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Ice Moon [Hardcover]

Jan Costin Wagner , John Brownjohn

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Book Description

April 9 2007
Only a week after losing his wife, a distraught Detective Kimmo Joentaa returns to work to join a murder inquiry. It is the case of a woman smothered in her sleepa curiously tranquil death, it seems, and one with no motiveand Kimmo becomes obsessed. The only clues are a half-empty bottle of red wine, two glasses, and a missing painting, a blurred landscape of no value. When a young man is found murdered in bed the next day in a hostel room with seven people asleep around him, Kimmo realizes a serial killer must be at work. As he struggles with the memory of his wifes early death, Kimmo investigates the murders and tries to understand the mind of the perpetrator, who appears to be quiet, self-effacing, and affablewhy then the urge to destroy? Set in Finland during the unnervingly long days of late summer near the top of the world, Ice Moon is an unsettling, poignant mystery.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (April 9 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0151012695
  • ISBN-13: 978-0151012695
  • Product Dimensions: 2.4 x 15.9 x 22.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 454 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,547,585 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Loss and the infinite ways we attempt to come to terms with it permeate this absorbing psychological mystery, Wagner's third novel and the first available in English translation, set in the Finnish town of Turku. A week after his wife dies of Hodgkin's disease, Det. Kimmo Joentaa feels compelled to return to work to investigate the murder of a young woman smothered in her own bed while her husband was away. Only a valueless painting appears to have been stolen. A second murder, just as puzzling, occurs in a youth hostel where a young man is killed while others slept all around him. Joentaa is sure the murders are connected and even feels inexplicably close to the killer. Though Wagner sometimes shifts awkwardly to the troubled killer's point of view, the despairing Kimmo Joentaa and the large cast of supporting characters are well drawn. This skillful mystery will have readers hoping Wagner's previous novels will soon be available in English. (May)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

During the coldest summer in memory, Finnish police detective Kimmo Joentaa is shattered by the death of his wife. To avoid being consumed by his grief, he returns to work and is assigned to investigate the murder of a woman who was smothered while she slept. Two more murders follow, and Kimmo wonders if the serial killer, who specializes in seemingly "peaceful" deaths, isn't the only thing keeping him from total despair. Told largely through the thoughts of the policeman and the killer, Ice Moon is another superior crime novel from Scandinavia. But it's bleak, perhaps bleaker than any of Henning Mankell's emotionally harrowing Kurt Wallander novels. And, because much of the narrative mines the thoughts of two tormented men, it lacks the strong sense of place found in Mankell's tales. That's too bad, because the locale of Turku, Finland, is little known to vast numbers of crime fans. Here's hoping Costin Wagner brings Kimmo back and offers a more detailed look at Finnish life. Thomas Gaughan
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars "He had tried to imagine that fear was the beginning of redemption." May 11 2007
By Luan Gaines - Published on Amazon.com
Shattered by grief, Detective Kimmo Joentaa is barely able to navigate the days following his wife's death from cancer, throwing himself into his work and a baffling case, a seemingly random murder: "It dawned on him that her murder, the death of another human being, had breathed life into himself." As the body count of inexplicable murders rises by the day, the detective is increasingly convinced that this is the work of one man, a serial killer compulsively acting out his demons. The murderer leaves no clues behind for the police to use in building a case, so innocuous as to be unnoticed by anyone as he enters and exits the murder scenes. Meanwhile, Joentaa's coworkers, especially his boss, are pressured to solve the crime wave that s frightening the citizens of Finland.

Wrapped in the painful reality of his harrowing grief, Joentaa intuitively recognizes the killer, a least feels a sort of empathy, sensing a lonely, alienated individual. Torn between interviewing the various people connected with the victims, their friends and spouses, the detective discovers that when he finally opens up to a relative stranger about his recent loss, he is also able to focus more clearly on the murders, eventually recognizing the man who has walked, invincible, through the lives of his victims. It is shocking to Joentaa that he has met the murderer and failed to recognize him at once.

The Finnish landscape and a clear, if, detached, writing style gives this crime novel an interesting patina, a removal from the emotions of the moment, as both Joentaa and the murderer retreat into more bearable territory. But, like the cool, distant moon that follows the killer's actions, this icy remove evaporates as reality demands recognition. Although I enjoyed the distance in the writing and the attention to emotional detail, the lack of passion that permeates the book also served to alienate me from the characters to some degree. A great fan of the work of Karen Fossum, I found Wagner's approach similar, but I failed to make a connection, other that my original interest in the beautiful rendering of the detective's personal loss at the beginning of the novel. Whether esoteric or merely passionless, I cannot tell. Luan Gaines/2007.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ice Moon June 19 2008
By Linda Kushnir - Published on Amazon.com
I agree with the comments made by the previous reviewer, but I must say that that was precisely what made me enjoy this book so much. In addition, it did not read at all like a translation. I found it very visual, very gripping. It's not a thriller; it's not very complicated; but it's very readable, almost poetic in its descriptions. I do hope that Wagner's mysteries continue to come out in English.
5.0 out of 5 stars great book June 7 2014
By Doris Laesser stillwater - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Wagner brings you deep into the story, thank you, one of my very favorite writers, complex and many levels of states of minds.

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