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Readers` Reviews

★ ★ ★ ★ ★
erin benbow
The best story ideas come from daily life. Michael Connelly knows this very well. In his gripping suspense thriller The Scarecrow, Connelly has taken his story from today's economy where outsourcing and downsizing have become the norm, with big business bean counters who could care less about the little guy. Bottom line is accomplish the work cheaper. In today's economic world all of us are effected by this trend not just the fictional veteran crime beat reporter Jack McEvoy of the LA Times.

Connelly takes it one step further by asking the obligatory question, what if? Alfred Hitchcock is often quoted as saying, "Drama is life with the boring parts edited out." While we can all relate, in our own personal way, with McEvoy getting the sack in favor of a younger, cheaper cub reporter, and the further humiliation of hanging around for two weeks to train her. If that were all there was to it, ho hum, not interested. However, what if McEvoy stumbles onto a cyber serial killer who uses the internet to not only select his victims but to cover his tracks under the RADAR of ANY law enforcement agency? Now you have a hair raising, spine tingling tale that will keep you turning pages and drinking black coffee all night long.

McEvoy is an old school newsman and his young female replacement Angela Cook is computer literate preferring to use the information highway for research. Her computer skills turn out to be her undoing. When McEvoy learns that a routine piece that he wrote about gang-banger Alonzo Winslow, who was arrested for the sadistic murder of a young stripper in the Watts section of LA may be the key to a much bigger story, a story that may earn him a Pulitzer, he plans to go out in style, thumbing his nose at the bean counting administration of the Times.

Angela Cooks Internet research using the key words: "trunk murder" reveals that both the murder that Alonzo Winslow is accused of and another murder in Las Vegas are so similar that they had to have been committed by the same killer. Unfortunately, Angela's computer search triggers an Internet alarm placed in a dummy website by the cyber genius real serial killer.

Connelly is a master story teller in the first person narrative in the tradition of Mickey Spillane's hard boiled PI Mike Hammer, only better. The tight story-line rolls like an out of control freight train to a cataclysmic, "where the hell did that come from" ending!

This is Michael Connelly at his best; I can hardly wait for the block-busting movie that is sure to follow.

Jim Gilliam
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
niloufar rahmanian
I purchased quite a few books prior to some scheduled surgery and rehab and one was Connelly's "The Scarecrow" in hardcover! Usually I am more frugal, but then I thought he is usually good so damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead. A shame, really. I did not care for "The Scarecrow" and found my mind wandering as I really tried to become interested in this reporter who was being downsized and wanted to go out with one big story under his belt. The one interesting character was killed off early (don't want to spoil for those who have not read the book) and my interest went downhill also. Connelly is capable of writing a much more compelling book and perhaps I just like Bosch more than McEvoy. I am also tired of Rachel and her FBI persona. We knew who the bad guys were, but I did not find the pursuit at all compelling. It was more like a formula book (as someone else has written) and the author went through the motions. He could have fleshed it out more, and I make a comparison here with Jeff Deaver's "The Broken Window," which also concerned some identity theft information and which was SO excellent I did not want to finish it. The Scarecrow was a waste of my money and time. I am pleased it satisfied some of Connelly's fans, but it just didn't make the grade with me. If you want a good writer, check out Michael Robotham who is new on the horizon and really writes, really!!!! I also purchased several of his books and he did not disappoint.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
emanuella
There is one thing that is for certain about Michael Connelly, he continues to be one of the - if not the - finest American writers of mystery/thrillers in the field today. In The Scarecrow, his 21st novel, he writes a very human story about the dangers of technology. The book, which has several scary moments, is made even more so by the fact that the technology described is not only available, but real. Focusing on the amount of information available, and how it can be used for nefarious activity, Connelly's story centers on serial killers that are just as twisted and evil as any, but use technology to move about under the radar.

This was the 5th book to feature Rachel Walling and the 4th with Jack McEvoy. After first meeting in the excellent Connelly novel, The Poet, McEvoy calls on Walling, a Special Agent with the FBI, to assist him with the information he has unearthed as he works on his last story for the Los Angeles Times. The chemistry between the two is something that they are both aware of. There is not an appearance from Connelly mainstay Harry Bosch in this book, but there is conversation about Harry; though he is never named.

Connelly continues to show his writing prowess. He can write a book with any character and make it fun and enjoyable. The Scarecrow is yet another great novel by Connelly. It is a 5-star read by this consistent and talented author.

For those new to Connelly, the Walling appearances are: The Poet, The Narrows, Echo Park, the Overlook, and The Scarecrow.

McEvoy appearances include: The Poet, A Darkness More than Night, The Brass Verdict, and The Scarecrow. He stars in The Poet and The Scarecrow.
The Hellfire Club :: Crime Beat: A Decade of Covering Cops and Killers :: The Concrete Blonde (Harry Bosch Series) - The Black Echo :: Echo Park (A Harry Bosch Novel) :: Void Moon
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
susan pearce
THE SCARECROW is a two-fold story. The first part takes us into the mind and modus operandi of a serial killer, while the second takes us into the personal and professional life of Jack McEvoy, crime reporter for the L.A. Times, and the impending demise of not only his job but newspaper business as we know it. The culprit aiding and abetting in both instances is the internet.

Michael Connelly's story reads like it was taken from the nightly news report. The killer identifies and tracks his victims utilizing the personal information that everyone seems to be so eager to share with their faceless "friends" out there in cyper-space. Newspaper writers are losing their jobs because this same internet can bring the news into our homes faster and can utilize less expensive novice writers straight out of journalism school to produce the copy
.
Jack has been given his pink slip (RIF) by the Times, has two weeks to train his replacement before he hits the bricks, and has received an irate call from a woman stating that her "boy" has been accused for a murder he didn't commit. While investigating her claim Jack and his novice trainee Angela accidently stumble upon a bigger and better story that puts both of their lives in jeopardy. Enter Jack's one time love, FBI profiler Rachel Walling. Now all the characters are in place and the story really starts rolling.

Connelly has taken some unoriginal basics, added his own particular brand of insight and commentary, then gives it a little tweek here and a twist there to produce a story and characters that will hook you and keep you reading into the wee small hours of the morning. Another engrossing read from one of my favorite authors. 4 1/2 stars
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
kareem hafez
I finished reading "The Scarecrow" last night and I really enjoyed it!

It's been nearly a week since I started reading Michael Connelly's latest book. I had hoped to have it completed by Tuesday so that I could weigh in with one of the first reviews posted here. But as I read I decided there was no reason to hurry and every reason to savor a really well-written story. Now I'm ready.

If it was just that Connelly is a terrific guy (and he is) that would be enough. I had been reading his books for awhile before we met at the Santa Monica Super Crown when he was signing "Trunk Music." He stopped signing and we chatted. I was already hooked, but the personal contact just reinforced my high regard for him.

He is a masterful storyteller! As a high school English teacher, I am always prodding my students to read. Holding up books in class (Opah Winfrey style) so they can see what I'm reading. If a book doesn't grab their attention in the first few pages, they want to quickly give up on it. I always encourage them to stay the course. Sometimes you have to wait for the payoff. When they do, it's worth the wait. Years ago I read "Devices& Desires" by P. D. James. The story was plodding for me, but then around page 100 it happened! I often fall back on that story in class when my seniors want to give up on a book.

I found "The Scarecrow" slow moving at first. I had a difficult time with the first and third person perspectives (something I discourage in my students' writing). Don't get me wrong, I was enjoying the read but I found myself waiting. And then, sure enough, after about 100 pages it happened. And once again I was glad I stayed with it. I think that moment happens at different times for different readers, but you have to hang in there.

In those first 99 pages Connelly builds the foundation that the rest of his story rests securely on. There's a real sense of foreboding in the pages of this book. We know things that Jack McEvoy doesn't know and that dramatic irony is difficult to bear in places. We know Wesley Carver is out there, but he remains the "unsub" for a very long time. The Scarecrow remains on the periphery for a large portion of book, but his presence is felt by everyone whose lives he affects.

I don't have to reveal anything that the previous reviewers haven't already. I will simply say I am happy there are writers out there like P. D. James and Micheal Connelly out there so that teachers like me can say: Listen you guys, if I can do this when I read, you should be able to do it too. Don't put this book down! I look forward to complimenting Michael again when I see him next month at The Poisoned Pen.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
myriam
This is Michael Connelly at his best. It's a fascinating read, like so many of his earlier works. I was a bit disappointed with two recent books, The Brass Verdict and The Overlook, but not with The Scarecrow.

The story is compellingly told, mostly from the perspective of the central character. It seems to me that Connelly is at his best when writing about a strong, ethical character, like Detective Harry Bosch, star of several Connelly works. The Scarecrow features such a strong person, Jack McEvoy, who battles the forces of evil.

McEvoy is a well-respected veteran L.A. Times crime reporter who gets fired due to the deep budget cuts that reflect the decline of printed media in the face of Internet competition. (People want their news NOW.) Instead of a swift boot out the door, McEvoy gets two week's notice if he agrees to train his replacement. This sort of thing is as current as today's headlines: a lot of good people with years of experience are getting axed and replaced by younger workers with small salaries.

McEvoy is determined to use those two weeks to build a big story that will help him create a best seller. Several years before his dismissal, McEvoy wrote a best seller about a sensational murder case that he investigated. This is where an earlier Connelly book, The Poet, intersects with The Scarecrow. Connelly also includes FBI Agent Rachel Walling, who has appeared before.

McEvoy wants another big bucks success as a way of thumbing his nose at the Times. So, in The Scarecrow he works a story about two brutal murders in which the victims' bodies were stuffed in car trunks. The trail leads to a "genius" psycho who uses the Internet for no good at all. And it turns out that the psycho's job gives him access to an overwhelming arsenal of high-tech devices.

A typical Connelly tactic is to "tutor" the reader as the plot unfolds. In The Brass Verdict it was jury selection and the conduct of a trial. In The Scarecrow there are many details about computer technology and the Internet. The Internet can be a dark alley used for identity theft, character assassination, and extortion. Clearly, Connelly is one of those (most likely, well past forty) who feel somewhat overwhelmed by the new technology. These are people who grew up before there was a P.C. on every desk and a cell phone in every pocket/purse.

There's plenty of suspense in The Scarecrow. Connelly skillfully reveals things to the reader without telling McEvoy and Walling. The reader then "helplessly" watches McEvoy and Walling stumble about as disaster lurks.

The Scarecrow gets an easy five.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
emily kramer
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.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
jennifer guyer
Jack McEvoy is a soon to be ex-journalist in "The Scarecrow," by Michael Connelly. His bosses have given the crime reporter two weeks to clean out his desk and leave his job at the Los Angeles Times. He is not alone. Quite a few others are being cut in a move to reduce costs and keep the newspaper from going under. However, this is cold comfort to a man who loves his job and is very good at it. Even more galling, he is being asked to train his replacement, Angela Cook, an ambitious rookie who is still wet behind the ears "and willing to work for next to nothing." While he considers his options, Jack decides to go out in a blaze of glory. He intends to prove that a sixteen-year-old black youth is innocent of killing a white woman who was found with a bag over her head in the trunk of her car.

Connelly shines when he explores the ins and outs of the traditional newspaper business. As a former crime reporter, he seems to empathize with investigative journalists who do not merely report the news, but give it "b & d," breadth and depth, connecting events with larger societal issues such as racial profiling, police brutality, the war on drugs, and the scourge of street gangs. Connelly falters, however, in his depiction of a serial killer who is brilliant, psychotic, sadistic, sexually repressed, and shrewdly manipulative. Sound familiar? It should, since we have seen this type of criminal countless times before. Because the author reveals the perpetrator's identity early on, the only suspense stems from how long it will take Jack and FBI agent Rachel Walling to connect the dots.

