AUTHORS’ AUGUST: How did the new Nordic Noir power couple Aki and Milla Ollikainen start to write together?

Authors’ August continues!

How did the new Nordic Noir power couple Aki and Milla Ollikainen start to write together and which are the challenges in writing as a married couple?

Elina Ahlback Literary Agency has produced in collaboration with Kintsugi Agency five cinematic Author Videos.
In Authors’ August,
 we are extremely proud to launch these unique author videos one by one.In previous weeks we have launched Laura LindstedtMax Seeck and Salla Simukka and this week we are happy to present A.M. Ollikainen!


A.M. Ollikainen “I’m not very fond of cruel crime fiction”

We thank the Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture for their financial support of the video project.

“Finland is the new Mecca of crime fiction. Do 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.”

This is what the publishing director of German Bastei Lübbe – Marco Schneiders –  said about CARGO and its authors Aki and Milla Ollikainen.

The Paula Pihlaja series has already sold to 14 countries worldwide and the second title SWING will be published in Finland in Spring 2022.


by A.M. Ollikainen

#1 Paula Pihlaja series

The first installment in a fast-paced and addictive series.

A cargo container is found 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 Namibia.

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.

Download English materials for the series here

by A.M. Ollikainen

#2 Paula Pihlaja series

A famous mountain climber is found hanging above a seesaw in a playground. The other end of the seesaw bears a sandbag that has spilled its contents.

Paula Pihlaja has barely had time to start the investigation when another body turns up – at another playground, hanging above a seesaw in the same way. A serial killer is on the loose, but his or her victims seem to have nothing in common.

In the first novel of the series, Paula develops strange symptoms. In this second instalment of the series, Paula is forced to hide her escalating symptoms from her colleagues, trying to avoid police fitness tests. At the same time, she continues investigating the life of her son, whom she gave up for adoption when he was a baby, in order to understand why he ended up a criminal, and eventually in prison for manslaughter. The drama intensifies when Paula finally shares her secret with her son about the slowly advancing ALS.

Download English materials for the series here

About author

A.M. Ollikainen

A. M. Ollikainen is a pseudonym for 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. 


2022, Crime & Suspense


A. M. Ollikainen

2021, Crime & Suspense


A. M. Ollikainen