- Format: Kindle Edition
- File Size: 2105 KB
- Print Length: 388 pages
- Publisher: Allen & Unwin (1 May 2010)
- Sold by: Amazon Australia Services, Inc.
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1742698387
- ISBN-13: 978-1742698380
- ASIN: B006GZMQWI
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Customer Reviews: 780 customer ratings
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #775 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
The Scarecrow (Jack McEvoy Book 2) Kindle Edition
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|Length: 388 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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Connelly hits it out of the park with one of the best thrillers of the year...Peter Giles brings a skilled and intimate feel to his reading without losing the chilling momentum.-- "Publishers Weekly (audio review)"
A nail-biting thriller...This magnificent effort is a reminder of why Connelly is one of today's top crime authors.-- "Publishers Weekly"
Connelly nails the death-of-newspapers theme...One of Connelly's very best.-- "Booklist (starred review)"
With its ingenious story line and the twisted brilliance of the creeps involved, The Scarecrow holds its own with its predecessor.-- "Washington Post"
A return to form for Mr. Connelly and his sharpest book since The Lincoln Lawyer.-- "New York Times" --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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A very good read.
Top international reviews
McEvoy is an experienced reporter, and for the last nine years has been chief crime correspondent for the LA Times. By 2010, however, the paper is struggling to keep its head above water, as hard copy sales diminish, and even its internet version finds difficulty competing with its rival titles. It is, therefore, ‘downsizing’, and McEvoy falls victim to an austerity drive. Because of the exploits recounted in ‘The Poet’, he had come to the paper as a celebrated journalist who could command a high salary. Nine years on, that high salary puts him on a list of reporters that the paper chooses to ‘let go’, giving him a fortnight’s notice and, to add insult to injury, he is asked to train up his young (and therefore much cheaper) replacement.
Still dazed from his bruising encounter with the newspaper’s HR department, he receives a call from a woman complaining about the way her son has been represented by both the paper and the police. It transpires that he has been arrested for the murder of a young woman whose mutilated body was found in the boot of her car. McEvoy had run a brief story which closely followed a press notice issued by the police. Conscious that there may be some mileage in investigating further, thinking it might make for an interesting final case with the paper, he resolves to look into the case more deeply.
Working with his prospective replacement, who emerges as already highly capable, and desperately ambitious, he uncovers some anomalies in the police handling of the case. Having reviewed the available evidence, he comes seriously to question the conclusions that the police have arrived at, and believes that the man in custody may be innocent. He and his new partner also uncover some strong similarities to a previous murder.
Like ‘The Poet’, this novel is principally recounted in a first-person narrative from Jack McEvoy, occasionally interspersed with third person authorial narration following the actual murder. He is a computer expert and accomplished hacker, who is able to follow McEvoy’s investigation from afar.
This is Connelly being as accomplished as ever: a strong, watertight plot and highly plausible characters. Connelly just seems to get even better as time goes on.
Won't put a spoiler here, but the basis of the killer's motivation and 'modus operandae' is almost comical and stretches the reader's 'suspension of disbelief' to breaking point. In other words, it's too silly to be taken seriously, despite the gruesome methods employed by the killer.
As usual, Mr Connelly puts his background as a crime reporter to good use by including an excessive amount of detail on police, crime scene and legal procedures (unnecessary in my view, but you may enjoy pages of procedural stuff). This time he also brings in the day-to-day minutiae of a reporter's life in a major newspaper: the office politics, the jargon, the little tricks and deceptions of the trade to get a story, etc..
However - for me - Jack McEvoy isn't a particularly interesting or likeable character himself, and nor are the supporting cast: no memorable policemen, reporters, lawyers... no 'family' of characters you can buy into.
There isn't the same depth or entertainment value in McEvoy as there is in other Connelly characters like Bosch and Micky Haller, but maybe that's just me.
So... this wasn't a bad read but it was a bit of a chore to stick with it to the end.
I think I'll stick to Bosch and Haller in future...
However, the plotting is leaden, there are no major surprises, the 2 main characters, Rachel and Jack vary from being very professional to being very stupid and the whole thing fizzles out like a damp squib.
Overall, unless you're an total die-hard Michael Connolly fan,I'd give this a miss.