To his credit, Connelly nicely captures the political and cultural ambience of LA. He also explains some of the finer points of computer hacking and identity theft, both timely topics that relate to the criminal's modus operandi. Jack is a likeable protagonist, a "go-with-the-flow" type who still manages to maintain a modicum of integrity and journalistic ethics. Although "The Scarecrow" lacks the sharp edge of Connelly at his best, it is still eminently readable and entertaining. In addition, fans of this talented author can look forward to the forthcoming release of a new Harry Bosch novel, "Nine Dragons," coming out later this year.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
amy hearth
One of Michael Connelly's best novels is THE POET and I was excited to hear that Connelly was planning on reuniting the two major characters of that novel for THE SCARECROW. While the resulting novel is reasonably entertaining, it was not the great read I was expecting.

The first third of this novel is easily the best part. Jack McEvoy, the reporter hero of THE POET, is downsized from his job at The Los Angeles Times, and decides to take revenge on his employer by writing the definitive murder story of his career. From the beginning, Connelly does a great job of explaining how big city newspapers operate, and how they're struggling to stay in business during the internet age. McEvoy's relationships with his superiors and his ambitious replacement are well done, and Connelly is surprisingly cutting in his descriptions of how newspapers are putting their bottom lines above good reporting.

Unfortunately, after a strong start, THE SCARECROW devolves into a standard serial killer story. McEvoy eventually reteams with FBI Agent Rachel Walling of THE POET, and the result is a rather flat series of action scenes and conversations. This book is also weakened by the fact that the killer's identity is revealed from the very beginning. As a result, there is no real mystery in this book at all, which dampens the suspense level dramatically.

A so-so Connelly is better than most crime novels out there, so THE SCARECROW is still worth your time. But if you've never read Connelly before, my advice is to first try THE POET, BLOOD WORK, THE LINCOLN LAWYER, or one of the early Harry Bosch novels like THE CONCRETE BLONDE. These earlier novels are far superior to this effort.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
anbay3
Anybody who peruses my reviews will see that Michael Connelly is one of my favorite authors. I enjoy his developed and evolving characters, reasoned plots, interesting backgrounds and sub-stories, and above all, the often surprising endings. Connelly has set a high bar for himself and The Scarecrow meets all of my criteria with the exception of the last, but it is still a very good book. Following Los Angeles Times reporter, Jack McEvoy, as he tries to come up with a final great story before his lay-off takes effect in two weeks and also train his replacement, the reader is first treated to a portrait of the sad state of newspapers in this new Cyber-world. Being a resident in the Los Angeles area, I have been dismayed with the recent decline and down-sizing of that once wonderful newspaper. Starting with the investigation of alleged murder of an exotic dancer by a sixteen year-old gangbanger, McEvoy inadvertently finds himself on the trail of a serial killer who is a master of the cyber world. The killer's ability to extract supposedly secret and secure information makes me think twice about much of my participation in the internet. Connelly tells the story in the first person from McEvoy's viewpoint and third person from the killer's. This is an excellent technique that keeps the suspense going, but gives the reader insights into a serial killer's mind and methods before the truth is learned by McEvoy. Coupled with the entry of FBI agent Rachel Walling, McEvoy's flame from The Poet, he gets some excellent assistance and many steamy interludes. There are even a few references to the unnamed Harry Bosch, who has a history with both McEvoy and Walling in prior books. The pace and characters of The Scarecrow made it hard to put down. The ending, although a letdown, was perfectly fine, but resulted in four rather than five stars from me. Still, The Scarecrow is definitely worth the time and will more than satisfy most readers.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
rhonda frankhouser
It's not a good day for Jack McEvoy. A crime reporter at the L.A. Times for twenty years, he has just been told that he will be laid off in two weeks. Jack decides to go out with one last good story. He has been contacted by the grandmother of a sixteen year old gang member who has been arrested for a grisly murder the media is calling The Trunk Murder. She insists her grandson is innocent, and Jack decides to look into the story.

As Jack starts to investigate, he quickly realises that not only is the teenager innocent, but the reason he is not guilty is that there is a serial killer out there who has been killing women in different states and leaving them in car trunks. He starts an investigation, aided by FBI Agent Rachel Walling. He worked with Rachel on his biggest story years before. That story was the detection and capture of The Poet, another killer.

This time is different however. The killer is investigating Jack and Rachel as intently as they are investigating him, and is targeting them as his next victims. Along with the chase, the reader learns about how technology plays into both the killer's targeting of his victims, and the investigation into his crime.

Michael Connelly readers will not be disappointed in The Scarecrow. It delivers what one expects from Connelly, a page-turner with enough twists and turns to keep the plot moving. The story is taut and the reader is involved in the investigation. The love interest between Jack and Rachel adds another dimension. This book is recommended for mystery readers and Connelly fans. Although it is another in a Jack McEvoy series, it can easily stand on its own.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
mindy thompson
As I have stated before, Michael Connelly is one of my favorite mystery writers and this one did nothing to dim my praise. Unlike many crime novels, you are clued in early on as to who the culprit is. The suspense and drama come from the chase and the fact that the protagonist, Jack McEvoy with his erstwhile and once again lady friend, Rachel, an on and off FBI agent, are kept in the dark as to the identity of the nefarious culprit as the try to assemble the pieces of evidence.

Jack is a top-notch 'LA Times' crime reporter who is laid off because: 1. he is too well paid and 2. the Times is facing the inevitable that has beset so many newspapers caused by the internet and the change in peoples' news gathering habits.

Jack and Rachel pursue the identity of a serial killer who preys on women who fit a particular profile in how the victims are selected and the brutal manner in which he assaults and then murders them..

The book is exciting, moves quickly and is great for reading on a long plane ride or if you just want a thrilling diversion.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
kim hawkins
Jack's had a bad day. He's been let go from his position at the LA Times, chewed out by an infuriated mother/grandmother, extorted by a gang member, usurped by a fledgling young reporter, and now he finds himself at the center of a brutal murder investigation.

I found this story entertaining and engaging. What I really loved was the narrator Peter Giles. He really brought the characters to life in a way that I had not experienced previously with other audiobooks. He has a flair for voices, and they come off realistic (my last audiobook, BoneMan's Daughters, was a little distracting to me, because the reader's voices sounded so fake and goofy-- primarily when he was reading a female character). Giles is brilliant as the narrator of The Scarecrow! I almost forgot that I was listening to only one person, and he flowed from character to character seamlessly.

The storyline is good and fairly thorough. Personally for me stories like these are "fluff" stories the same as romance novels. I don't read them expecting a story that I can really lose myself in, but am just looking for an enjoyable and entertaining diversion. This one fit the bill.

I think that this might have been my first Michael Connelly novel, and I would definitely read or listen to another of his.

Be forewarned that there is quite a bit of vulgarity in this one! If you can handle that, and you enjoy thrillers and suspense and murder mysteries, then I would strongly recommend this one for you!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
emily g
When you read Michael Connelly, you are guaranteed to go for a ride. And that ride might lead you to some unexpected places, but it sure gets good! I'm still very much behind in the Connelly collections. I've yet to read anything Harry Bosch. But I started with Mickey Haller in "The Lincoln Lawyer," and decided to see for myself what was so special about Jack McEvoy and "The Poet." Well, needless to say, I wanted "The Scarecrow," and Connelly has yet to disappoint me.

Jack is going through the disappointment of hearing the news that he's to be laid off. But with two weeks to kill, he begins the training of Angela Cook, the lady to replace him. And he gets a phone call from the grandmother of Alonzo Winslow, a young man who is sixteen, and has the murder of a stripper on his shoulders. Winslow supposedly confessed that he didn't, but in the end it simpy isn't true. And when Jack digs deeper into the investigation, there is more than one murder. And calling in an old flame, Jack McEvoy and Rachel Walling get things stirred up. And the killer knows some of the moves, and he doesn't like it.

From The Doors to The Wizard of Oz, Connelly keeps the story interesting and the pages flipping. With a title like "The Scarecrow," it isn't exactly lacking for brains, heart, or courage. The only dilemma I have is that I need to start looking for more Michael Connelly, and begin my journey with Harry Bosch. I've gotten to know Jack McEvoy, and I want another encounter! Hope there is another good story with him in the future.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
pam hricenak
Jack McEvoy is your true to life everyday reporter. Jack finds himself the victim of a lay off in the newsroom. While trying to makle his mark on the grand finale of murder cases politics in the workroom rears its ugly head. Jack not only is asked to show his replacement the ropes in the reporting business...his replacement as well as his boss take his hardwork and use it as their own. It's one low blow after another in a job where Jack once was top banana.
But Jack wasn't quite ready to call it quits and throw in the towel just yet. At the same time Jack recieves a call from an angry woman (mother/grandmother(?) regarding an article of his about a youth by the name of Alonzo in connection to a murdered woman.

I listened to this suspense filled story on CD and it was spell binding. I could not stop listening to it. In my opinion "The Scarecrow" was so realistic and vividly detailed...I was there with Jack following and connecting the clues. Michael Connelly should be listed among the greats in mysteries.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
felicia collins
Michael Connelly is one of the best writers around when it comes to mysteries/police procedurals. I've long been a fan of his Harry Bosch series, and always enjoy the stand-alone works he writes. Some of these bring in a character from one of his other books, and that is the case with this one.

Jack McEvoy is about to lose his job at the LA Times and decides to go out with the biggest story of his career. His investigation into some similar murders leads him to suspect there is a serial killer that no one is aware of. While we see Jack's pursuit of this final story, we see into the life and mind of the serial killer who is a computer guru. The killer uses his access to and knowledge of computers to find out about people and destroy their lives if they are a threat to him. In a fast-paced thriller, we follow Jack's attempt to track the killer with the help of former girlfriend and FBI agent, Rachel. Some of what happens is predictable, but the back story of the demise of the print news business and the dangers of the internet, social networking sites, identity theft, etc. make this a timely and interesting tale. I couldn't put it down and started & finished it over a weekend.

I highly recommend it. It's great summer reading that will convince you to read more Michael Connelly if you aren't already a fan. If you're already a fan, you'll enjoy another well-written Connelly book though you'll miss having Harry Bosch as the main character. Even if you don't consider it his best work, Michael Connelly's writing is always some of the best reading around.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
savita
I've been reading Michael Connelly since I first read The Black Echo (Connelly's first novel) several years ago. His main character has been the homicide detective Hieronymus "Harry" Bosch (the choice of name is deliberate: see selections of Bosch's paintings online). Bosch is not in this work. Rather, the main character is Jack McEvoy, a reporter for the LA Times, who, about the time he gets laid off (budget cuts) as a reporter, stumbles into a serial murder case. McEvoy has figured in a couple of earlier Connelly novels.

The story is compelling and fast-paced, well up to Connelly's highest standards. Also along for the ride this time is FBI agent Rachel Walling, who has appeared in a number of previous Connelly novels.

I won't tell you any more about the plot, since it is relatively standard for serial killer murder mysteries. If you like serial killer stories, you'll enjoy this one. If you don't, read it for Connelly's killer prose.

