THE ICARUS SEAL by Christopher Hyde


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Free-lance journalist Peter Coffin of Toronto exposes a fairly implausible airline conspiracy--but not before Hyde (The Wave) has taken him through just about every chase/capture/escape/showdown clichÉ in the thriller-writer's handbook. The wild-goosing begins when narrator Peter gets a phone-call from colleague Sam Underwood in London: Sam's on the trail of Something Big concerning the AVTOUR charter line! But Sam promptly disappears, of course--and when Peter starts sleuthing around AVTOUR in Paris, he finds himself being stalked, attacked with a knife (he kills in self-defense), and abducted. He escapes through the Catacombs of Paris, disguises himself, flees to London, is shot with a tranquilizer gun, is abducted again. With Sam's sister Georgina (a hate relationship blossoms into love), Peter continues sleuthing--to Montreal, to upper Ontario, to the Omega Electronic Corp. (They wear wet suits to sneak in undetected by infra-red cameras.) The lovers are captured again, escape again, get hold of a new clue, and now head for Goose Bay, Labrador--where, aided by fearless local Harry Moonblanket, Peter scrambles through the woods to start unearthing the Big Secrets. (Solid info on nuclear-waste transport; fanciful notions about computerized coverup of plane crashes.) And there's a final, duel-of-death showdown between Peter and the prime villain . . . with Georgina lending a hand in the midair scuffling. A kernel of exposÉ material at most--stretched out to a near-interminable 300+ pages with nonstop formula action, some of it scenic or lively (the airborne tussles), much of it merely frenetic.

Pub Date: Oct. 8th, 1982
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin