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Ice Moon (Kimmo Joentaa #1)

3.42  ·  Rating Details ·  303 Ratings  ·  46 Reviews
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 sleep—a curiously tranquil death, it seems, and one with no motive—and 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. ...more
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published May 7th 2007 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (first published January 1st 2005)
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Nov 30, 2011 Karen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recently finished, ICE MOON by Jan Costin Wagner was an unexpected pleasure. It seems that Wagner has a bit of a reputation in his homeland of Germany for turning the "traditional" form of crime fiction on its head and if that's the case then he's done it again with ICE MOON.

Whilst there is murder, and an obviously very disturbed serial killer, in many ways ICE MOON is more an exploration of grief. The book opens with Finnish detective Kimmo Joentaa confronted with the death of his young wife fr
Jan 29, 2012 Orrieux rated it it was amazing

Dans une chambre d’hôpital, l’inspecteur Kimmo Joentra, âgé d’une trentaine d’années, voit mourir sa femme Sanna, vingt-cinq ans, terrassée par une maladie de Hodgkin. D’abord anesthésié par le choc, Kimmo sombre dans un chagrin terrible, à la fois mutique et furieux, traversé d’hallucinations. Dès le lendemain, il est pourtant chargé par son supérieur d’une affaire de meurtre : une jeune femme retrouvée étouffée pendant son sommeil dans sa villa, sans effraction ni vol – à l’exception d’un peti
Ellen Keim
Mar 29, 2014 Ellen Keim rated it liked it
The main character is struggling to come to terms with his wife's death while trying to solve murders that seem to be linked. Because his grief is so severe he is operating at a deficit yet he still manages to figure out who committed the murders and why.

