An old woman is found hanged in a forest. Paula finds out that she had terminal cancer and had almost emptied her apartment, knowing to die soon. Her death is considered a suicide, but Paula is not satisfied with it. There is something wrong in the picture.

A famous mountain climber is found hanging above a seesaw in a playground. On the other end of the seesaw Paula finds sand that is far too fine to be natural – the same kind of sand that was found at the forest. Paula realizes that the victims have been forced to balance on a seesaw before death, fighting for their lives. Paula Pihlaja has barely started the investigation when a third body turns up – a teenage boy, at another playground, hanged. A serial killer is on the loose.

Third title in the series, Logboat (Ruuhi), comes out summer 2024!

Paula is an interesting protagonist [–]. There is reserved, sharp authority in her that startles with its mysteriousness. The reader knows more about her than the characters of the novel. Still, one secret is kept hidden from the reader as well until the very last pages of the book. And when that information is revealed, at least I put many things into new context, and Paula gets my deep sympathies. The members of Paula’s team also start to ‘gain flesh on their bones’. Everyone has their strengths and weaknesses. The events are carried forth so that elements of the solution are strewn, and motives are shuffled around.

Tuijata, Kulttuuripohdintoja blog


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.

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 longlisted 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. The couple lives in Lohja with their two children.