There are two primary subtexts to the story as well. The first is the demise of the newspaper largely due to the Internet, which is clearly close to Connelly's heart, having previously been a crime reporter. The other is the dangerously intrusive nature of the Internet and related technology. I remember when the Sandra Bullock movie The Net came out, techies were pooh-poohing it, saying that the things depicted couldn't be done. I'm not so sure that's the case anymore, and there's a cautionary tale here for those who would carelessly spread their lives on the net for all to see.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
lisa siegel
"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.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
melanie nieuw
When I began THE SCARECROW, I had no idea this was the second Jack McEvoy novel. Even though this book could stand on its own, I highly recommend starting with the first one, THE POET. In book two, Jack, a star reporter for the Los Angeles Times, falls victim to budget cuts. He has two weeks left and decides to write the story of his career. He focuses on Alonzo Winslow, a teen who claims to be innocent of murder even though he earlier confessed to crime. Jack's investigation leads him to a serial killer no one was aware of.

Jack teams up with Rachel Walling, an FBI agent who was also in THE POET. The two have had a more than business-like relationship and at times, Jack and Rachel seem at odds, much having to do with her job. Throughout the story, there are references to characters from his previous books such as Harry Bosch and my favorite, Mickey Haller.

I didn't feel this book had the intensity THE BRASS VERDICT did, but I thoroughly enjoyed it all the same. I'll be picking up THE POET and look forward to this next Jack McEvoy novel.

For those who love audio books, the narrator of this book is one of my favorites, Peter Giles. He was also the narrator for THE BRASS VERDICT. I could listen to that voice all day long!
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
bill smith
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 state otherwise. Jack's research connects this murder to one of a similar nature in Las Vegas, at which time, he notifies FBI agent Rachel Walling, whose arrival saves Jack's life from a serial murderer enraged that Jack has "outed" him and means to stop Jack from further investigating.

Fans of The Poet will enjoy Jack McEvoy's reappearance in this book. Connelly takes his reader into the world of print newspapers, emphasizing their continuing decline due to the internet and cable news programs. McEvoy is a character with flaws, which makes him all the more interesting. He teams up with Rachel Walling, who played a part in The Poet, and the two are a strong team as they track the killer, a computer whiz who has stayed below the radar for years while killing and isn't too happy someone is trying to stop him.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
julie witham
Jack McEvoy is a soon to be ex-journalist in "The Scarecrow," by Michael Connelly. His bosses have given the crime reporter two weeks to clean out his desk and leave his job at the Los Angeles Times. He is not alone. Quite a few others are being cut in a move to reduce costs and keep the newspaper from going under. However, this is cold comfort to a man who loves his job and is very good at it. Even more galling, he is being asked to train his replacement, Angela Cook, an ambitious rookie who is still wet behind the ears "and willing to work for next to nothing." While he considers his options, Jack decides to go out in a blaze of glory. He intends to prove that a sixteen-year-old black youth is innocent of killing a white woman who was found with a bag over her head in the trunk of her car.

Connelly shines when he explores the ins and outs of the traditional newspaper business. As a former crime reporter, he seems to empathize with investigative journalists who do not merely report the news, but give it "b & d," breadth and depth, connecting events with larger societal issues such as racial profiling, police brutality, the war on drugs, and the scourge of street gangs. Connelly falters, however, in his depiction of a serial killer who is brilliant, psychotic, sadistic, sexually repressed, and shrewdly manipulative. Sound familiar? It should, since we have seen this type of criminal countless times before. Because the author reveals the perpetrator's identity early on, the only suspense stems from how long it will take Jack and FBI agent Rachel Walling to connect the dots.

To his credit, Connelly nicely captures the political and cultural ambience of LA. He also explains some of the finer points of computer hacking and identity theft, both timely topics that relate to the criminal's modus operandi. Jack is a likeable protagonist, a "go-with-the-flow" type who still manages to maintain a modicum of integrity and journalistic ethics. Although "The Scarecrow" lacks the sharp edge of Connelly at his best, it is still eminently readable and entertaining. In addition, fans of this talented author can look forward to the forthcoming release of a new Harry Bosch novel, "Nine Dragons," coming out later this year.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
shasha
One of Michael Connelly's best novels is THE POET and I was excited to hear that Connelly was planning on reuniting the two major characters of that novel for THE SCARECROW. While the resulting novel is reasonably entertaining, it was not the great read I was expecting.

The first third of this novel is easily the best part. Jack McEvoy, the reporter hero of THE POET, is downsized from his job at The Los Angeles Times, and decides to take revenge on his employer by writing the definitive murder story of his career. From the beginning, Connelly does a great job of explaining how big city newspapers operate, and how they're struggling to stay in business during the internet age. McEvoy's relationships with his superiors and his ambitious replacement are well done, and Connelly is surprisingly cutting in his descriptions of how newspapers are putting their bottom lines above good reporting.

Unfortunately, after a strong start, THE SCARECROW devolves into a standard serial killer story. McEvoy eventually reteams with FBI Agent Rachel Walling of THE POET, and the result is a rather flat series of action scenes and conversations. This book is also weakened by the fact that the killer's identity is revealed from the very beginning. As a result, there is no real mystery in this book at all, which dampens the suspense level dramatically.

A so-so Connelly is better than most crime novels out there, so THE SCARECROW is still worth your time. But if you've never read Connelly before, my advice is to first try THE POET, BLOOD WORK, THE LINCOLN LAWYER, or one of the early Harry Bosch novels like THE CONCRETE BLONDE. These earlier novels are far superior to this effort.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
rodeo el sabae
Anybody who peruses my reviews will see that Michael Connelly is one of my favorite authors. I enjoy his developed and evolving characters, reasoned plots, interesting backgrounds and sub-stories, and above all, the often surprising endings. Connelly has set a high bar for himself and The Scarecrow meets all of my criteria with the exception of the last, but it is still a very good book. Following Los Angeles Times reporter, Jack McEvoy, as he tries to come up with a final great story before his lay-off takes effect in two weeks and also train his replacement, the reader is first treated to a portrait of the sad state of newspapers in this new Cyber-world. Being a resident in the Los Angeles area, I have been dismayed with the recent decline and down-sizing of that once wonderful newspaper. Starting with the investigation of alleged murder of an exotic dancer by a sixteen year-old gangbanger, McEvoy inadvertently finds himself on the trail of a serial killer who is a master of the cyber world. The killer's ability to extract supposedly secret and secure information makes me think twice about much of my participation in the internet. Connelly tells the story in the first person from McEvoy's viewpoint and third person from the killer's. This is an excellent technique that keeps the suspense going, but gives the reader insights into a serial killer's mind and methods before the truth is learned by McEvoy. Coupled with the entry of FBI agent Rachel Walling, McEvoy's flame from The Poet, he gets some excellent assistance and many steamy interludes. There are even a few references to the unnamed Harry Bosch, who has a history with both McEvoy and Walling in prior books. The pace and characters of The Scarecrow made it hard to put down. The ending, although a letdown, was perfectly fine, but resulted in four rather than five stars from me. Still, The Scarecrow is definitely worth the time and will more than satisfy most readers.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
christian
It's not a good day for Jack McEvoy. A crime reporter at the L.A. Times for twenty years, he has just been told that he will be laid off in two weeks. Jack decides to go out with one last good story. He has been contacted by the grandmother of a sixteen year old gang member who has been arrested for a grisly murder the media is calling The Trunk Murder. She insists her grandson is innocent, and Jack decides to look into the story.

As Jack starts to investigate, he quickly realises that not only is the teenager innocent, but the reason he is not guilty is that there is a serial killer out there who has been killing women in different states and leaving them in car trunks. He starts an investigation, aided by FBI Agent Rachel Walling. He worked with Rachel on his biggest story years before. That story was the detection and capture of The Poet, another killer.

This time is different however. The killer is investigating Jack and Rachel as intently as they are investigating him, and is targeting them as his next victims. Along with the chase, the reader learns about how technology plays into both the killer's targeting of his victims, and the investigation into his crime.

Michael Connelly readers will not be disappointed in The Scarecrow. It delivers what one expects from Connelly, a page-turner with enough twists and turns to keep the plot moving. The story is taut and the reader is involved in the investigation. The love interest between Jack and Rachel adds another dimension. This book is recommended for mystery readers and Connelly fans. Although it is another in a Jack McEvoy series, it can easily stand on its own.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
joy m
As I have stated before, Michael Connelly is one of my favorite mystery writers and this one did nothing to dim my praise. Unlike many crime novels, you are clued in early on as to who the culprit is. The suspense and drama come from the chase and the fact that the protagonist, Jack McEvoy with his erstwhile and once again lady friend, Rachel, an on and off FBI agent, are kept in the dark as to the identity of the nefarious culprit as the try to assemble the pieces of evidence.

Jack is a top-notch 'LA Times' crime reporter who is laid off because: 1. he is too well paid and 2. the Times is facing the inevitable that has beset so many newspapers caused by the internet and the change in peoples' news gathering habits.

Jack and Rachel pursue the identity of a serial killer who preys on women who fit a particular profile in how the victims are selected and the brutal manner in which he assaults and then murders them..

The book is exciting, moves quickly and is great for reading on a long plane ride or if you just want a thrilling diversion.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
mike heller
Jack's had a bad day. He's been let go from his position at the LA Times, chewed out by an infuriated mother/grandmother, extorted by a gang member, usurped by a fledgling young reporter, and now he finds himself at the center of a brutal murder investigation.

I found this story entertaining and engaging. What I really loved was the narrator Peter Giles. He really brought the characters to life in a way that I had not experienced previously with other audiobooks. He has a flair for voices, and they come off realistic (my last audiobook, BoneMan's Daughters, was a little distracting to me, because the reader's voices sounded so fake and goofy-- primarily when he was reading a female character). Giles is brilliant as the narrator of The Scarecrow! I almost forgot that I was listening to only one person, and he flowed from character to character seamlessly.

The storyline is good and fairly thorough. Personally for me stories like these are "fluff" stories the same as romance novels. I don't read them expecting a story that I can really lose myself in, but am just looking for an enjoyable and entertaining diversion. This one fit the bill.

I think that this might have been my first Michael Connelly novel, and I would definitely read or listen to another of his.

Be forewarned that there is quite a bit of vulgarity in this one! If you can handle that, and you enjoy thrillers and suspense and murder mysteries, then I would strongly recommend this one for you!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
ryan murphey
When you read Michael Connelly, you are guaranteed to go for a ride. And that ride might lead you to some unexpected places, but it sure gets good! I'm still very much behind in the Connelly collections. I've yet to read anything Harry Bosch. But I started with Mickey Haller in "The Lincoln Lawyer," and decided to see for myself what was so special about Jack McEvoy and "The Poet." Well, needless to say, I wanted "The Scarecrow," and Connelly has yet to disappoint me.

Jack is going through the disappointment of hearing the news that he's to be laid off. But with two weeks to kill, he begins the training of Angela Cook, the lady to replace him. And he gets a phone call from the grandmother of Alonzo Winslow, a young man who is sixteen, and has the murder of a stripper on his shoulders. Winslow supposedly confessed that he didn't, but in the end it simpy isn't true. And when Jack digs deeper into the investigation, there is more than one murder. And calling in an old flame, Jack McEvoy and Rachel Walling get things stirred up. And the killer knows some of the moves, and he doesn't like it.

