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Fair Warning by Michael Connelly

Fair Warning (edition 2020)

by Michael Connelly

Series: Jack McEvoy (3), Rachel Walling (6)

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4281742,634 (4.01)10
Title:Fair Warning
Authors:Michael Connelly
Info:Little, Brown and Company
Collections:Your library

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Fair Warning by Michael Connelly



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Jack McEvoy originally appeared in THE POET in 1996. Now, over 20 years on, he is an investigative journalist for a website called Fair Warning. (The author tells us that this site actually exists, https://www.fairwarning.org/, and that he is on its board. Myron Levin, the founder and editor of the site also appears in this book)

Jack is interviewed by FBI agents about the death of a woman that he dated once. When they tell him that they have DNA from the scene he voluntarily gives his own DNA to prove that it wasn't him. The woman died from AOD (internal decapitation) and Jack discovers that she is one of a number of cases with similar deaths. He also discovers that all of the victims had recently sent their DNA to a cheap DNA research company, who pass anonymous DNA results out into the community to fund their work.
Jack works with colleagues at the Fair Warning website to investigate these cases and then pulls in Rachel Walling, ex-FBI, to assist. Rachel is also a character from THE POET.

There are a number of issues of concern raised in the novel such as how much control there is over how DNA results are used, who gets access to them, and the political implications of the novel have not suited all readers.
I was reminded of a novel that I read last year THE ONE, by John Marrs where DNA is used to find people's life-long partners. And then there have been other crime fiction DNA-based novels such as WICKER by Kevin Guilfoyle, DIRTY LITTLE LIES by John Macken and JAR CITY by Arnaldur Indridason (see more )

What interested me in particular in FAIR WARNING was Connelly's revival of the original investigative duo of Jack McEvoy and Rachel Walling after such a long gap. That in itself was unusual. And it seems likely that we will meet them again in the future.

Plenty to think about in this book. ( )
  smik | Nov 8, 2020 |
I do not mind the Harry Bosch preachy attitude but in this book save me. What is it with endings. This was the worst ending I have read this year and that is saying something. ( )
  shazjhb | Sep 13, 2020 |
Fair Warning
Tracing your ancestry is all the rage the last few years and a lot of folks are doing it by way of various genetic testing sites. Many people are totally unaware that once you send off your genetic material, the company that receives your genetic materially can legally do pretty much do anything they want with it and nobody is the wiser. It can be used, as law enforcement has done, to catch a serial killer last active decades ago or for any purpose by anyone who buys it from the originating company. While the FDA claims governing authority, they have not set the rules so pretty much anything goes in this brave new world of genetics. That is a major theme of the latest novel by Michael Connelly, Fair Warning.

It has been a few years since we last saw Jack McEvoy. These days he works for a consumer protection news reporting site, FairWarning. It is a small five-person operation run by Editor and Founder Myron Levin. (Note: both the online publication and Myron Levin exist in these roles and author Michael Connelly is a member of the board of directors for the nonprofit.) these days, veteran reporter Jack McEvoy is not working his usual police beat as he now writes stories on consumer issues. As the book opens, he has just turned in a piece about scammers at work in the field of debt collection and how they deliberately fake things to get consumers to pay off nonexistent debt. (Also a real thing and something that happened to this reviewer a few years ago).

Upon arriving at his apartment at the end of his workday, Jack McEvoy is met by LAPD Homicide Detectives Mattson and Sakai. They have questions for him along with a bit of an attitude on Mattson’s part. Eventually, after a bit of back and forth, he finds out that a woman who he knew as Tina and spent just a couple of hours within an intimate way was found dead in recent days. Christina Portrero was brutally murdered by way of, basically, twisting her head around ninety degrees so that everything in the spinal area of the neck violently broke loose. Because of the fact that McEvoy’s number is in her contacts list on her cell phone and his books are on an night table in her place, the Detectives knew he knew her in some way and claim they want to rule him out as a suspect.

The detectives want a voluntary saliva sample for DNA analysis which tell McEvoy that there has to be some form of DNA on her body. As he knows that he cannot possibly be a match, he gives the detectives what they want and sends them on their way. That is after they ask him to take his short off so they can visually inspect him for scratches which tells him that they may have evidence from under her nails. Either way, he is clean and not worried about being a suspect other than he does not appreciate being part of their investigation or the fact they both seemed to have increasing attitude as they wasted his and their time.

He gets to work on solving her murder despite the fact that both the police and his editor want him to leave the story alone. The police want him to stay out of the way. His editor argues that this kind of thing isn’t his beat anymore, not what FairWarning does, and that he needs to be working on real news stories for their readers and not revisiting by way of this homicide his old glory days. That is until, thanks to McEvoy’s digging and a little help from his old friends, it begins to become clear that Tina was the latest of a string of murders with links to DNA analysis by a certain company that provides ancestry information and other things.

A crime read based in large part on fact, Fair Warning by Michael Connelly is a fast paced and intense book. Not only is it a mighty good tale, the read is a cautionary warning about the wild west of DNA research these days as millions of people give up their biological material with very few safeguards or second thoughts. Those issues are thoroughly explained and scattered throughout the book as the author does not info dump. Instead, those pieces of information are slowly added to the tale as background info while Mr. Connelly kept ratcheting up the pace and the hunt for a killer. The result is a really good book. Fair Warning is definitely well worth your time.

Fair Warning
Michael Connelly
Little, Brown and Company (Hachette Book Group)
May 2020
ISBN# 978-0-316-53945-6
Large Print Hardback (also available in audio and eBook formats)
512 Pages

My reading copy came by way of the Fretz Park Branch of the Dallas Public Library System.

Kevin R. Tipple ©2020 ( )
  kevinrtipple | Sep 2, 2020 |
This is a book about a real place/thing https://www.fairwarning.org/ . Our hero, Jack MacAvoy works here and solves a murder in which he has been accused. They always solve it, don't they? In a theme of genetic murder, one wonders how the author came by all that research and made it understandable to we who don't? The roles of the characters are clearly defined and they all interact realistically. Fun book, kept me going. ( )
  buffalogr | Aug 26, 2020 |
Great book, enjoyed it as much as the Bosh books. 3rd in the series and I can't remember (what happens when you get old) if I've read the first two, so guess I'll backtrack and get copies of The Poet and The Scarecrow. ( )
  bjkelley | Aug 15, 2020 |
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She liked his car.

Connelly, Michael. Fair Warning (Jack McEvoy) (p. 3). Little, Brown and Company. Kindle Edition.
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