The Sicilian Defense

The profiling skills of Salla Kotka come under pressure as she comes head-to-head with a serial killer.

Salla Kotka’s career as a forensic psychologist is progressing under the guidance of her mentor Ruth Segre. While interviewing serial killers, Salla meets again with a psychopath called the Groom. The man seems to know something about the serial killer Harlequin who is terrorizing Milan. But why does the Groom seem so interested in Salla?

Catching the Harlequin becomes even more important for Salla when the police claim that the perpetrator is someone close to Segre. Meanwhile, Salla is tortured by thoughts of her mother’s suspicious death and the secrets of the past.

Salla searches for a ruthless serial killer in the dark Milan night, but has evil managed to get much closer than she could have imagined?

The Italian Game

“The heart of darkness is in the human mind.”

The Greater Milan area lives in fear. A mysterious stalker is terrorizing people, and a serial killer called the Harlequin is picking their victims, branding them with jewellery. Are the two cases connected?

Salla Kotka, starting her career as a forensic psychologist, gets pulled into the threatening chain of events as she begins working for a defense attorney. Their client is the suspected serial killer, and Salla needs to help the defense uncover the truth. But, in the end, does truth carry any value in the courtroom?

To make matters worse, her new job as a profiler seems like a battlefield, mined by suspicious colleagues and hostile clients. While Salla has to examine the darkest sides in others, she is also trying to come to terms with her own past. Can she trust anyone, even herself?

Vera Vala

Vera Vala’s roots are in Finnish forests, but her soul belongs to Italy, where she has been living for over 25 years. She has an infinite thirst for knowledge that has taken her to study various academic subjects from Physics to Assyriology and Romance Languages, and the information acquired during those years has been useful as background research for her novels.

Vera’s adventurous spirit has taken her from diving with sharks while living in Seychelles to rafting in Italian Alps and exploring the shadier parts of her former hometown, Rome: the diverse experiences have come in handy while creating intriguing plot twists.

Currently, Vera lives with her family in Milan where she is studying to become a clinical psychologist with a special interest in Forensic Psychology. Vera creates novel scenes in her mind while cooking Italian meals, and she loves slow chess games and meditation.