From The Doors to The Wizard of Oz, Connelly keeps the story interesting and the pages flipping. With a title like "The Scarecrow," it isn't exactly lacking for brains, heart, or courage. The only dilemma I have is that I need to start looking for more Michael Connelly, and begin my journey with Harry Bosch. I've gotten to know Jack McEvoy, and I want another encounter! Hope there is another good story with him in the future.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
harj dhillon
Jack McEvoy is your true to life everyday reporter. Jack finds himself the victim of a lay off in the newsroom. While trying to makle his mark on the grand finale of murder cases politics in the workroom rears its ugly head. Jack not only is asked to show his replacement the ropes in the reporting business...his replacement as well as his boss take his hardwork and use it as their own. It's one low blow after another in a job where Jack once was top banana.
But Jack wasn't quite ready to call it quits and throw in the towel just yet. At the same time Jack recieves a call from an angry woman (mother/grandmother(?) regarding an article of his about a youth by the name of Alonzo in connection to a murdered woman.

I listened to this suspense filled story on CD and it was spell binding. I could not stop listening to it. In my opinion "The Scarecrow" was so realistic and vividly detailed...I was there with Jack following and connecting the clues. Michael Connelly should be listed among the greats in mysteries.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
marshall cox
Michael Connelly is one of the best writers around when it comes to mysteries/police procedurals. I've long been a fan of his Harry Bosch series, and always enjoy the stand-alone works he writes. Some of these bring in a character from one of his other books, and that is the case with this one.

Jack McEvoy is about to lose his job at the LA Times and decides to go out with the biggest story of his career. His investigation into some similar murders leads him to suspect there is a serial killer that no one is aware of. While we see Jack's pursuit of this final story, we see into the life and mind of the serial killer who is a computer guru. The killer uses his access to and knowledge of computers to find out about people and destroy their lives if they are a threat to him. In a fast-paced thriller, we follow Jack's attempt to track the killer with the help of former girlfriend and FBI agent, Rachel. Some of what happens is predictable, but the back story of the demise of the print news business and the dangers of the internet, social networking sites, identity theft, etc. make this a timely and interesting tale. I couldn't put it down and started & finished it over a weekend.

I highly recommend it. It's great summer reading that will convince you to read more Michael Connelly if you aren't already a fan. If you're already a fan, you'll enjoy another well-written Connelly book though you'll miss having Harry Bosch as the main character. Even if you don't consider it his best work, Michael Connelly's writing is always some of the best reading around.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
carlos pelaez
I've been reading Michael Connelly since I first read The Black Echo (Connelly's first novel) several years ago. His main character has been the homicide detective Hieronymus "Harry" Bosch (the choice of name is deliberate: see selections of Bosch's paintings online). Bosch is not in this work. Rather, the main character is Jack McEvoy, a reporter for the LA Times, who, about the time he gets laid off (budget cuts) as a reporter, stumbles into a serial murder case. McEvoy has figured in a couple of earlier Connelly novels.

The story is compelling and fast-paced, well up to Connelly's highest standards. Also along for the ride this time is FBI agent Rachel Walling, who has appeared in a number of previous Connelly novels.

I won't tell you any more about the plot, since it is relatively standard for serial killer murder mysteries. If you like serial killer stories, you'll enjoy this one. If you don't, read it for Connelly's killer prose.

There are two primary subtexts to the story as well. The first is the demise of the newspaper largely due to the Internet, which is clearly close to Connelly's heart, having previously been a crime reporter. The other is the dangerously intrusive nature of the Internet and related technology. I remember when the Sandra Bullock movie The Net came out, techies were pooh-poohing it, saying that the things depicted couldn't be done. I'm not so sure that's the case anymore, and there's a cautionary tale here for those who would carelessly spread their lives on the net for all to see.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
juliet king
"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.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
indiefishsteak
When I began THE SCARECROW, I had no idea this was the second Jack McEvoy novel. Even though this book could stand on its own, I highly recommend starting with the first one, THE POET. In book two, Jack, a star reporter for the Los Angeles Times, falls victim to budget cuts. He has two weeks left and decides to write the story of his career. He focuses on Alonzo Winslow, a teen who claims to be innocent of murder even though he earlier confessed to crime. Jack's investigation leads him to a serial killer no one was aware of.

Jack teams up with Rachel Walling, an FBI agent who was also in THE POET. The two have had a more than business-like relationship and at times, Jack and Rachel seem at odds, much having to do with her job. Throughout the story, there are references to characters from his previous books such as Harry Bosch and my favorite, Mickey Haller.

I didn't feel this book had the intensity THE BRASS VERDICT did, but I thoroughly enjoyed it all the same. I'll be picking up THE POET and look forward to this next Jack McEvoy novel.

For those who love audio books, the narrator of this book is one of my favorites, Peter Giles. He was also the narrator for THE BRASS VERDICT. I could listen to that voice all day long!
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
katelynn ward koenen
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 state otherwise. Jack's research connects this murder to one of a similar nature in Las Vegas, at which time, he notifies FBI agent Rachel Walling, whose arrival saves Jack's life from a serial murderer enraged that Jack has "outed" him and means to stop Jack from further investigating.

Fans of The Poet will enjoy Jack McEvoy's reappearance in this book. Connelly takes his reader into the world of print newspapers, emphasizing their continuing decline due to the internet and cable news programs. McEvoy is a character with flaws, which makes him all the more interesting. He teams up with Rachel Walling, who played a part in The Poet, and the two are a strong team as they track the killer, a computer whiz who has stayed below the radar for years while killing and isn't too happy someone is trying to stop him.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
susan cooper
Reporter Jack McEvoy is back. We first met him in The Poet. Now he is working for the big LA paper and is about to be fired. He is about to be fired because, get this, he is good at his job. Since he is good at his job he commands a higher salary than somebody less qualified.The paper wants to go with the less qualified to save some bucks.

So McEvoy, who covers the crime beat, has a very limited shelf life. He writes a fairly routine story about a kid who confessed to murdering a woman. But McEvoy discovers there was no confession, and the murder has a MO that is similar to another. Could the two killings be conncected. Well, of course. So McEvoy, and the young reporter he is training to replace him, start poking around.

Now the real fun begains because the poking around comes to the attention of the real killer and the real killer starts poking back. Pretty good but standard mystery stuff, you say? Well there is the extra dimension that Connelly brings.

And that extra dimension is the sensation of reality that permeates this book. I may be wrong but it seems the author has incorporated clues from real life LA cases into this story. For instance, a finger print on a car's rearview mirror is what initially connects the above mentioned kid to the murdered woman. If memory serves, it was that exact type of print that led to the capture of The Night Stalker.

Connelly's descriptions of the so called news media (which should be renamed the noise media), the FBI, the police and the serial killer (who he may have modeled on The Hillside Strangler) are dead on.

So that's what makes this book something special. It sounds and feels real. Which is more than you can say for the typical so called news media story.

If you want to read a police procedural mystery that feels real, this book is for you. On the other hand, if you want to read about some X Army super hero who solves crime by never changing his undershorts, check out one of those Jack U. Reeker books by Lee Child.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
sonia reppe
I had fairly high hopes after all the glowing media reviews & seeing it make the store's Best of 2009. The bad guy is a credible hacker type, and Connelly seems to know his way around techspeak and the vulnerabilities of the Internet, as well as the downward spiral of print news media. Then the Huh? moments start. The two ostensibly intelligent leads start doing incredibly dumb things, despite what they know about the bad guy & his methods, apparently because that's the only way to advance the plot. An FBI agent is kicked out for misuse of government funds, and is magically restored to her prior position in the course of two days. (I work for the Feds, & I can tell you this would never, EVER happen, however big a break on a case an ex-agent unearthed. Some SSA at the Bureau would take all the credit, and leave them high & dry). A functioning 'throwaway' cell phone in an underground bunker, or the middle of the Nevada desert? I don't think so. And so on. If you're not prone to asking questions about why characters do what they do, and aren't bothered if it makes no sense given the prior setup, go for it. But I have to say I just couldn't buy it. the store got suckered on this one. Go for 'The Lincoln Lawyer' instead.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
anitad
So many writers that were my favorites in the 90s have fallen so far. I've sworn off James Patterson since even his Alex Cross books have become unreadable. Lee Child's books have become little more than Steven Segal SNL skits. Stephen Hunter's "Night of Thunder" was like "Smokey and the Bandit" without the humor.

At least there are a few writers out there like Michael Connelly who are still capable of writing a believable story with interesting characters. He still has some entertaining tales to tell.

In "The Scarecrow" we get to catch up with L.A. Times reporter, Jack McEvoy and FBI Agent, Rachel Walling, who broke "The Poet" case years ago. It's no surprise to those who have read Connelly's work before that the two of them team up to track down yet another killer out west.

Some readers will not enjoy Connelly's descriptions of the newspaper industry and the setup of a server farm. These are not wasted words, though. This level of detail is what separates the work of writers like Connelly, John Sandford, and Robert Crais from the established writers who are just "mailing it in" at this point. The details allow the reader to get familiar with the settings of the story and make the extraordinary things that happen seem more believable.

"The Scarecrow" is another fun ride from Mr. Connelly.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
sarsij nayanam
I have always called "The Poet" my favorite Connelly novel, but it has been so long since I have read it that I have forgotten the reasons why. One of the reasons that I began writing the store reviews was to go back over books I have read and keep the reasons fresher. I never read a novel more than once. I am not that fast of a reader and there is so much great stuff to read. That being said I never miss a Connelly release, and I would go so far as to say that he is my favorite current author. The Scarecrow has not taken over the number two spot for me in Connelly's oeuvre, but it is not too far down the list. Jack McEvoy and Rachel Walling make a great team and Connelly is able to create the reality of a reporter dealing with the changes going on in newspaper publishing as easily as he is able to create a lawyer to rival the best of Grisham and Turow and the best detective working in fiction today.
Connelly is so gifted, he really weaves terrific plots. With the Scarecrow he has created a strange villian whose computer geek genius provides a host of challenges for the team of McEvoy and Walling. I have finished the Scarecrow just in time for the release of 9 Dragons. I love the fact that Connelly is becoming a bit more prolific without sacrificing the quality of his work. (The Overlook nothwithstanding)
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
alejandro sanchez
THE SCARECROW is an average to above average thriller that is actually a followup to Connelly's THE POET which was published in the 90's. I read THE POET at the time of publication but have only the dimmest memory of it and reading that novel is not necessary to follow this one. Los Angeles journalist Jack McEvoy is the hero of THE SCARECROW while Connelly's most frequent protagonist LA cop Harry Bosch does not appear in the story and there is only a mere passing mention of Bosch's half brother and new Connelly leading man Mickey, "the Lincoln lawyer."

The story is very contemporary and has the changes wrought by the internet as a major theme. Jack is being downsized from his newspaper job because of competition from online news sources. The serial killers use the world wide web to find each other, their victims and lots of important information that help them elude detection. The first part of the book is the best as the plot loses momentum toward the last third or so. THE SCARECROW is not a terrible book to spend some diverting time with but it is not one that is particularly memorable or thought provoking.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
joshua matthews
Reporter Jack McEvoy and FBI agent Rachael Walling are reunited in this book, 12 years after working on The Poet case and being romantically involved. After writing a bestseller about The Poet case, McEvoy is at the Los Angeles Times, but about to be downsized. After receiving two weeks notice, McEvoy has one last deadline to write a murder story that will make them remember him.

McEvoy's last case involves the body of a woman found murdered in the trunk of her car. A 16-year-old boy has been nabbed for the murder, but his grandmother insists he's innocent.

Besides pursuing the story, McEvoy has to deal with an up-and-coming reporter, Angela, who he's supposed to be showing the ropes. Angela competes with McEvoy and undermines him.

A similar trunk murder case is discovered in Las Vegas. How were the two victims connected? Was it the same killer?

