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.
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