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The Scarecrow

A book by Michael Connelly

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Connelly's back into top form ... thank goodness!

  • Oct 29, 2010
Jack McEvoy, long time investigative reporter for the Los Angeles Times, has fallen victim to the ravages of the internet and the modern economy and has received the dreaded pink slip. Angry at having been summarily dismissed after so many years, McEvoy decides that the most powerful message he could leave upon his exit would be a story with the potential to win a Pulitzer Prize, something to top even the story that he wrote about his encounter with THE POET.

Originally his intention is to write the story of Alonzo Winslow, a young black man in a run down public housing project, and how he evolved from a child through street punk to a drug dealer and killer, all in the astonishingly short space of a brutal and cruel 16 years. But as he begins to investigate the details of the story he uncovers the likelihood that Alonzo is innocent and that there is another fiendish murderer out there escaping the attention of the police by expertly framing more likely suspects.

When I read Michael Connelly's last Harry Bosch novel, THE NINE DRAGONS, I was disappointed and, frankly, terrified at the prospect that Connelly's train had finally run out of steam, that he was threatening to jump the shark. But ... thank goodness, no worries mate! THE SCARECROW is a return to peak form and the pages once again virtually turned themselves with all the intensity that I expected with Connelly's typical thrillers.

More than that, THE SCARECROW, as only the very best thrillers do, provides educational and informative background material on the setting of the story. In this case, we are first treated to a wonderfully atmospheric description of the daily internal workings of a major metropolitan newspaper and the travails that they are encountering as they compete with other media such as radio, television but most notably and most immediate, the internet. Equally interesting, we are treated to an extensive explanation of the workings of an off-site data storage and server "farm" for those organizations such as legal firms that require air-tight security for the protection of their working data and client files.

While it's a first-rate thriller, THE SCARECROW is not without its faults. Most notably, the ending, while satisfactory, goes a little bit over the top and seems to fall a little more into the domain of Hollywood special effects screenplay rather than thinking man's thriller.

That said, I'm pleased once again to be able to give an unqualified thumbs up to a Connelly novel and express the hope that we haven't seen the last of writer Jack McEvoy and his new found love, FBI agent Rachel Walling. (You just gotta love how Connelly's characters all populate the same L.A. universe and manage to show up in all of the different novels!)

Paul Weiss

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More The Scarecrow reviews
review by . July 02, 2010
Connelly delivers again with one of his early characters (Jack McEvoy) now paired with Rachel Walling who we last saw with Harry Bosch. McEvoy is told he is being let go from the his paper and has two weeks to train his replacement. Jack decides that he wants to go out with a bang and happens to follow-up on a tip from the mother of teen caught up in a murder that Jack reported. As Jack starts to probe he realizes that the teen couldn't have committed the crime and may be in fact innocent.   …
Quick Tip by . October 29, 2010
Jack McEvoy stars in a thrilling sequel to his debut in THE POET. In his final story for the LA Times, he's busy tracking down a clever hidden killer whose staying under the police radar by framing more likely suspects for his crime.
review by . June 29, 2010
Michael Connelly is one of my favorite mystery thriller writers of all time. And while Detective Harry Bosch is my favorite character of his, I'd probably say that Jack Mc Evoy is a close second. The Scarecrow is about Jack Mc Evoy and opens with him getting laid off from his job at the Los Angeles Times.  Which of course is probably very easy for many people to relate to right now, I know I certainly can, being a photojournalist myself. And if that isn't enough of a kick in the pants, …
review by . September 17, 2010
   The Scarecrow was my first Michael Connelly novel and probably not my last. A book that delves into the sick mind that relishes a specific torture/murder scenario should be fairly graphic. However, Connelly keeps the gore and horror fairly low-key, hinting at most of it, which was refreshing because it doesn't take much to hit overkill.      Crime scene aficionados, creepy bad guy collectors, fractured mind fans, police procedural junkies, cyber-crime masterminds, …
Quick Tip by . July 08, 2010
Great to see two old characters return. Loved this book. Connely proves he has more than one frachise character in him.
Quick Tip by . June 29, 2010
Michael Connelly, a compelling and engrossing read.
review by . September 04, 2009
   When it comes to chilling suspense thrillers few can match the level of Michael Connelly. So it should then be no surprise to see all the good reviews his new work "The Scarecrow" is receiving. There are some very chilling and sadistic scenes that would make the Marquis de Sade envious - but there is a lot more to this book than grizzly murders. Jack McEvoy is the book's lead - a newspaper reporter (you may remember him from "The Poet") The Poet       …
review by . November 03, 2009
Jack McEvoy became a national bestselling author when he wrote a book about his experience with a serial killer named the Poet, and since then, he's worked as a crime reporter for the Los Angeles Times. The Times, facing financial woes, decides to lay off 100 employees and Jack's number 99. Jack decides to make a grand exit by writing a book about a 16-year-old drug dealer who claims he did not confess to strangling a young woman and stuffing her in the trunk of her car, although the police investigators …
review by . May 26, 2009
Connelly delivers again with one of his early characters (Jack McEvoy) now paired with Rachel Walling who we last saw with Harry Bosch. McEvoy is told he is being let go from the his paper and has two weeks to train his replacement. Jack decides that he wants to go out with a bang and happens to follow-up on a tip from the mother of teen caught up in a murder that Jack reported. As Jack starts to probe he realizes that the teen couldn't have committed the crime and may be in fact innocent.    Me …
review by . August 05, 2009
Last seen primarily in "The Poet," Jack McEvoy returns in this novel which is both a mystery and a lament to the world of newspaper publishing. It's been a lot of years since the celebrity success of his book on the poet serial killer and Jack is on the wrong side of 40. The LA Times has seen its best days and in the latest round of staff cuts has included Jack. They will give him one break which at the same time is a bit of an insult. He can leave now or he can train his replacement, Angela Cook, …
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Paul Weiss ()
Ranked #16
   A modern day dilettante with widely varied eclectic interests. A dabbler in muchbut grandmaster of none - wilderness camping in all four seasons, hiking, canoeing, world travel,philately, … more
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Book Description
Forced out of the Los Angeles Times amid the latest budget cuts, newspaperman Jack McEvoy decides to go out with a bang, using his final days at the paper to write the definitive murder story of his career.

He focuses on Alonzo Winslow, a 16-year-old drug dealer in jail after confessing to a brutal murder. But as he delves into the story, Jack realizes that Winslow's so-called confession is bogus. The kid might actually be innocent.

Jack is soon running with his biggest story since The Poet made his career years ago. He is tracking a killer who operates completely below police radar--and with perfect knowledge of any move against him. Including Jack's.


Michael Connelly and Janet Evanovich: Author One-to-One
In this Amazon exclusive, we brought together blockbuster authors Michael Connelly and Janet Evanovich and asked them to interview each other. Find out what two of the top authors of their genres have to say about their characters, writing process, and more. Janet Evanovich is the bestselling author of the Stephanie Plum novels, including Finger Lickin' Fifteen, twelve romance novels, the Alexandra Barnaby novels, and . Read on to see Janet Evanovich's questions for Michael Connelly, or turn the tables to see what Connelly asked Evanovich.

Janet EvanovichEvanovich: So dude,... Okay, you're back in Florida. Do you ever get to the beach? And when and if you get to the beach...is Harry Bosch with you? And what kind of beachwear are you guys ...

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ISBN-10: 0316166308
ISBN-13: 978-0316166300
Author: Michael Connelly
Genre: Mystery & Thrillers
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
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