McEvoy and Walling must match wits with a computer hacker. Author Michael Connelly puts a lot of twists and turns in the road. The ending is exciting and suspenseful. This is a worthy sequel to The Poet.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
jamie gortmaker
Micheal Connelly takes us along for a light-hearted romp through the average computer which, frankly, scares hell out of me! I will never regard my laptop again as I did before reading "The Scarecrow"! No more "Facebook", no more "My Space", no more nothin'!(Okay, I'll keep "Yelp" but that's it.) It was nice that MC would "air-out" his drawer of unused characters and let some of the "oldies" hold sway for a while, besides, I'm guessing Harry and Mickey welcomed a little vacation time from the usual, frenetic literary whirl. Besides, who better than a reporter to stand with outstretched middle finger held high towards Mirror Square? I've known more that a couple of "L.A.Times" reporters, big guns, too, that lend credence and credibility to the "paper's" portrayal in this new offering and wonder at the author's restraint! When not sparring with the "Times", Jack is at loggerheads with the F.B.I.(and on again off again girlfriend Rachel Walling)and once again demonstrating why other law enforcement organizations will tell you how "F.B.I." stands for "Famous But Inept" but I'm not here for spoilers, just to tell you that "The Scarecrow" is a weekend's pleasant, thrilling and scary diversion, one you should order up today!
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
juli burgett
Michael Connelly, New York Times bestselling author of twenty-one books, is generally acknowledged as one of America's top mystery writer, but this book, with characters from his prior best seller The Poet, lags.
The plot and subplots are good, the characters are finely drawn and the good people are likable and the bad ones disliked by readers, as it should be. There is drama and there is suspense, but the book is overlong.
The novel would have been better if it was cut by about a hundred pages. The subplot about Angela Cook, which took up the first hundred pages could have been dropped or summarized in a page or two.
It may have helped if Mr. Connelly had spent more time telling his readers about Rachel Wallings and about the Scarecrow. It would have been interesting to learn more about why the Scarecrow became the kind of man he became and more about his psychological sexual hangup.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
zahra m aghajan
Michael Connelly is easily one of the best crime fiction authors working today and The Scarecrow is a solid read, although I have to admit that after a great start the ending is a bit of let down. It isn't that the ending is bad (it isn't) - it's just that it follows a standard formula and was just too 'ordinary'.

The first half of The Scarecrow is exceptionally good. Connelly gives readers an insider's look at the inner workings of the newspaper business and the devastating effect that the internet and 24 hour cable news is having on it. I appreciated that our hero, reporter Jack McEvoy, starts chasing a story for reasons that are not entirely noble. When the grandmother of a gang member charged with murder insists her grandson is innocent, Jack follows up, not intending to prove the boy innocent, but rather to gain access to the family so he can profile the mind of a young killer. Of course, he does find evidence that leads the story in a different direction.

The greatest strength of Connelly's fiction is how thorough he is as a writer. For example: the killer is planning to frame someone (I don't want to give too much away) and Connelly has him address any holes in his plan, like the transportation of a firearm. Lesser authors would simply ignore the problem(s) and assume that readers wouldn't notice or would be willing to overlook the inconsistancies. Connelly though has his killer find a solution so that his plan is as realistic as possible. I appeciate that. I also appreciate that McEvoy and his partner FBI agent Rachel Walling don't just stumble around - they actually investigate, detect, and solve things. The criminals are intelligent too, which makes for a refreshingly smart read.

Unfortunately, after an exceptional start, it's as if Connelly switches onto autopilot for the second half of the novel and follows the Serial Killer Novel Playbook to the letter. Connelly uses one of the standard ploys of crime fiction: notably the `hero realizes the truth when he sees, hears, or says something unrelated to the crime that triggers a sudden epiphany, allowing him to save the day at the last possible moment." The other issue that I had with the final part of the novel is the behavior of the killer when he realizes that Jack and Rachel are onto him. He's been so cool and calculating throughout the novel but then over-reacts faced with Jack's flimsy `evidence'.

Is The Scarecrow worth reading? Absolutely. True, the ending was a bit of a let down after such a great start, but at least there was a great start and it wasn't that big of a let down. 3 ¾ stars.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
alexis lloyd
As I am not usually a fan of "reporter" books, I did not think I would be enthralled by Michael Connelly's latest novel. THE SCARECROW is just that, marking the return of crime reporter Jack McEvoy after lo these many years, last seen in 1996's THE POET. I am pleased to report that this new title easily surpassed my not-so-high expectations.

McEvoy is a legendary but nonetheless realistic reporter for a fictitious newspaper called the Los Angeles Times (any relation between Connelly's creation and the real-world version would be strictly coincidental). McEvoy's chief claim to fame is his series of stories regarding a serial murderer nicknamed The Poet, and McEvoy's ultimate involvement in the sequence of events that led to The Poet's death. As THE SCARECROW begins, however, McEvoy's world has moved ahead. His book regarding the story, also entitled THE POET, has been long out of print, and he has never had a front-page, top-fold story byline, notwithstanding his more than solid reputation as a first-class journeyman crime reporter.

What is significant for McEvoy is that in his world, as in this one, the age of the print newspaper is reaching its end. In some of his best writing to date, Connelly describes how the newsroom as we know it is gradually winding down and the consequences that follow. One of these is that McEvoy is unceremoniously kicked to the curb with a two-week separation notice. His final assignment, to train a fresh-faced and eager rookie reporter, is a humiliating one. But McEvoy wants to go out with a bang, and discovers an interesting story with which to bring his career to a climax. The core of the story consists of an L.A. Police Department press release concerning the arrest and confession of Alonzo Winslow, a 16-year-old drug dealer, for the murder of a stripper. Winslow is, from all accounts, an irredeemable waste of skin. Yet McEvoy finds that the arrest report demonstrates that Winslow did not actually confess to murdering the woman, contrary to what is contained in the press release.

In the course of researching the case, McEvoy discovers a second murder occurring in Nevada some years before that is so similar in terms of execution, and in resemblance to Winslow's alleged victim, that for both individuals to have been murdered by different assailants would be beyond the realm of coincidence. In the Nevada case, the victim's ex-husband was tried and convicted, and is incarcerated. Accordingly, he could not have committed any subsequent murders, including the one with which Winslow is charged. And Winslow may be innocent as well. When McEvoy travels to Nevada to investigate the earlier homicide, he sets off a series of events that pits an unseen, unknown adversary --- the real killer of both women, and several other victims as well --- against McEvoy and a totally unexpected ally.

The actual culprit is the Scarecrow, an MIT graduate named Wesley Carver who oversees security for an Internet website maintenance and data storage firm. The reader meets Carver immediately, but he is operating so far beneath the radar that no one knows who he is, let alone what he is doing. Sitting where he is, doing what he does, Carver is aware that McEvoy is looking for him even before McEvoy knows himself, and, more importantly, before McEvoy truly realizes what terrible danger he is in. When McEvoy makes a horrific discovery --- one that comes close to placing him under suspicion of murder himself --- the pursuit of the Scarecrow becomes personal. The Scarecrow remains one step ahead, even as McEvoy, relying on his keen powers of observations and instinct, stays on his trail.

Connelly is nothing short of amazing in THE SCARECROW, building the story somewhat slowly in the beginning before introducing explosive revelations, twists and turns, which increase in frequency and intensity. There are a number of pleasant surprises here, especially for readers who fondly remember THE POET. Connelly leaves open the possibility, if not the promise, of more to come from McEvoy. If all of this is not enough for you, he also takes a sub-plot line that he briefly set up in his fine Harry Bosch novels and advances it a step or so, teasing the reader with it but saving a possible revelation for another day. And speaking of revelations, THE SCARECROW includes the first 14 pages of NINE DRAGONS, the next Harry Bosch book, which will be published later this year. One could not reasonably ask for more.

--- Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
max dionne
Michael Connelly sets aside his trademark characters, hard-boiled detective Harry Bosch and slick lawyer Mickey Haller for this story about Jack McEvoy, who figured in The Poet so long ago.

McEvoy is a reporter for the Los Angeles Times - and is number 99 on a list of 100 employees to be laid off. With two weeks left on the job, he is assigned the task of training his own replacement on the police beat, wet-behind-the ears Angela Cook. McEvoy decides to go out with a bang, writing a story that will either free or convict 16 year Alonzo Winslow, accused in the brutal rape, torture murder of a young woman found dead in a car trunk, Denise Babit. As he drills into the case, McEvoy nopt onlu realizes that Alonzo may be innocent, but that Denise Babit's murder may be the wowrk of a serial killer.

In the course of this, Jack hooks up again with Rachel Walling, an FBI agent who played a prominent role in "The Poet".

In a departure from his normal course, Connelly introduces us early to the eventual target of their hunt. . We as readers know who who to avoid, but Jack McEvoy and Rachel Walling don't.

What emerges is a pretty taut tale of Jack, the resourceful tough guy reporter, and Rachel, the FBI agent with a heart, tracking down the source of murderous evil.

This is not Connelly's most watertight plot. There are some big holes where you have to simply swallow and move on. As a technologist, I wish Connelly had sought better advice about the computer technology he employs as plot elements. With more and more people becoming familiar with the technology, it is harder for authors to get away with winging it.

It doesn't take long before a cat-and-mouse game develops, the roles changing several times as Jack and Rachel close in. But they are prey as well as hunters.

I don't like giving too much of the plot away for fear of spoiling someone else's reading pleasure. Suffice it to say, that computer technology plays a big part in this story - and the pace of the story is rapid, which helps get over and around some of the holes in plot.

Connelly puts plenty of suspense into this book and it is kind of fun to see Jack and Rachel blunder into potentially lethal situations and then soldier on.

The back story Connelly weaves is interesting. It is of the newsroom culture - and the threat to that culture from the internet and, in the case of the Los Angeles Times, mass subscription cancellations because of their extreme left-wing political position. A new owner tempered the LATimes' rampant leftism, but it was too late to make a difference. Connelly avoids this subject in his description of the editorial process and presents the LATimes as it may once have been a million years ago.

Overall, The Scarecrow is a good crime novel. The characters are reasonably well developed. The plot leaves a lot to be desired. The conclusion is strained. None of these deficiencies, however, keep The Scarecrow from being a true page-turner.

Jerry
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
sayani
This one has a tightly-crafted plot with lots of nail-biting moments. For the first time ever, I had to put the book down, because I didn't want to know what happened next, I was so startled!

This is neither a Harry Bosch nor a Lincoln Lawyer story but features the journalist Jack McEvoy. Trust Michael Connelly to create a protagonist who is distinctly different from his other two main characters, but equally ambiguous! I guess that's what I like about his writing...he doesn't paint his protagonists as all-good or all-bad.

Rachel Walling also takes part in this chilling serial-killer story.

Good reading.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
shaun
I've been trying hard to read Michael Connelly's entwined books and multiple character paths, in as close to a chronological sequence as possible. This ain't easy (as in, we readers need to 1st recognize the problem, then figure out how to correlate the [at least 3] parallel sets of twisting, turning and interweaving novels. This book was at least as good as The Poet, but I believe the Scarecrow author kind of copped out and prematurely ended the story, and it could have evolved better than the plot ending allowed.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
shelly hoffmeyer
I have read a majority of the works by Michael Connelly and have never been disappointed. Even though the Scarecrow did not feature the long-time favorite character, Harry Bosch, I was confident of Connelly's ability to provide me with an entertaining, suspenseful murder mystery. He did not let me down. This was a great read - completely captivating and nearly impossible to put down. Connelly pulls the story forward with strong character development, with the reader drawn into a range of emotions and motivations that spans the character set. Start to finish, this is a great story with surprises littered throughout until the final pages. Although The Scarecrow perhaps would have been better if I had previously read The Poet, the fact that I had not done so did not detract from this story. Plus, it now gives me a reason to go back to get one of Connelly's earlier works to enjoy.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
andrew gardner
Last seen primarily in "The Poet," Jack McEvoy returns in this novel which is both a mystery and a lament to the world of newspaper publishing. It's been a lot of years since the celebrity success of his book on the poet serial killer and Jack is on the wrong side of 40. The LA Times has seen its best days and in the latest round of staff cuts has included Jack. They will give him one break which at the same time is a bit of an insult. He can leave now or he can train his replacement, Angela Cook, for the next two weeks and collect another paycheck. Beyond that his options are few and he knows not much else.

