Miller Brinkman, a private investigator, has spent all his life in Ashley Falls, a small, sleepy town in West Virginia. In Icarus, by David Hulegaard, the winter of 1947 will prove a turning point in Miller’s life when Jane Emmett, the daughter of Ashley Falls’ most prominent family, disappears. Did she run away from home, has she been murdered, kidnapped, or what? Hired by Jane’s best friend, Jessie, to uncover the truth, Miller finds a disturbing set of clues that point in several possible directions. Oddest of all, it seems, is Jane’s family have not even reported the girl missing. The trail of clues will inevitably lead Brinkman on a wild ride through Washington DC and Baltimore in search of the missing girl, uncovering conspiracy theories and discovering information that may change the world forever.
Hulegaard has penned a fast-moving, thrilling, “spy type” novel here, in Icarus, that at times borders on science fiction. I felt the author perfectly captured the time period of the book, with the austerity and optimism of an America emerging from the Second World War. I could easily picture Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall playing the two main characters in the story, Miller, and Charissa. I particularly liked the character of Miller Brinkman. He was portrayed as a strong, determined person, but one who was haunted by a bad decision he had made, in his early days as a deputy on the Ashley Falls’ Police Department. He also suffers from an anxiety disorder and is subject to panic attacks, which meant leaving Ashley Falls to investigate this case was always going to be hard for him. It was easy to empathise with him. As the first novel in a trilogy, Icarus sets a fascinating scene for the next two books in the series.