At the front and center of his latest book, "The Scarecrow" is former Rocky Mountain News reporter, Jack McEvoy. As the book begins, Jack has been downsized from his beat at the Los Angeles Times and given two weeks to train his replacement for the crime beat. Jack is famous for his involvement with the events detailed in "The Poet" (which if you've not read, you should, but it's not necessary to enjoy "The Scarecrow"), but that fame and his salary have put him on the chopping block. After taking a call on a seemingly innocuous crime story, Jack begins to look into things and decides to go out with a story to remember. The story concerns a young man, arrested on suspicion of murder, though the young man swears his innocence. Jack finds some troubling details in the confession as well as a larger pattern to the a potential serial killer.
Jack's investigation sets off the alerts of the Carver, who initiates an all-out attack on Jack through technological means. The Carver wants to cover his tracks and begins to set up Jack for a fall.
"The Scarecrow" alternates perspectives between Jack and the Carver as the two engage in a cat-and-mouse race-against-time. The deadline for Jack's career at the L.A. Times as well as Carver's pursuit help give the narrative the drive it needs and the suspense builds with each passing page. Equally frightening is how easily the Carver is able to use technology to cut off Jack from contact with world--including cutting off e-mail access, draining his bank account and canceling credit cards. It will make you think about identity theft and just how apparent your passwords really are in a whole new light.
Years after this Jack is still working the crime beat however his life takes a downturn when cut backs in the paper industry lead to him been laid off. Despite this Jack wants to leave with a bang. When he takes a call from the relative of a young man charged with murder it triggers his interest. Jack had previously reported the story of the boys arrest and he sees the call and the ladies pleas of her relatives innocence as a chance for him to get an inside story on what made the boy become a killer. However during his investigations Jack sees that things might not be what they seem and turns to Walling to help him......
This is a very well written book. It is nice to get a follow up book on McEvoy as his character was a strong one and it is interesting to see the after effects of the Poet case on his life. The story is a little slow at first but does pick up towards the end. As the book is written from both Jack and The Scarecrows point of view which is unusual for Connelly and gives you an insight into both what the killer is thinking and alerts you to when Jack and Rachel are going wrong! On the downside I didn't feel the book had the normally twists and turns of a Connelly book however the last few chapters are still very hard to put down as the dramatic scenes are very, very well written.
Overall I found this to be a very good book. It has a good story but it will for me always be in the shadow of the Poet book. I would recommend this book to any crime fans but I would also recommend that The Poet is read first as it will add a lot to the book if you know the history of the two main characters.
This time Connelly's hero is Los Angeles Times crime reporter Jack McEvoy, last given an airing in The Poet. References are made to this earlier investigation by McEvoy and also expanded upon through his reunion with FBI agent Rachel Walling.
As a journalist I can identify with McEvoy's frustrations with his chiefs, his determination to stick with an investigative news feature and having to train up a junior. But the differences between journalistic law in the US and the UK are highlighted with a fluorescent marker pen. Although marginally annoying at times, overall I found these differences a fascinating comparison, as I did when reading The Poet (as well as other American crime reporting novels).
McEvoy is senior crime reporter and during the latest round of editorial downsizing, finds himself on the hit list for redundancy. He is too experienced and therefore too expensive to keep on staff.
Rather than being marched out with his box of personal possessions immediately, McEvoy is given two weeks in which to train up his young and inexperienced replacement.
Looking for a story that would see him go out on a high, McEvoy began researching the background of a youth accused of murder. The similarities of the crime to those in The Poet leads him and Rachel Walling into more than they bargained for and his trainee into danger.
Who is the scarecrow, what is he capable of and how does he manage to stay a step ahead? I would encourage you to read and find out.
It’s a sad day when you’ve read them all as there like good friends you want to be with them all the time!!!!
As always with Michael Connelly's books, he serves up plenty of creative and well researched plot-twists. But the lazy, predictable and often cliched 'cop speak' leaves me cold. You can tell he was a crime journalist who, in his day, 'knocked out' copy robotically. His editor(s) should push him to write more fluidly, to be more colourful and considered in his choice of language. If the author is content with his book being just OK, then it never stood a chance.