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The Scarecrow [Hardcover]

Michael Connelly
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
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Book Description

May 26 2009
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.

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Review

"Terrific....Connelly never stops doling out the suspense as action leads to counteraction....His thriller is an addictive read that, once it grabs you in those first few pages, won't let go of you....High-grade entertainment." (Boston Globe Chuck Leddy)

"The Scarecrow is a dire warning about the dangers of electronic snooping. And it is a page-turning thriller--cleverly plotted, fast-paced and crisply written." (San Francisco Chronicle Bruce DeSilva)

"Connelly is one of the masters of contemporary crime fiction....Connelly's masterful narrative...proceeds in alternate chapters...which adds to this particularly chilling heavy's creepy aspect. It's a terrific device. Connelly always has been frank about his admiration for Raymond Chandler. It's a high bar to set for oneself, but he comes as close to clearing it as any mystery writer of his generation." (Los Angeles Times Tim Rutten)

"Connelly nails the death-of-newspapers theme....Alternating point of view between villain and reporter, Connelly builds tension expertly, using dramatic irony to its fullest, screw-tightening potential. Even confirmed Harry Bosch fans will have to admit that this Harry-less novel is one of Connelly's very best." (Booklist Bill Ott)

"What drives this story are not the vivid action scenes but the more internal clue-reading of his heroes as they piece together the ingenious mystery plots." (Entertainment Weekly Thom Geier)

"With its ingenious story line and the twisted brilliance of the creeps involved, The Scarecrow holds its own with its predecessor [The Poet], which was a breakthrough novel for Connelly." (Washington Post Maureen Corrigan)

"A riveting thriller with a flawed, fully fleshed hero, a nasty serial killer and the expected page-turning tension." (Miami Herald Connie Ogle)

"Connelly has the nerve and timing of a whole SWAT team." (New York Times Marilyn Stasio)

"Connelly masterfully whips the reader back and forth between McEvoy's point of view and the killer's, accelerating the pace as the full threat to McEvoy and Rachel Walling becomes clearer. The Scarecrow is Connelly in top form. And reading it will make it impossible for you to ever again think that when you do something online, no one's watching." (St. Petersburg Times Colette Bancroft)

"There's something so comforting about knowing you're in the hands of a master when you pick up a new book....Connelly has produced one of the most impressive bodies of work in crime fiction, both an in-depth study of the darker side of human nature and an ongoing biography of the city of Los Angeles, told through the guise of sharply plotted, endlessly entertaining mystery novels." (Chicago Sun-Times David J. Montgomery)

About the Author

Michael Connelly is the bestselling author of the Harry Bosch series of novels as well as The Poet, Blood Work, Void Moon, Chasing the Dime, and the #1 New York Times bestseller The Lincoln Lawyer. He is a former newspaper reporter who has won numerous awards for his journalism and his novels. He spends his time in California and Florida.

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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another great thriller May 17 2009
Format:Hardcover
I'm a fan of Connelly's previous books, especially the Bosch novels, but was a little wary of picking up with a character after so long but Jack McEvoy slides right back into the narrator's chair and, after a slightly slow start, the story flows easily into another thoroughly enjoyable page-turner.

If you've read one of Connelly's books before you'll know exactly what to expect, well-drawn and motivated characters with an interesting story that once up and running doesn't stop until the clash of the finale. Highly recommended.

I picked up The Scarecrow at a Chapters in Toronto, they must have accidentally put the book out for sale early because the next day they were all gone.
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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Serial Killer Stalks His Pursuers June 23 2009
By Donald Mitchell #1 HALL OF FAME TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
"If, however, a man acts presumptuously toward his neighbor, so as to kill him craftily, you are to take him even from My altar, that he may die." -- Exodus 21:14

Let's face it, kinky serial killers make for good reading. Although the Scarecrow isn't the most interesting serial killer you've ever read about, you'll probably find him to be very entertaining in a high-tech way. That's the good news.

The bad news is that this book is about Jack McEvoy in his last days after being fired from the Los Angeles Times . . . rather than about that fascinating detective, Harry Bosch. If this book had been all about Bosch versus the Scarecrow, it would have been some story.

It did seem very contemporary to focus much of the story on how a top reporter would react to losing his job . . . while having few prospects for what to do next. As newspapers die around us, the days when such books will be written are clearly numbered.

Given that McEvoy is the sleuth in the story, I think the plot would have worked a lot better if the book had revealed less about the Scarecrow until just near the end. Instead, the book's structure alternates narrators so you learn a lot about the Scarecrow from the very beginning. To me, that stole a lot of the potential suspense and danger from the tale.

Naturally, a lot of readers are familiar with McEvoy's role in The Poet. I thought that book worked somewhat better than this one. But if you liked The Poet, you'll probably enjoy The Scarecrow, as well.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Yet Another Great Novel April 5 2011
Format:Audio CD
Connelly does it again with a great novel. The story just gets bigger as the investigation progresses. Jack McEvoy and FBI agent Rachel Walling use all they've got to solve the case despite Jack getting pinked and Rachel dealing with the Bureau. The killer is clever and always a step ahead of them, making the story realistic with a believable cast of characters. Jack and Rachel, although they were in a romantic relationship with each other twelve years ago, must work together to unravel the bits of information that would ultimately prevent the killer from meeting the next victim.

It's great how Agent Rachel Walling uses her profiling skills to deduct theories and attempt to find the killer's signature. She's a strong female character who knows when her job comes first (which is most of the time), while Jack has a tendency to want to give in romantically. Jack tries hard to catch up to the killer in finding connections and the next lead while he tries to end his career on the crime beat with a big bang. He's not afraid to literally say F you to his editor, not only for cutting him, but also for giving him deals that just won't do. Rachel has good instincts and she's good at reading people, while Jack makes good judgements and simply can't help but dig for that next lead. Even with their drive and background, the killer still manages to leave them in doubt and with nothing to pin him on, until he slips up.

Peter Giles is the reader for this audio book and he is a great voice actor. His interpretation of Connelly's work is fantastic and he reads the dialogue for the other characters very well; forget the male voices, his interpretation of female voices and of African American English speakers is great too.
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4.0 out of 5 stars The media decline in a fearful world March 26 2010
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
For anybody who works or who knows the mass-media industry and love Michael Connelly, this is a great novel.
We have seen Jack McEvoy before in THE POET, considered by many like the masterpiece of the author.
This one is almost as good, and describes quite clearly the world we live in.
The only critic is about Rachel Walling character, who's behaving strangely in this novel.
But this will not affect the pleasure you will get.
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