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The Scarecrow

A book by Michael Connelly

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Journalist sleuth makes timely reappearance

  • May 31, 2009
  • by
Rating:
+5
With the demise of newspapers looming, bestselling author and former L.A. Times crime reporter Connelly's latest, set in an LA Times struggling to stay afloat, couldn't be more timely.

Connelly fans will remember rumpled, stalwart newsman Jack McEvoy from "The Poet," and will also be pleased to discover sparks once again flying between McEvoy and FBI agent Rachel Walling (who has made recent appearances in Connelly's Harry Bosch series). A very scary internet-savvy serial killer and Connelly's usual breakneck pacing complete the mix for this absorbing thriller.

After a brief introduction to the clever killer in his day job as a computer security genius, gleefully laying waste to the life of a would-be hacker, Connelly takes us into the newsroom of the L.A.Times where veteran reporter and Pulitzer Prize winner McEvoy has just been terminated - given two weeks notice in order to train his younger, less expensive replacement, Angela Cook.

McEvoy accepts the terms, but has no intention of going gently. He decides to write "a story that would make them remember me after I'm gone," another Pulitzer, a story that would show them they'd fired the wrong man. He focuses on a teenage drug dealer from the projects who's just been arrested for the murder of a young white woman, a junkie, stuffed into the trunk of her own car.

But what starts off as a dark profile morphs into something bigger when it begins to appear the young drug dealer might have been framed - by a clever, sadistic serial killer.

Switching viewpoints between the killer and McEvoy in a high-stakes dance of smarts and ruthlessness, Connelly keeps the suspense at a high pitch, ratcheting up the pace with law-enforcement mistakes, rule breaking, ego clashes, nick-of-time saves and crackling electricity between McEvoy and Walling.

But what adds real depth to this fast-paced read is the portrayal of the newsroom in all its old dinosaur warts, traditions, and gritty venerability. Connelly plumbs his journalistic background for more than atmosphere, however, exploring the meeting of internet and paper, and the ways they enhance one another. The ease and speed of internet research, for instance, combined with the structure and discipline of traditional journalism creates a powerful investigative machine, paradoxically undermined by its own economic mechanism.

Stalking a killer, Connelly gives us a glimpse of a future without newspapers and it's a scary sight. This is one of his best.

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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 . October 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 …
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 …
About the reviewer
Lynn Harnett ()
Ranked #183
I love to read, always have, and have been writing reviews for more years than I care to say. Early on, i realized there are more books than there is time to read, so I read only books I like and mostly … 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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Details

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