The author subtly uses the murders as a device to cause both the main character and the reader to contemplate and explore the meaning of death. The writing isn't elegant--it may have suffered some in translation--but it is expressive. I really f
Jan Costin Wagner schreibt Kriminalromane, die in Finland spielen. Sein Protagonist ist der Polizist Kimmo Joentaa. In dem ersten Band der Reihe, Eismond, stirbt Kimmos Frau an Krebs. Er ist am Boden zerstört und geht dennoch, nahezu schlafwandelnd, zur Arbeit. Ein Serienmörder tötet Menschen im Schlaf. Kimmo fühlt sich dem Mörder auf seltsame Art verbunden, spürt Gemeinsamkeiten. So ist die Ermittlung eher eine emotionale Suche, ein In-sich-Hineinhorchen, eine Beschäftigung mit dem Tod und der ...more
Linda  Branham Greenwell
The main character is Detective Kimmo Joentaa. In this novel, at the very beginning of the book his wife die. Throughout the story Kimmo is dealing with his grief. You can feel his grief and feelings of disorientation and dissociation with reality throughout the book... an overwhelming sadness that he keeps inside as he questions everything around him
During his period of grief - a serial murderer is killing people in their sleep by placing a pillow over their faces while they sleep until they di
I had a problem understanding or relating to this book. It is definitely a murder and police procedural mystery, but it is also a psychological mystery and those elements were very strong. It was not a cut and dried thing, and certainly not the hard-boiled detective story. I wish I could have rated it higher. The Finnish was of real interest to me. My grandfather was born in Turku and the lakes and forests sounded as I would like to hear and know. Alot would probably like this book, but I guess ...more
Britta Söpper
Jun 02, 2014 Britta Söpper rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: krimi
Wer die Güte eines Krimis daran bemisst, wieviel Raum der Suche nach dem Täter und der Lösung des Falles gegeben wird, wird sicherlich von diesem Buch enttäuscht sein. Eismond lebt vielmehr von der bizarren Parallele, dass sowohl der Inspektor, der seine geliebte Frau verloren hat, wie auch der Täter, den Verlust geliebter Menschen nicht akzeptieren wollen und versuchen die Grenze zwischen Leben und Tod auf ihre ganz eigene Weise zu überwinden. Mit einer ruhigen und kargen Sprache gelingt es dem ...more
Sep 14, 2014 Carol rated it liked it
This was an interesting book, where the protagonist police officer investigates a serial killer while trying (unsuccessfully) to deal with the death of his wife. It is really almost more a study death and loss than a true murder mystery drama. I did find it a good read, but was a bit unsatisfied with the ending, it really did not feel right to me how the case was ultimately resolved. Hopefully the next in the series will be a bit better. However, that being said, the author does instill in the ...more
Diane S ☔
Dec 28, 2011 Diane S ☔ rated it liked it
Set in Finland this is a psychological thriller about the many different ways a person handles or hides their grief. Liked the lead detective Kimmo Joenta, who doesn't know how to handle the fact that his wife as died and finds himself back at work and involved in a murder case. Intrigued enough to read his next US release called "Silence" which came out last week.
Mar 06, 2016 Sue rated it really liked it
Young policeman with no flaws! His wife dies and this book is as much about his struggle to come to terms with his grief as the murder investigation. So painful to read in parts but so beautifully written.
Patricia Kaiser
Schade, mehr als eine seichte Sommerlektüre war das leider nicht. "Eismond" gehört für mich in die Kategorie von Romanen, an deren genauen Inhalt ich mich schon nach wenigen Monaten nicht mehr erinnern kann.
Iowa City Public Library
From my earlier post about Scandinavian mysteries I know there are a fair number of people who read this narrow "genre" out there and I have another title for them. I have recently read, Ice Moon by Jan Constin Wagner. The author is really German, but he is married to a Finn and this police procedural (his first of three published novels to be translated) is set in Finland. There isn’t much physical action, but the psychological drama is very intense. The Finnish detective, Kimmo Joentaa (I ...more
May 19, 2010 Jmm rated it really liked it
Police detectives who inhabit Scandinavian police procedurals tend to be an introspective and often morose group. Detective Kimmo Joentaa of the Criminal Investigation Department based in Torku, Finland amplifies this image tenfold as he struggles to survive an emotional tsunami created by the death of his wife, Sanna, in the opening chapter of Jan Costin Wagner’s Ice Moon. So the murder of Mrs. Ojaranta while her husband claims to have been away on business provides some escape from the void th ...more
Jan 29, 2012 Cmorice rated it it was amazing
Dans une chambre d’hôpital, l’inspecteur Kimmo Joentra, âgé d’une trentaine d’années, voit mourir sa femme Sanna, vingt-cinq ans, terrassée par une maladie de Hodgkin. D’abord anesthésié par le choc, Kimmo sombre dans un chagrin terrible, à la fois mutique et furieux, traversé d’hallucinations. Dès le lendemain, il est pourtant chargé par son supérieur d’une affaire de meurtre : une jeune femme retrouvée étouffée pendant son sommeil dans sa villa, sans effraction ni vol – à l’exception d’un ...more
Mar 09, 2012 Stacia rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 14, 2011 Jens rated it liked it
In Eismond geht es um Verlust, um Abschiednehmen und nur ganz nebenbei um Mord.
Die Stimmung in diesem Kriminalroman sehr drückend und schwer. Dominiert wird das Buch durch den Verlust der Frau des Protagonisten. Die Stimmung ist die richtige für ein Drama, die pure Melancholie, aber für einen Kriminalroman ist diese in diesem Umfang falsch am Platz.
Dem Leser wird bis zum Ende nicht eröffnet warum der Täter drei Personen tötet, obwohl man es sich mit etwas sozialer Kompetenz schon vorstellen kann
Nov 09, 2014 Laura rated it really liked it
This is an incredibly sad, beautifully written book. It's almost as much about the atmosphere as it is the mystery. This is our introduction to Kimmo, a detective who's lost his young wife a week earlier. He takes on a personal interest in this case as he tries to move on with his life.

This is a great introduction to these characters, most of whom are easy to relate to. The mystery part is a little vague, and it took me a while to figure out the shifting perspectives he was writing in (though I
Uwe Hook
Aug 25, 2011 Uwe Hook rated it liked it
Loss and the human ways we attempt to come to terms with it is the focus of 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 ...more
Apr 27, 2013 M M rated it did not like it
Because the German writer Jan Costin Wagner's wife is Finnish, the couple spend some time every year in Finland, that melancholy country of wood, despair and loneliness. This lends considerable authenticity - as far as I can make out (I might be falling into a stereotypical trap that I am unaware of) - to the descriptions of the town in which the grieving policeman Kimmo Joentaa lives and works. In Ice Moon, he has lost his beloved wife and is barely able to function, every day sinking deeper ...more
Martin Clark
Jul 31, 2012 Martin Clark rated it liked it
This book is classified as a psychological thriller but, without meaning to insult the book at all, "thriller" is stretching a point a bit. To be a thriller there should be some suspense, tension or excitement, but that isn't what this book is about at all. Things in this uncomplicated story just happen, there is no mystery and no brilliant detective work.