"Death is my beat," I whispered to myself. "I make my living from it. I forge my professional reputation on it." ( P. 25)

In a final one finger salute to the management of the paper, he comes up with a plan. Contacted by a family member of Alonzo Wilson, who claims he didn't do the murder he was arrested for, Jack decides to write about the case. With Alonzo being sixteen, living in the projects and dealing drugs, the story of how society created a killer almost writes itself. That is until Jack realizes the kid is innocent and was used by a serial killer as a scapegoat.

Society did create a serial killer. Not the teenager, at least not yet, but someone else who can use the internet and the digital world to track victims and his hunters.

With frequent heart felt observations about the demise of newspapers, author Michal Connelly, aims a spotlight at what is happening today. Unfortunately, though a variety of suspects have been named in the drive by attack on newspapers, no one has been charged with a crime. The victims remain on life support, slipping a little each day, and the end is near.

Against that backdrop, Connelly has weaved together a good mystery using clichéd pieces of the super smart computer guy who is a killer, nothing is safe online, and that a romance interrupted but meant to be can be rekindled. Each of the elements is a bit hackneyed and yet they all work together in the novel. Quickly the reader is pulled into the fictional world and despite the author's occasional heavy handed allusion to reality in the form of references to his own writing career; the overall read is a good one.

Kevin R. Tipple (copyright) 2009
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
craig mcgray
This was my first Michael Connelly book and I found it very entertaining - and the story and dialogue were compelling. I had the unfortunate experience of listening to it on audio - and they had a man narrate the entire book - which translates to him reading all the woman's lines for the romantic dialogue - this was very distracting and had me downgrade the package from four stars. So enjoy the book, by all means, but stay away from the audio. I occasionally listen to books on audio, and invariably they have a man do all the voices - I really don't understand why they can't have a woman read the lines for the female characters - but doesn't make me real interested in other "whisper audio"... the story is told from the reporter's angle as he tracks down a serial killer - and he pulls in his FBI love interest Rachael - and tells a good story.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
adrianne
In Scarecrow, recycles two key characters from his previous books, reporter Jack McEvoy and FBI agent Rachel Walling. Jack is being ousted from the LA Times and picks his last two weeks to profile a black kid charged with murdering a white woman. When Jack reads the kid's confession, he sees the kid only confessed to stealing the woman's car (she was dead in the trunk).

So, who really did kill her? His investigation uncovers a murder with the exact same m.o. in Nevada. He notifies old friend and lover Walling and the two are off and running on the trail of a serial killer. Their probing trips a cyber trip wire and now the killer knows they are coming.

Thus begins the latest standalone (Harry's not in it) from Connelly, who I consider the best crime fiction writer working today (Laura Lippman's a close second, with Lawrence Block in third. All three do their best work in standalones.

But he does a bit of jumping that old shark here.

First of all, this is not a "who" novel, but a "how" novel, basically a police procedural. The evil one is identified fairly early, and then it's a cat and mouse game. This is what John Sanford does all the time, and I think it makes him a lesser writer.

The ending is a race against the clock in an underground bunker with horns blaring, canisters spewing deadly gas, a secret escape hatch, etc. Bond. James Bond.

Connelly has learned a lot about internal FBI stuff, including jargon, which he shares with the reader, over and over. He's learned alot about computer server systems, which he also shares over and over.

One thing he nails, though, is an inside look at the slow death of the newspaper business. Of course, we have the Web, but Connelly makes it clear that the Internet is inferior in a watchdog role. I am a newspaperman who has already dodged the downsizing bullet.

Harrry's back in October. Can't wait.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
inga ingvarsd ttir
I read this book almost straight through, then re-read sections after. I like Michael Connelly's characters, and always care about them, so that alone inspires interest. But nevertheless, the Scarecrow left me feeling disappointed. Sections of the plot seemed totally implausible, or else were not adequately explained (for example, the lack of sophistication of the Times computer resource department, let alone of the various police agencies, was implausible).

This was one of those books which felt as if it was written to a page count, with the story progressing based on the number of remaining pages rather than on a believable series of events. It also felt like it was rushed: hard to get those two books a year out while still doing the publicity tour.

So worth the read? Sure. But hardly especially memorable.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
james l
I read this book with much anticipation based on the marketing and advertising statements of the book and author. I was sorely disappointed. When reading a fantasy book, one must allow the author certain leeway with a story. However, this book is so full of impossibilities, that it is simply unbelievable and impossible to enjoy. I cannot recommend it to an adult based on its violation of basic physics and grossly incorrect descriptions of modern weaponry; the story simply is implausible beyond any stretch of the imagination. Neither can I recommend it to a young adult based on the book's language. Sorry, but I suggest you don't waste your time or money with this book.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
amanda manuel
This is not the sort of book I would normally read. However, because it's about a journalist who's been RIF'd from his newspaper (The Los Angeles Times), a newspaper where I worked briefly, I had to give it a look. Connelly has the journalist character, Jack McEvoy, down to a T, from his haphazard way of checking in at the office to his mad desire for bylines. Although Jack is one crackerjack crime reporter, he's also too well paid, so the Times is letting him go, to bring in a cute, recent journalism-school graduate who will probably make half his salary. To make things worse, he has to train her. It's odd that Connelly never mentions the Times' erstwhile lord and master, the Tribune Company (as in Chicago Tribune), which brought the Times to these financial straits. The Tribune Company has since cut its losses and sold off the L.A. Times. I would think this would afford pages of vitriol, but Connelly is silent.
Meanwhile, McEvoy has two weeks before he's history and he wants to go out in a blaze of glory. He grabs onto a murder story that doesn't smell right, noses around in Watts and soon discovers he's jumped into a trash heap that is way over his head. As he joins forces with a sexy FBI agent who is an old flame, it turns out that they are really jousting with a serial killer who is also a computer wizard.
I had my doubts about the computer genius' methods. My computer nerd husband always laughs when I describe these plots to him, so I didn't even try this time. I have no doubt that the nasty killer, known only as Carver, could get into other computers, learn passwords and control their software. High-school kids can do that. But Connelly has Carver infiltrating all of the L.A. Times mainframe computer, and no one at the newspaper's I. T. department has a clue. I know times are tough, but newspapers still spend money on information technology security. It's highly implausible that Carver would have gotten that far for so long in the Los Angeles computer. For heaven's sake, at least the reporters would get new passwords.
Technology concerns aside, Connelly's thriller plot really has the reader hanging by his/her fingernails in the middle section of the book, when McEvoy is zipping around Nevada just steps ahead of death. Death waits for him at home when a reporter is killed. Connelly ramps up the tension nicely and defies the reader to put the book down.
McEvoy is confounded by what is happening. Suddenly, he's not allowed to write the stories anymore. He *is* the story.
I wish Connelly had kept up that pace throughout the entire book. Unfortunately, the thrills go up and down, with too much explanation and time wasted on secondary characters. The ending, which should be a real spine-tingler, never really seems particularly dangerous, so the bad guy's takedown, quite oddly, is pat.
McEvoy ends up a real hero, however, when he turns down the Times' cheesy offer to rehire him. He's moved on. But, as he says in a close-to-the-bone passage near the end, even writing a book in a coffee shop doesn't replicate the noise and clatter of a newsroom. It's no longer "us against the world," he says. That feeling he will never get back.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
crystal kimberlin
Michael Connelly's latest book, THE SCARECROW, involves a soon-to-be-laid-off long-time LA Times reporter Jack McEvoy, who decides to "go out with a bang" by writing an investigative story about a black boy from South LA who may be wrongfully accused of murder. McEvoy finds a heck of a lot more than he thought he would as a high-tech company and some techno savvy employees there try to thwart his investigation. As a result, although the kid from South LA gets out of jail, McEvoy and his gorgeous (of course) FBI girlfriend nearly lose their lives every few pages.

THE SCARECROW may sound corny, but it really is a fun read. I hadn't read a Connelly novel before and wasn't expecting much but was pleasantly surprised. I really enjoyed it.

If you haven't read Connelly before but enjoy authors such as Harlan Coben, Lisa Scottoline, Stephen White, or Lee Child, you'll like THE SCARECROW. You'll probably want to read some of Connelly's others, too. I do.

Now that that's said, I have two criticisms:

* The beginning of the book has a reporter with less experience than McEvoy who will take his place because she makes a lot less money. But she does have news writing experience between undergrad and grad school with a newspaper in Florida. And she does have a masters degree in journalism. Yet she has to ask McEvoy what it means to put "30" at the end of an article. Give me a break! You can't take a single journalism class and not know what that means!
* McEvoy is smart and performs as a smart person would--except when he is around his FBI agent girlfriend. She is unbelievably all-knowing. Whenever they're together, she bosses McEvoy around, and he meekly takes direction from her, suddenly out of his own ideas and dependent on her brains.

Minor flaws
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
fernando
To me, The Scarecrow has a four-star first half and a two-star second half. The book opens with its protagonist, Jack McEvoy, getting laid off from the LA Times and Connelly does a great job depicting the state of American journalism. Also, the initial twists and turns taken by the mystery are wonderful, as is the character of Angela Cook, the young, smart, ambitious woman McEvoy has to train to replace him.
But by the book's middle, much of that spark, originality and character development is gone, leaving a predictable albeit somewhat enjoyable thriller in its place. If you're a hardcore Connelly fan, I'd suggest picking this one up, but if not, he has many other, better novels.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
denormalized
I just can't help it. I love Michael Connelly's books. He's one of the few people writing in this genre that consistently delivers a good read. He manages to do this when writing books about his main series character, Hieronymous Bosch, or about other series characters, or when writing stand alone novels. His writing is crisp, his plotting is excellent & I'm always entertained.

This book finds us back again with Jack McEvoy, the erstwhile hero of an earlier book, The Poet. In that book, Jack, a newspaper reporter has helped catch a serial killer & has risen up the newspaper food chain - even writing a best-seller based on the crime. Now, things are much different. The newspaper business is dying, & money for print journalism is drying up - this means layoffs & Jack just got one. His pursuit of his last big story leads him in an unexpected direction & reunites him with Rachel, his love from the first book.

Connelly makes the world of the newspaper believable - he should since he was a reporter once himself. He also handily creates the atmosphere of a company with an ongoing Reduction in Force - I've lived through those, I know what I'm talking about. He's got the dread, the depression, the bravado, the anxiety. All of these elements swirled together with the chase for a new killer make for a fun mix.

I've said before that I appreciate the way Connelly writes L.A. It reminds me a bit of the way the original CSI shows us Las Vegas. Sure, it's the Strip & Fremont Street & tourists & gamblers, but it's also hustlers & the homeless & folks living out the American Suburban Dream. In many ways the Las Vegas of CSI is more real than the actual place, if only because my access is broader.

