Sakari Learns to Walk through Walls
Sakari lernt, durch Wände zu gehen

wagner cover
Kiepenheuer & Witsch
November 2017 / 240pp

This book is outside of the five-year window for guaranteed assistance with English language translation. We suggest getting in touch with the relevant funding body for an informal conversation about the possibility of support. Please refer to to our  recommendations page for books that are currently covered by our funding guarantee.


Jan Costin Wagner’s literary crime novel is both a gripping police procedural and a sensitive treatment of guilt, grief and mental illness, all approached with great compassion and insight. The centre of Turku, Finland’s oldest city.

Nineteen-year-old Sakari Ekman climbs naked into a fountain holding a knife, while a boy eating ice-cream looks on. Policeman Petri Grönholm is called to the scene. A few minutes later he has shot Sakari dead. Shocked by his own actions, Petri turns to police colleague Kimmo Joentaa for help.

Sakari Learns to Walk through Walls is the sixth in the ‘Kimmo Joentaa’ series, four of which are currently available in  English. Each of the novels is of an extremely high standard with excellent characterisation, including an in-depth exploration of the characters’ psychological motivations.

Sakari is equal to the best of Scandinavian crime fiction and  would make an ideal book club selection, with plenty of thematic and ethical angles to fuel a lively discussion. Jan Costin Wagner’s focus on the psychology of crime is reminiscent of the acclaimed Norwegian crime writer Karin Fossum.

about the author

Jan Costin Wagner is a writer and musician based near Frankfurt am Main. He is currently working on the album thief of a moon. His highly acclaimed crime novels featuring the Finnish investigator Kimmo Joentaa have received numerous awards, including the German Crime Novel Prize and a nomination for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, and have been translated into fourteen languages. Das Schweigen (Silence) was adapted for the big screen.

rights information

Verlag Kiepenheuer & Witsch GmbH & Co. KG

Bahnhofsvorplatz 1, 50667 Cologne, Germany

Contact: Iris Brandt

Tel: +49 221 3768522



Verlag Kiepenheuer & Witsch was founded in 1949 in Cologne by Gustav Kiepenheuer and Joseph Caspar Witsch. The press’s early authors included Joseph Roth, Heinrich Böll and Erich Maria Remarque. Today KiWi continues to publish leading contemporary German, Austrian and Swiss writers, as well as international authors in translation, both in fiction (literary and commercial) and non-fiction, such as Jonathan Safran Foer and Zadie Smith, Maxim Biller, Eva Menasse and Uwe Timm. Kiepenheuer & Witsch is part of the Holtzbrinck Group.

translation assistance

Applications should be made to the Goethe-Institut.

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