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Icarus: A Thriller Hardcover – June 26, 2001

4.1 out of 5 stars 28 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

As a child, Jack Keller watched a madman hurl his mother through a high-rise window to her death. Thirty years later, another senseless act of violence takes the life of his wife and nearly finishes him. Now his friend and physical therapist, the enigmatic Kid Demeter, has apparently taken his own life. But was it really suicide? And what does his death have to do with the team, the women in Demeter's life, each known to Jack only by a series of curious nicknames? In Icarus, Russell Andrews's diabolical, fast-paced thriller, Keller will discover the awful truth of the tragedy that has dogged his life--if he can solve the mystery of the team before the killer can catch him.

Icarus is the second novel by Russell Andrews, the nom de plume of book editor Peter Gethers and mystery novelist David Handler. Like their first one, Gideon, Icarus is relentless in its suspense and pacing. Jack Keller is a likable and believable protagonist. Unfortunately, most of the other characters in the book lack enough depth to be much more than cartoon characters; Keller's wife, in particular, seems like a lonely teenager's fantasy of the ideal woman. Still, as a straightforward action thriller, this book delivers, with enough plot twists and turns to keep the avid mystery reader guessing right up to the end. --Perry M. Atterberry

From Publishers Weekly

From ex-Villard publisher Peter Gethers and mystery writer David Handler, the pseudonymous duo who penned Gideon (1999), comes this overwritten yarn about a restaurateur It seems incredible that flaws such as meandering POV and lapses into journalistic (omniscient) expository asides could come from such well-versed professionals. However, readers who suffer through the sluggish first 100 pages will be rewarded to find that the novel eventually takes hold and moves briskly forward. Fatherless 10-year-old Jack Keller watches a madman hurl his mother out of a Manhattan skyscraper window and is saved from the same fate by his wannabe stepfather, a successful butcher who takes him in. At 20, Jack meets Caroline, a drop-dead gorgeous Virginia belle at Columbia University. They marry and open Jack's, a trendy New York City eatery. In four years, they own branches in Chicago, L.A., Miami and Paris. Unable to have children, they adopt Kid, a charismatic youth who, on his way to athletic fame at St. John's University, suddenly vanishes. To get on with her life, Caroline goes to hometown Charlottesville to open a restaurant. On opening day, she is brutally murdered by a masked man who also wounds Jack so badly he is left in a wheelchair. Soon the chimerical Kid shows up with a degree in physical therapy and gets Jack back on his feet. But Kid doesn't last long. When his leap from his penthouse is ruled suicide, Jack knows he must get to the bottom of the chain of deaths, no matter what the cost. Spoiled by an hors d'oeuvre tray of twists, a buffet of subplots and a glut of trivia, this chiller is plagued by the same flaws as the overstuffed (but bestselling) Gideon.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.