Connelly's L.A. has Hollywood & Beverly Hills & Rodeo Drive, but it's also got Santa Monica & downtown L.A. around the Parker Center. It's got lawyers & cops & reporters & gang bangers & laundry entrepreneurs & he gets that L.A. is all about the hustle. I like a writer who can capture a place & Connelly's one of those.

All in all another satisfying read from a highly dependable writer.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
brenda brice
The newspaper business has been affected more than any other by the new digital age. Newspaper circulation, advertising inches, and editorial staffing are all down. Great newspapers like the Los Angeles Times go through rounds of cuts as their corporate owners struggle to survive.

This new information infrastructure does not content itself to wrecking great metropolitan newspapers, it invades the core of other professions, law and finance in particular, by becoming the watchdog for their great secrets.

Who watches the watchers?

Jack McEvoy, underachieving reporter for the L.A. Times is caught in the digital crunch. Assigned to train his pretty young replacement, McEvoy decides to go out with a bang, to find the big story and write it before his tenure is his profession comes to an end. He has only two weeks, and yet opportunity has knocked. McEvoy begins to investigate the homicide of a leggy exotic dancer and the young gang-banger charged in her gruesome death.

Soon McEvoy, who we last saw in Michael Connelly's The Poet is in big trouble and he turns to his long lost love FBI agent Rachel Walling to pull his chesnuts from the fire. But every Michael Connelly novel offers deeply complex plots in which the obvious is only a teaser of what lies within.

This novel, perhaps Michael Connelly's best work ever, will not disappoint. From the sentimental goodbye to print journalism to digital terrorism at its apex Connelly commands our attention and respect as America's greatest mystery writer.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
christopher carfi
Twelve years ago, reporter Jack McEvoy made his career on the case of The Poet. Now, partly as a consequence of the impact of technology on print media, Jack McEvoy has just been given his notice by the Los Angeles Times. In his last fortnight with the paper, Jack becomes involved in the story of a gang member charged with murder. The gang member's grandmother believes her grandson is innocent, and contacts Jack after reading his report that her grandson has confessed.

This is the beginning of a fast-paced story which leads to the pursuit of a serial killer who has operated effectively without drawing police attention to himself. The identity of the perpetrator is revealed early in the story, which changes the direction and tempo of the novel. We, the readers, know who the bad guy is and we are observing the efforts of Jack and FBI Agent Rachel Walling to track him down. It is interesting to observe the role of technology in this story: the information so freely available on the Internet contributes to the shrinking of the print media; enables reporters to find information about different but similar and possibly related crimes; and allows the killer to monitor those who are tracking him.

I enjoyed this novel, but I thought aspects of the story were uneven. However, this unevenness was largely confined to the second half of the novel and by then I could not put the book down.

Jennifer Cameron-Smith
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
ching in
This is my first book written by Michael Connolly. I had heard he is a master of suspense and his book `The Poet' is considered as one of the `must read' books. So with great enthusiasm I started reading `Scarecrow.'
The book opens with a 16 year old drug peddler arrested for murdering a stripper who had gone to shadowy area of LA to procure drugs. The protagonist is Jack McEvoy, a reporter who had just received a pink slip. Then a chapter comes, titled `Farm,' in which the identity of the murderer is revealed. The killer is again a serial killer. I have no love for reading serial killers because either they don't have an appealing motive or if the motive is explained (usually some childhood trauma and bad mother is always involved as in this case) is a cliché. The villain is a computer nerd working on some thousand servers and gets all the information he needs just by sitting in his chair and terminating bank accounts, canceling credit cards, hacking e mail accounts. The various moves of the villain and his thoughts are already shown. So the only suspense that remains is to see how the reporter catches the killer. Jack and Rachel Walling (an FBI agent) miss so many clues when they are obvious to the reader. I asked myself the question every forty to fifty pages: How could they miss this obvious clue? How can they be so stupid? This pair mistrusts everybody but keeps faith in the killer himself to lead them to the killer. I felt no sympathy for any characters but just the irritation.
Mr. Connolly might be counting on some Hollywood producer to make a movie out of this book. So for cinematic effect he includes a fight on the 13th floor, the assailant falls down toppling over the railing (another cliché scene, how often have we seen this in the movies), an FBI raid, a dead body right under the bed and such things.
Ms Walling gets fired and hired again and again. The chemistry between the two is weak. I didn't get any sense of romance. And the dumb way she works made me laugh. There are other murders including that of a rookie reporter. The victims succumb like lambs without offering any resistance to the killer. Wouldn't you fight to death someone who ties your hands and legs, rapes you and fastens a plastic hood over your head to suffocate you? But none of the bodies show any signs of struggle? At least it is not mentioned.
The language flows smoothly but there are no great sentences. This book has little literary value.
While writing this review I had to open the book and look for the names of the protagonist and his girl friend. And I just finished the book two days back. It says a lot about this book, right?
This book is for `Mass Market.' Read it (if you have enough time to waste), throw away and forget about it. And forget you will.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
roseann gawason
First Sentence: Carver paced in the control room, watching over the front forty.

Jack McEvoy, the reporter from "The Poet" is now working for the LA Times. At least for now: he just received his pink slip.

He receives a call from an older black woman claiming the piece he wrote about her son/grandson having killed a woman and leaving her in the trunk of her car was false; her Alonzo is innocent. Following up with the woman and the boy's attorney, McEvoy begins to believe she's right, particularly when he finds there have been similar killings.

Jack decides this is going to be his last, big story for the paper. Someone else decides it's going to be his last story--ever.

There is no question Connelly can write an excellent book. He just didn't do it here.

There were huge coincidences; some deliberate, some, I think, not. The plot was predictable in the extreme and lacked real suspense or tension. The character development was negligible and the characters stereotypical. There were no surprises. The relationship between Jack and the FBI agent didn't sizzle; it was unconvincing. Because the villain was written in first person, there was no surprise there either and very little tension.

The best part of the book was looking at the working of a large, metropolitan newspaper in these tough economic times.

I was very disappointed and know Connelly can do better. I hope he proves it in his next upcoming Harry Bosch book.

THE SCARCROW (Unl Inv-Jack McEvoy-Western US-Cont) - G+
Connelly, Michael - 2nd Jack McEvoy
LittleBrown, 2009, US Hardcover - ISBN: 9780316166300
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
mimi friday
Ouch, this is the only Michael Connelly book I've ever disliked and returned. The characters are not likeable, so I found myself not caring what happened with the "hero" and that ruined it for me. I had to grit my teeth to get all the way through the book and it felt like the author was only going through the motions, something I've felt with other authors but never with Connelly till now. That's too bad; it's a great premise and I love reading this author normally, but for me this particular book is a waste of time.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
sara khairy
Jack McEvoy, LA Times crime beat reporter/author, and Rachel Walling, famed FBI agent, team up to take down a serial killer in Michael Connelly's latest thriller, The Scarecrow. McEvoy (familiar to regular readers) is back in his usual form...a reporter - from the "good ole days" where hard-copy newspapers were preferred to web-delivered content - who stops at nothing to get his story. Walling also returns to us as the no-nonsense, intuitive profiler.

In The Scarecrow, Connelly yet again delivers a clever and engaging storyline, complete with the usual geographical references and hotel room love scenes familiar to his readers. The writing style is all Connelly, however the presentation of the plot is different from his past work. The killer's moves are known to the reader well before they are known to the main characters of McEvoy and Walling so the suspense is found in the hows and whys and not so much in the whats. This makes for a slightly less climactic storyline in some ways, but surprisingly more interesting in that the reader is constantly a step ahead of McEvoy & Walling (and therefore eager to put the pieces of the puzzle together). It was a nice change of pace from what Connelly's readers have come to expect (not that this expectation is a bad thing in and of itself) and made for a fascinating read.

Connelly's characters are well-developed, as always, as are the intricate details that are spun together to form the storyline.

My only complaint (aside from a glaring editing mistake found near the end of the book) was that the end was too abrupt...not fleshed out enough, perhaps. Even though this is surely purposeful and makes perfect sense given the sequence of events that lead up to the resolution, as a reader, I was left wanting a bit more. For that, I would give The Scarecrow 4.5 stars if possible, but felt it was more deserving of a five-star rating than four.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
manoshi
The L.A. Times pinked reporter Jack McEvoy giving him two weeks notice instead of the usual instant RIF that he is being axed if he agrees to train his replacement Angela Cook. Jack decides to remind his editor what he will lose when he is gone by chasing after a final headline news story.

Jack investigates the arrest of sixteen year old drug dealer Alonzo Winslow, who confessed to the rape and murder of an exotic dancer. However, to his shock, Jack begins to uncover proof that the nasty teen could not have committed either crime. Meanwhile Angela does a search that leads to a place in Arizona called the "Farm". Those at the farm realize someone has discovered them so they must be eliminated; they send assassins to kill Jack and Angela. Jack turns to FBI agent Rachel Walling whom he met on the POET case years ago to help him with the gangbanger inquiry and with the killers coming for him.

Moving back and forth between first and third person voice, Michael Connelly provides an exhilarating journalistic investigative thriller. The story line is action-packed and fast-paced from the moment that Jack decides to go out with a big bang and never decelerates. Jack is terrific as he mentors his replacement while working the Farm inquiry that places him and Angela in lethal danger. Mr. Connelly will have his fans up late with THE SCARECROW.

Harriet Klausner
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
meredith frederich
....a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease, typically about an imminent event or something with an uncertain outcome.
That's what makes his books so good.
Reading Scarecrow my heart raced i would read a couple paragraphs ahead make sure nothing bad happened then i could relax go back a read it slower.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
walter burton
Scarecrow was a well written novel written by a man who I can honestly say is a true storyteller. Initially when reading this book, I stopped because I didn't like the statement of the story about "I could tell she was an uneducated black female". I was really turned off. After months passed, I picked this book back up and I'm glad that I did.

It's a real page turner about Jack, who is a reporter with the LA times who is given a pink slip. In the two weeks that he has left at the paper, he sets off to write an article that could bring in awards and make the paper wish they never laid him off. Jack begins to follow up on a call about a 16-year-old being falsely accused of a heinous crime when he stumbles on the pattern of a serial killer.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
christine gerber
Ten years after his bestselling book came out on the vicious murderer, the Poet, Jack McEvoy is being let go at the LA Times. Connelly is transferring to the pages of The Scarecrow the real hardships being imposed on print newspapers (last week word came of Newsweek going out of print and onto the Web). Soon enough, though, McEvoy finds himself tracking down a trunk murderer and he eagerly presses on in hopes of making a grand exit from his paper with the story he is going to write. As you might expect, he gets physically involved in the capture of the murderer. McEvoy is older and slower, but he will have a new bestseller.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
kathy swords
Michael Connelly is like a true, old, reliable friend that you can always count on when it comes to his books. Always a top notch thriller whether it be Harry Bosch, Mickey Haller or Jack McEvoy. I have never read a bad novel of Mr. Connelly's and this book no exception.

Very smooth reading without a lot of technological words that are boring. No outlandish scenarios. Just great writing to keep you turning page after page.

If you are new to Mr. Connelly's novels you might want to start from the beginning of the character's series, Harry Bosch, Mickey Haller or Jack McEvoy. You won't be disappointed. Crime writing fiction at it's best!!
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
katka
Loved this book and finished in one day-love the Jack McEvoy series. Brilliant writing by Connelly---get the audio as Peter Giles is outstanding!

