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The Scarecrow by Michael Connelly

The Scarecrow (2009)

by Michael Connelly

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Jack McEvoy (4), Rachel Walling (5)

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Showing 1-5 of 68 (next | show all)
This novel represents Michael Connelly taking one of his regular breaks from the chronicles of Hieronymus ‘Harry’ Bosch, although there are a few oblique references to him. The principal character this time is Jack McEvoy, who has figured peripherally in a couple of the Bosch novels, and who was the main protagonist of ‘The Poet’.

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. ( )
  Eyejaybee | Sep 9, 2018 |
Good sequel, although I only discovered I had the previous book, [bc:The Poet|32506|The Poet (Jack McEvoy, #1)|Michael Connelly|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1168391419s/32506.jpg|32671] on my shelf when I was halfway done. ( )
  Eternal.Optimist | Aug 22, 2018 |
I read it but did not find the book riveting. I did not like the character, Jack McEvoy. He was better written in The Poet. It ranks up there with Chasing the Dime as the worst Connelly books that I read so far. ( )
  Lynxear | Jan 23, 2018 |
The Scarecrow was Connelly's twentieth published novel and features Jack McEvoy, a Los Angeles Times crime reporter and Rachel Walling, the FBI's top profiler. Both characters worked together in The Poet, which had been published thirteen years earlier. The novel carries many similarities to Connelly's Bosch series, simply with different characters. It is recommended for anyone who enjoys the Bosch series or Connelly's Lincoln Lawyer series.

It is, without question, a terrific and well-written story that captures the reader from the beginning and does not let go. It contains elements of police procedural crime stories, legal thrillers, and serial killers. It is also quite a modern story which takes place in the internet age with cell phones, hackers, and server farms. Connelly does tell the story from multiple points of view, at times intersplicing brief chapters from the killer's point of view.

Without giving anything away, it is a terrific book and one of Connelly's best ever. Enjoy! ( )
  DaveWilde | Sep 22, 2017 |
Crime reporter Jack McEvoy is at the end of the line. With cuts being made, he is going to go out with a bang - a final story that will win journalism's highest honor: a Pulitzer prize. Jack focuses on a 16-year-old drug dealer who has confessed to a brutal murder. But Jack soon realizes that the so-called confession is bogus. The investigation leads him to a killer known as The Scarecrow who has worked completely below the police radar. Jack is off and running on the biggest story he's had in twelve years - but The Scarecrow knows he's coming.

I was really looking forward to this book as I’ve read several of Michael Connelly’s books and really liked them. Unfortunately, I found this one to be very average, similar to other things I’ve read and not much to really get my interest. Also, several times early in the book McEvoy was able to almost immediately figure out some crucial information based on not much – seemed very rushed and implausible. There was some good excitement at the end but it was too little and too late. I will just consider this the exception and go back to reading the Bosch books. ( )
  gaylebutz | Sep 9, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 68 (next | show all)
Read this thriller for the thrills, the computerized crime spree. Or read it for the sad reality of what's happening to almost all newspapers. Or read it to take in the work of a writer who can tell a gripping story through characters who live and breathe.
A return to form for Mr. Connelly and his sharpest book since “The Lincoln Lawyer”... “The Scarecrow” begins its crime plot routinely, with more emphasis on the press than on the investigation. Then it gets jacked up to a high level of suspense by the Scarecrow’s sinister powers in the Internet’s darker reaches. And then it turns back into something familiar, as Mr. Connelly allows the long-range demands of his career to diminish this particular book’s ending.

» Add other authors (27 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Michael Connellyprimary authorall editionscalculated
Tettamanti, StefanoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Traverso, GiulianaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To James Crumley,
For "The Last Good Kiss"
First words
Carver paced in the control room, watching over the front forty.
You don't have to be an interrogator at Abu Ghraib to know that time never favors the suspect.
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Wikipedia in English (2)

Book description
Police find an abandoned car in the beach parking lot in Santa Monica. They find the body of Denise Babbit in the trunk.

Jack McEvoy is at the end of the line as a crime reporter. Forced to take a buy-out from the LA Times, he's got 30 days left on the job. His last assignment? Training his replacement, a low-cost reporter just out of J-school. But Jack has other plans for his exit. He is going to go out with a bang - a final story that will win him newspaper journalism's highest honour - a Pulitzer prize. Jack focuses on Alonzo Winslow, a 16-year-old drug dealer from the projects who has confessed to police that he brutally raped and strangled one of his crack clients.

But as Jack delves into the story he soon realises that Alonzo's so-called confession is bogus. And the investigation leads him to a killer known as the Scarecrow...
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0316166308, Hardcover)

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 How I Write: Secrets of a Bestselling Author. 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 sporting? Flip-flops? Crocs? Speedo? Board shorts?

Connelly: I go to the beach often on weekends. Board shorts are required and I wear flip-flops with the built in bottle opener. Comes in handy. In Florida we rarely have waves, unless there is a hurricane in the Gulf. So I have taken up paddle-boarding, which essentially involves a big surfboard that you stand on and paddle. Still a balancing act, but easier than surfing, and you don't need waves.

Evanovich: What will a bookstore look like in 2020? Will we all be downloading?

Connelly: Good question. Since it is only eleven years from now, I think there will still be a solid population of "old school" readers who need the book in their hands. The question is, will they get it at a bookstore or will we have a Kindle 9.0 device that manufactures a book for you at home, complete with photo of author in a bomber jacket.

Evanovich: If everybody is downloading in 2020 what the heck will we be signing on book tour? Body parts? Kindle cases?

Connelly: I signed two Kindles yesterday. One person asked me to leave room for signatures from you and Dennis Lehane. So next time you're in Seattle she'll be in your line.

Evanovich: Do you eat when you write? Beer nuts? M&Ms? Just coffee? What keeps you from falling out of the chair in a narcoleptic stupor?

Connelly: Have you ever seen what eating Cheetos can do to a keyboard? I have to say I am addicted to Coke. I always have a glass of it nearby. I eat a lot of candy, too. Keeps me going. Smarties are a great writing tool. I often need to raid my daughter's stash and then there is trouble on the home front.

Evanovich: Are you a messy guy or a neat guy? Do you keep clutter on your desk? In your head? Are there soda cans and crumpled fast food wrappers rolling around on the floor of your car?

Connelly: I keep a clean car but a desk that gets progressively messier as I write a book. When I am finished with the book, I clean up the desk—and eat all the stray Smarties found under the paperwork. The clean desk then promotes the start of the next book.

Evanovich: The new book, The Scarecrow sounds terrific, and I know it's followed by Harry Bosch in Nine Dragons in the fall. Does your publisher prefer one series over another? And do you find one series to be more commercially viable than another?

Connelly: They let me do what I want. I like writing about Harry Bosch and he's pretty popular, but usually when I write a standalone it widens the audience a bit.

Evanovich: Want to meet me in a bar in Ft. Myers? Is that halfway?

Connelly: Name the place.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:00:58 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

Newspaperman Jack McEvoy decides to use his final days at the LA Times to write the definitive murder story of his career. Focusing on the case of Alonzo Winslow, a 16-year-old drug dealer in jail after confessing to a brutal murder, Jack realizes that Winslow's so-called confession is bogus and that the real killer is operating completely below police radar--and with perfect knowledge of any move against him.… (more)

» see all 16 descriptions

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