Product Details

  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Doubleday; 1st edition (June 26, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385498748
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385498746
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.4 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,632,668 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
As a child, Jack Keller witnessed the horrifying tragedy of his mother being murdered.
Thirty years later, Jack has come along way - with a great marriage, a chain of successful restaurants, and good health - he feels he has it all...that is about to change.
At the grand opening of a new restaurant, Jack witnesses his second tragedy, and all it took was one bullet.
Recovering from his injuries, Jack is nursed back to health by Kid Demeter. Jack looks at Kid as his own son, and Kid looks up to Jack as the father he is missing. During the healing process, Kid will tell Jack stories of his reckless life, and the many women he entertains. In each of the stories, Kid describes the women as sexy, and dangerous, and will only refer to them by nicknames.
Before long, another tragedy strikes...Kid plunges twenty stories to his death.
Refusing to believe the official ruling of suicide, Jack believes one of Kid's women is responsible, and in his quest for answers, he will enter into the dark world of strip clubs, sex clubs, drugs, and extreme violence.
The closer Jack gets to the truth, a killer is closing in on him. Someone watching his every move. Someone killing anyone that gets in the way. And, one wrong move could cost Jack his life.
`Icarus' is an excellent thriller, and a wonderful follow-up to the heart racing bestseller, `Gideon'. In `Icarus' Russell Andrews has crafted a complex, spellbinding plot, worthy of anything Hitchcock created. The reader is kept guessing the entire time, while pieces of the puzzle fall into place. And, when the climax brings to light the final piece of the puzzle, we are left in awe, wanting more.
Russell Andrews has written another blockbuster bestseller, that all thriller fans should run out and buy.
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Format: Hardcover
Stop reading this review. Immediately scroll back up and buy this book - DO IT NOW! And while you're at it - DO NOT read any reviews that describe the story line, plot, don't even read the jacket cover, because they tell you so much that it takes away from the impact of the book's events.
That said, Russell Andrews (or whoever the actual writers are) has crafted the best book I have read all year - maybe ever! The story of Jack Keller is woven around a host of other charcters from his past and present. Keller suffers recurring and horrendous tragedy and the story tells how he moves on with his life, while healing and searching for a killer. Very creative, very clever, well written and believable characters, excellent dialogue, very easy read, fast-paced. I really could not put it down until I had turned the last page. Finally a book with an uplifting and poignent ending.
Climatic scene that makes up the end of the story is a bit drawn out, but builds well on the mystery and Jack's fears and hopes for the future. Bravo. This book is excellent. I am now scrolling up to buy Gideon.
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Format: Hardcover
While some reviewers felt that the first 90-100 pages were slow moving, I found that I did not want to put this book down from the very first page. Icarus is one of those rare books that the less you know about before starting it, the more exciting, surprising and suspenseful it will be to you. While I know it's hard to spend money on a book without knowing what it's about, this is definitely a book that should be the exception to the rule. The style of writing is very easy to read, the plot is very fast-paced, the action is non-stop (particularly in the second half of the book), and the characters are very credible. If this isn't enough to motivate you to put Icarus at the top of your "To Be Read" list, than maybe this will do it for you -- you won't guess who the killer is. Even if you do, it won't be until towards the very end of the book, and by that point you'll have probably gone through a list of characters who you thought "did it." Icarus is the most enjoyable thriller I've read in quite a while. Do yourself two favors -- 1) don't read any reviews that describe the plot, and 2) go right out and get a copy of Icarus (and don't be tempted to read the inside flap. It will take away from some of the suspense!). Also, if you have a little more money to spend, get a copy of Russell Andrews' first book, Gideon.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Jack is a tough customer whose mentor is a cleaver-wielding butcher from New York City's meat packing district. As a child, Jack watches his mother die at the hands of a deranged murderer who hurls her body through the window of a Manhattan skyscraper, Nevertheless, he manages to make a success of his life: he acquires a classy drop-dead gorgeous wife and partner, cultivates a lucrative string of top-notch restaurants and still manages to maintain his loyalty to those he has met along the way to reaping the lavish rewards of his work. Basically he wants for nothing, even challenging his own fear of heights by purchasing a penthouse apartment several stories above ground level.
Problem? Yes. Disaster strikes a second time when Jack's wife dies exactly the same way as his mother and again Jack witnesses the entire event. Bereft and broken, Jack comes back to life with the help of a younger protegee, Kid Demeter, a personal trainer with a style both motivating and mysterious. Throughout Jack's recovery, he hears about Kid's edgy lifestyle, epitomized by the high-maintenance women in his life. The "team" as Kid labels them are chivalrously referred to only by nicknames, so when Kid himself is found dead after being thrown from his Tribeca apartment window, Jack does not have a clue as to how to convince the police that Kid's death was murder and not suicide.
By far, the most interesting aspect of this book was Jack's foray into Kid's nighttime world of private clubs and fast women. It is here that the author's minimalist's style really works to convey the multi-layered truths of the demimonde as as seen from Jack's skewed perspective.
This novel picks up momentum once the murders of Jack's mother and wife are recounted.
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