However, although not thrilling, it is gripping. And it is certainly psychological, exploring the tortured minds of both the villain and the
Oct 20, 2007 Pat rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone
Many of the detective and mystery books our of Scandinavia - at least both Norwegian and Swedish - tend to be too dark for me. The protagonists are just too depressed. Oddly enough Jan Wagner's protagonist in this Finnish novel should be similar since he has just lost his wife to cancer. He certainly is depressed, but he's not completely cynical. It's a very, very good book even though you know from the very early pages who the killer is. The writing is excellent and the characters are drawn ...more
Cristian Martínez
A long time to finish this book but it's done. The Finnish literature is pretty gifted in this kind of novel. Luckily it's plenty of this.

The most important thing about the crime novels is the thriller and the suspense and this book isn't the exception but I think when it is about a crime or that kind of mystery it must include an explication for all facts that could occur, I understand in real life that could happen I agree but this is fiction and I must say there are things with no conclusion
Apr 08, 2012 Monica rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The death of a young detective's wife is the main basis behind this book...even though it's also about murder. After his wife dies, Detective Kimmo Joentaa is immediately plunged into solving the murder of a young woman who has been suffocated in her bed. Kimmo, vulnerable after losing his wife, has difficulty focusing on this murder and spends a lot of time dealing with his own grief in relation to things that come up in the investigation.

I consider this book to be more a psychological drama th
I really enjoyed this suspense book. The writing was spare which seemed to fit the Finnish setting. It rang true on a psychological level regarding how a police officer might react to the too-early death of his wife. There were places I needed to stop and reread the text because of the subtleness of the thoughts being expressed. It wasn't much of a mystery, and I never really knew what drove the villian, but all in all that turned out to be beside the point.
Een nieuw jaar, een nieuwe Jan Costin Wagner. Of eigenlijk een oude, want IJsmaan is de eerste in de reeks met inspecteur Kimmo Joentaa. Waar in de volgende delen af en toe naar wordt verwezen, gebeurt hier: Joentaa’s vrouw overlijdt aan een ziekte. IJsmaan opent hiermee, dus vanaf de eerste kennismaking met de vriendelijke inspecteur is daar het verdriet... lees meer
Laurel Deloria
Feb 01, 2016 Laurel Deloria rated it liked it
Shelves: crime
Part of my series of Dectective stories. This one set in Finland by a German. THe main character and half of the plot is his grief over the death of his young perfect wife.
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 sleep 14a curiously tranquil death, it seems, and one with no motive 14and Kimmo becomes obsessed. The only clues are a half-empty bottle of red..
Nov 16, 2011 Vivian rated it liked it
Translated from the German, I enjoyed this psychological thriller from a new to me author. I liked the characrer of the grief stricken detective, Kimmo Joentaa, and the beautifully written descriptions of the weather and landscape of Finland. Although he's not nearly as good as Indridason or any of the other Scandinavian writers I've read in the past, I've already started the second in the series.
May 21, 2016 Jasmine rated it liked it
This story is more about grieving, how Kimmo Joentaa was coping and not coping with the death of his wife Sanna than the actual serial killing. It is a dark and sad tale, and it leaves the ending quite open to the reader's interpretations. It is quite different from the other Nordic noir I had read, much more emotional, sensitive and psychic, where Kimmo because of his own grief was able to feel an affinity with the murderer. Not a fast moving crime story but dark and cold.
Jul 13, 2010 Guy rated it really liked it
A wonderful mystery: gripping, elegiac, sparse and intense. As much about the detective as about the murderer or the victims. Really a mediation on death and loss and emptiness. Set in Turku in the wintertime, lots of frosty atmosphere. Highly recommended.

The author is a German who lives in Finland, and the book was first published in German and then translated into Finnish and ultimately English.
Panu Mäkinen
Synkeä kirja, jonka takakansi lupaa enemmän kuin sisältö antaa. Kiehtovaa tässä saksalaiskirjailijan teoksessa on, että tapahtumat sijoittuvat Suomeen. Kiehtovaa on myös kirjailijan tapa kuljettaa juonta eteenpäin vuoroin murhaajan ja vuoroin tutkimuksia johtavan poliisin näkökulmasta. Tämän tyyppinen juonenpunonta vaatisi lopussa täysin odottamatonta yllätystä – mutta sellaista ei tule.
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Jan Costin Wagner is a German crime fiction writer. His novels are set in Finland and feature detective Kimmo Joentaa.

Wagner studied German Literature and History at university in Frankfurt, and later worked as a journalist. His first novel, "Nachtfahrt" (Night Trip) was published to much acclaim in 2002 and won the Marlowe Prize for Best Crime Novel. His wife is a native of Finland, and they spen
More about Jan Costin Wagner...

Other Books in the Series

Kimmo Joentaa (5 books)
  • Silence
  • The Winter of the Lions
  • Light in a Dark House
  • Tage des letzten Schnees

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