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Silence: A Novel
     

Silence: A Novel

by Jan Costin Wagner
 

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"To create an investigator who is both admirable and troubled and yet individual and sympathetic is a gift, and Wagner has it."—Times Literary Supplement
One ordinary summer’s day, a young girl disappears while cycling to volleyball practice. Her abandoned bike is found in exactly the same place that another girl was assaulted and murdered thirty-three

Overview

"To create an investigator who is both admirable and troubled and yet individual and sympathetic is a gift, and Wagner has it."—Times Literary Supplement
One ordinary summer’s day, a young girl disappears while cycling to volleyball practice. Her abandoned bike is found in exactly the same place that another girl was assaulted and murdered thirty-three years previously. The perpetrator was never brought to justice, so the authorities suspect the same killer has struck again. The eeriness of the crime unsettles not only the police and public, but also someone who has been carrying a burden of guilt for many years. . . . Detective Kimmo Joentaa calls upon the help of his older colleague Ketola, who worked on the original murder, in the hope that they can solve both cases. While they are following up leads, the ripples from the impact of the new disappearance spread and Kimmo discovers that the truth is not always what you expect.

Editorial Reviews

The New York Times Book Review
The narrative is constructed along the lines of a roman policier and features a strong working relationship between the retired detective who failed to solve the original case and a younger colleague,
Kimmo Joentaa. But the book’s dark matter has more to do with the obsessive thoughts of troubled minds. And that way, as we know, lies madness.— Marilyn Stasio
The Washington Post
Silence
is a brilliant demonstration of how the lineaments of crime fiction —
murder, detectives, step-by-step investigation — can be put to the service of tragedy.— Dennis Drabelle
Marilyn Stasio - The New York Times Book Review
“The narrative is constructed along the lines of a roman policier and features a strong working relationship between the retired detective who failed to solve the original case and a younger colleague,
Kimmo Joentaa. But the book’s dark matter has more to do with the obsessive thoughts of troubled minds. And that way, as we know, lies madness.”
Dennis Drabelle - The Washington Post
“Silence is a brilliant demonstration of how the lineaments of crime fiction — murder, detectives, step-by-step investigation — can be put to the service of tragedy.”
The New York Times Book Review - Marilyn Stasio
“The narrative is constructed along the lines of a roman policier and features a strong working relationship between the retired detective who failed to solve the original case and a younger colleague, Kimmo Joentaa. But the book’s dark matter has more to do with the obsessive thoughts of troubled minds. And that way, as we know, lies madness.”
The Washington Post - Dennis Drabelle
“Silence is a brilliant demonstration of how the lineaments of crime fiction — murder, detectives, step-by-step investigation — can be put to the service of tragedy.”
Dennis Drabelle
Wagner gives every character, no matter how minor, his or her due…This may not be the sort of novel you want to whip through on an airplane, and it holds no great surprises for readers who like to be fooled—or, for that matter, to outguess the smarty-pants author. Instead, Silence is a brilliant demonstration of how the lineaments of crime fiction—murder, detectives, step-by-step investigation—can be put to the service of tragedy.
—The Washington Post
Publishers Weekly
Heavy on Nordic melancholy, Wagner’s slow-burning second novel featuring Finnish detective Kimmo Joentaa (after 2007’sIce Moon) focuses on a possible link between a cold case and a present-day crime. In 1974, the body of 13-year-old Pia Lehtinen, who disappeared while riding her bike in Turku, was found after several months in a lake. Now another girl, 14-year-old Sinikka Vehkasalo, has gone missing, her bike and sports bag found near a cross erected in Pia’s memory. Joentaa and his team soon exhaust their scant leads and turn, unofficially, for advice to a recently retired police colleague, who’s convinced it’s the work of the same killer. Meanwhile, scenes from the life of Helsinki estate agent Timo Korvensuo, whose connection to Pia’s death—and potentially Sinikka’s vanishing—unspools at a leisurely pace. An unexpected conclusion helps compensate for the sometimes saggy plot, while Wagner’s take on grief seen through the dual prisms of time and circumstance will resonate with many readers. (Dec.)
Kirkus Reviews
Now widowed of the beloved helpmeet who was dying in Ice Moon (2007), detective Kimmo Joentaa, of the Turko CID, grapples with a second, equally chilling case. It's been 33 years since Pia Lehtinen was raped and murdered. Her killer was never found--only her bicycle, abandoned at the side of a cycle path, and her corpse, recovered weeks later from a nearby lake. Now, Sinikka Vehkasalo, another teenager, has disappeared, her bicycle found in the place of the memorial marking the earlier unsolved crime. Is this new crime the work of a copycat, or has the original killer been driven to repeat his crime a generation later? The case falls to phlegmatic, reflective Joentaa, but he'd rather share it with Antsi Ketola, whose retirement has removed from the force its last veteran with firsthand knowledge of the Lehtinen case. Pia's killer, quickly revealed as now-elderly caretaker Olavi Pärssinen, remains a minor figure; instead, the story focuses on his accomplice, real-estate agent Timo Korvensuo, bringing you so close to this sorry specimen that you feel trapped inside his head. As Joentaa and Ketola do their best to deal with Sinikka's troubled parents and unearth traces of a third similar disappearance a mere 24 years back, Wagner slowly brings Timo's combination of guilt, denial, passivity and enjoyment of his perfectly normal family to a boil. What is it about those Scandinavians? Though Wagner's cops get along equably enough, there's precious little oxygen between the other characters, who seem to be carrying all the torment his striking debut reserved for the hero.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781605983936
Publisher:
Pegasus
Publication date:
04/03/2013
Pages:
336
Product dimensions:
5.60(w) x 8.80(h) x 0.80(d)

Meet the Author

Jan Costin Wagner was born in 1972 near Frankfurt. He divides his time between Germany and Finland (the home country of his wife). His novels include Silence and Ice Moon.

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