza Marklund, Yrsa Sigurðardóttir, Stieg Larsson, David Lagerkrantz, Jens Lapidus and John Grisham.

“A rare crime novel that also masters the literary style. One of the authors – Aki Ollikainen – is an awarded and internationally acclaimed literary fiction author and it really shows. The well-crafted mystery only unfolds in the very end, and leaves the reader in awe.”
– Piret Saluri, translator for Varrak, Estonia


A.M. Ollikainen is a new Nordic Crime supercouple Milla Ollikainen and Aki Ollikainen.

Aki Ollikainen is one of the best literary fiction authors of Finland, whose novel White Hunger was longlisted to the International Man Booker Prize and whose works have been sold to over 10 countries.
Milla Ollikainen is the previous winner of the “Crime Pays” crime novel competition of Finland and the author of a successful crime trilogy.

Cargo is their first title written together, which won the Finnish national crime novel competition in 2019 over 400 other manuscripts. The book is the first part of the upcoming Paula Pihlaja series.
It will be published by the largest Finnish publisher Otava in May 2021 as their lead Fiction title for the Spring list.


by A.M. Ollikainen

The first book in a new fast-paced and addictive Nordic Noir series. A.M. Ollikainen is Finland’s Lars Kepler!

  • Winner of a National Crime Novel Competition

A cargo container is found on the shore in Helsinki with a dead body inside.The property where the container is discovered, belongs to one of the most notorious businessmen in Finland. As Police Commissioner Paula Pihlaja begins to investigate the case, traces lead back to the businessman’s family, revealing decades of suspicious business ventures in Africa.

Meanwhile, Paula’s own personal life is shaken by old memories that are now surfacing following recent events.When she was younger, she had to give her baby up for adoption. The boy, her son, is now in his twenties and facing a murder charge. Not only is Paula tormented by her own guilt about the adoption, she is also worried about what will become of her son.

Otava, May 2021, 360 pp.


FINLAND: Otava (orig.)

GERMANY: Bastei Lübbe
(2-book deal)
NETHERLANDS: HarperCollins Holland
(2-book deal)

About author

A.M. Ollikainen

A. M. Ollikainen is a pseudonym for a husband-and-wife author duo Aki and Milla Ollikainen. Aki Ollikainen has published three novels and won the Helsingin Sanomat Literature Prize in 2012. He has also been shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize and Prix Femina in 2016. Milla Ollikainen has published three crime novels and won Like Publishing and the Finnish Detective Society’s Crime novel writing competition in 2012. Cargo is their first novel together and the Winner of a National Crime Novel Competition. The couple lives in Lohja with their two children.


2022, Crime & Suspense


A. M. Ollikainen

2021, Crime & Suspense


A. M. Ollikainen