McEvoy is at the end of the line as a crime reporter. Forced to take a buy-out from the Los Angeles Times as the newspaper grapples with dwindling revenues, he's got only a few days left on the job. His last assignment? Training his replacement, a low-cost reporter just out of journalism school. But Jack has other plans for his exit. He is going to go out with a bang--a final story that will win the newspaper journalism's highest honor a Pulitzer prize
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
kimchi
Granted I'm a big Michael Connelly fan, and I usually love Michael Connelly books, but the subject matter of this one--all the technical stuff--was a turn off to me. Nonetheless, I had nothing else to read so I started turning the pages . . . and I just couldn't stop. Rather than put the book into the dusty "someday when there's NOTHING else pile," I couldn't put the book down. Once again, Connelly pulls it off. Clean, fast paced and emotional, the story yanked me in by my lapels and didn't let go until the very end, when I actually gasped. Another winner from Connelly!! Really, why am I surprised?
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
tom craig
Michael Connelly is not my favorite mystery writer, but I read one of his books now and then, and I enjoyed this one. Within the mystery genre, I like stories about serial killers least of all, for too many such stories feature bad guys who seem to be smarter than almost everyone else, as is the case here. Even so, the story is interesting throughout. The ending is surprising.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
brittany
It's been a long time since Michael Connelly was a crime reporter, but the experience has certainly given him plenty to write about. In "The Scarecrow," he chronicles the dying newspaper industry with the emergence of electronic journalism, while writing a first-rate murder mystery. It brings back FBI agent Rachel Walling, who saved Jack McEvoy's life in "The Poet," providing hope for the future after he is RIF'd [i.e., 'reduction in force'] from the LA Times.

But in his last two weeks at the paper, McEvoy undertakes to investigate whether a 16-year-old Watts boy is really guilty of murder and starts developing evidence that there is another serial killer out there. Once again, the author turns to new technology. In "The Poet," a fax machine was crucial; in this novel, the internet and computers play central roles.

As is usual, Connelly's prose and plot are sharp, and the background deep and authentic. Enough said. Highly recommended.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
melissa dahlin
I have read everything written by Michael Connelly and classify him as one of my favorite authors and Harry Bosch one of my favorite characters. I had just finished The Late Show which introduced a new character when I happened on The Scarecrow which also introduces new characters. Every bit as good as The Late Show. But while I enjoyed reading both books I am still looking forward to the next Harry Bosch book!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
brittanie
I bought The Scarecrow one miserable Thursday afternoon as a purely escapist read. Something to take the mind off the nonsense the world at large was creating. And it worked, as I hoped it would. The pages flew by and nothing else mattered - phones rang, people yelled and the dishes didn't get done... Too bad it had to come to an end.

Connelly is a solid writer who spins a great tale of imperfect good and purely evil evil. The plot is tight, the dialogue a joy to read, and the narration allows for identification with Jack McEvoy while watching the villain from up close and personal.

Great fun.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
erin saiof
Certainly one of Connelly's best. As he was in "The Poet", Jack McEvoy is a likeable and relatable protagonist. The hunt for a psychotic killer is peppered with the reality of the downward spiral of written journalism and Connelly's treatment of the Internet as a meeting place for deviants and a information source for investigators in right on target. Like "The Poet", this book draws you in and holds you until you turn the last page. Bravo Mr. Connelly: you are a true talent.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
mindy worley
The World Wide Web has given new birth to the genre of mystery fiction. As wonderfully demonstrated in Connelly's The Scarecrow, the "Hidden Internet"--the information stored everywhere in massive data farms and searchable via data mining--has created a new breed of psychopathic villains. But instead of guns or bombs...these criminal masterminds use the internet as their weapon. And, sensibly, as new villains are created, so must be new sleuths. Connelly's protagonist, an old-school journalist named Jack McEvoy, is losing his job at the Los Angeles Times to a "mojo"--a mobile journalist whose knowledge of technology gives her an easy edge over the pencil-and-paper Jack. Bitter about his situation, Jack is an easily relatable character. Unless you are a member of the small minority of computer hackers and html gurus, technology has surely frustrated you and eluded your understanding at one time or another. The Scarecrow also happens to serve, though perhaps unintentionally so, as a commentary on the dangers of the internet to our privacy. At one point the villain uses the internet to stalk his victim without her knowledge. In a time when computers are hand-held, cell phones are no longer just for talking, and sharing music by literally tapping someone else's media player with your own is reality, people tend to get caught up in the ease and accessibility of the entire world at their fingertips. Connelly brilliantly shows readers that, sometimes, the click of a mouse can be more deadly than a gun making for a fantastic learning experience as well as a thrilling adventure.
For full review see: Interface, Berglund Center for Internet Studies at Pacific University.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
anarita485
Rachel Walling, but no Harry Bosch. A crime story set against a backdrop of failing newspapers starring Jack McEvoy of Poet fame. I think it could have been a little longer to better tie in Western Data and the crime spree, but it was relatively clear. Think character development of the Scarecrow and his crew was a little lacking, maybe could have been done with less back and forth with McEvoy and his news room buddies. Overall, a good read
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
kim foster
The Scarecrow is another Connelly great and suspenseful story. Those of you who follow Michael Connelly will not be disappointed and those of you who are reading Connelly for the first time will be hooked.

Connelly also gives the reader some insight into what is currently happening within the newspaper business. Jack McEvoy, the main character in the story, is a reporter for the Los Angeles Times who has been laid off due to the down sizing of the staff. Living in the Los Angeles area myself, I know much of what has happened to the LAT staff and the product that is currently produced. It is nothing but a piece of junk full of lame content.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
jonathan webb
....a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease, typically about an imminent event or something with an uncertain outcome.
That's what makes his books so good.
Reading Scarecrow my heart raced i would read a couple paragraphs ahead make sure nothing bad happened then i could relax go back a read it slower.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
erin h
Scarecrow was a well written novel written by a man who I can honestly say is a true storyteller. Initially when reading this book, I stopped because I didn't like the statement of the story about "I could tell she was an uneducated black female". I was really turned off. After months passed, I picked this book back up and I'm glad that I did.

It's a real page turner about Jack, who is a reporter with the LA times who is given a pink slip. In the two weeks that he has left at the paper, he sets off to write an article that could bring in awards and make the paper wish they never laid him off. Jack begins to follow up on a call about a 16-year-old being falsely accused of a heinous crime when he stumbles on the pattern of a serial killer.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
indilee
Ten years after his bestselling book came out on the vicious murderer, the Poet, Jack McEvoy is being let go at the LA Times. Connelly is transferring to the pages of The Scarecrow the real hardships being imposed on print newspapers (last week word came of Newsweek going out of print and onto the Web). Soon enough, though, McEvoy finds himself tracking down a trunk murderer and he eagerly presses on in hopes of making a grand exit from his paper with the story he is going to write. As you might expect, he gets physically involved in the capture of the murderer. McEvoy is older and slower, but he will have a new bestseller.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
tori jo lau
Michael Connelly is like a true, old, reliable friend that you can always count on when it comes to his books. Always a top notch thriller whether it be Harry Bosch, Mickey Haller or Jack McEvoy. I have never read a bad novel of Mr. Connelly's and this book no exception.

Very smooth reading without a lot of technological words that are boring. No outlandish scenarios. Just great writing to keep you turning page after page.

If you are new to Mr. Connelly's novels you might want to start from the beginning of the character's series, Harry Bosch, Mickey Haller or Jack McEvoy. You won't be disappointed. Crime writing fiction at it's best!!
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
abraham
Loved this book and finished in one day-love the Jack McEvoy series. Brilliant writing by Connelly---get the audio as Peter Giles is outstanding!

McEvoy is at the end of the line as a crime reporter. Forced to take a buy-out from the Los Angeles Times as the newspaper grapples with dwindling revenues, he's got only a few days left on the job. His last assignment? Training his replacement, a low-cost reporter just out of journalism school. But Jack has other plans for his exit. He is going to go out with a bang--a final story that will win the newspaper journalism's highest honor a Pulitzer prize
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
brian cuddy
Granted I'm a big Michael Connelly fan, and I usually love Michael Connelly books, but the subject matter of this one--all the technical stuff--was a turn off to me. Nonetheless, I had nothing else to read so I started turning the pages . . . and I just couldn't stop. Rather than put the book into the dusty "someday when there's NOTHING else pile," I couldn't put the book down. Once again, Connelly pulls it off. Clean, fast paced and emotional, the story yanked me in by my lapels and didn't let go until the very end, when I actually gasped. Another winner from Connelly!! Really, why am I surprised?
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
harish
Michael Connelly is not my favorite mystery writer, but I read one of his books now and then, and I enjoyed this one. Within the mystery genre, I like stories about serial killers least of all, for too many such stories feature bad guys who seem to be smarter than almost everyone else, as is the case here. Even so, the story is interesting throughout. The ending is surprising.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
rhonda masse
It's been a long time since Michael Connelly was a crime reporter, but the experience has certainly given him plenty to write about. In "The Scarecrow," he chronicles the dying newspaper industry with the emergence of electronic journalism, while writing a first-rate murder mystery. It brings back FBI agent Rachel Walling, who saved Jack McEvoy's life in "The Poet," providing hope for the future after he is RIF'd [i.e., 'reduction in force'] from the LA Times.

But in his last two weeks at the paper, McEvoy undertakes to investigate whether a 16-year-old Watts boy is really guilty of murder and starts developing evidence that there is another serial killer out there. Once again, the author turns to new technology. In "The Poet," a fax machine was crucial; in this novel, the internet and computers play central roles.

As is usual, Connelly's prose and plot are sharp, and the background deep and authentic. Enough said. Highly recommended.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
randeep
I have read everything written by Michael Connelly and classify him as one of my favorite authors and Harry Bosch one of my favorite characters. I had just finished The Late Show which introduced a new character when I happened on The Scarecrow which also introduces new characters. Every bit as good as The Late Show. But while I enjoyed reading both books I am still looking forward to the next Harry Bosch book!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
leslie abramson
I bought The Scarecrow one miserable Thursday afternoon as a purely escapist read. Something to take the mind off the nonsense the world at large was creating. And it worked, as I hoped it would. The pages flew by and nothing else mattered - phones rang, people yelled and the dishes didn't get done... Too bad it had to come to an end.

Connelly is a solid writer who spins a great tale of imperfect good and purely evil evil. The plot is tight, the dialogue a joy to read, and the narration allows for identification with Jack McEvoy while watching the villain from up close and personal.

Great fun.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
pat garcia
Certainly one of Connelly's best. As he was in "The Poet", Jack McEvoy is a likeable and relatable protagonist. The hunt for a psychotic killer is peppered with the reality of the downward spiral of written journalism and Connelly's treatment of the Internet as a meeting place for deviants and a information source for investigators in right on target. Like "The Poet", this book draws you in and holds you until you turn the last page. Bravo Mr. Connelly: you are a true talent.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
a j bryant
The World Wide Web has given new birth to the genre of mystery fiction. As wonderfully demonstrated in Connelly's The Scarecrow, the "Hidden Internet"--the information stored everywhere in massive data farms and searchable via data mining--has created a new breed of psychopathic villains. But instead of guns or bombs...these criminal masterminds use the internet as their weapon. And, sensibly, as new villains are created, so must be new sleuths. Connelly's protagonist, an old-school journalist named Jack McEvoy, is losing his job at the Los Angeles Times to a "mojo"--a mobile journalist whose knowledge of technology gives her an easy edge over the pencil-and-paper Jack. Bitter about his situation, Jack is an easily relatable character. Unless you are a member of the small minority of computer hackers and html gurus, technology has surely frustrated you and eluded your understanding at one time or another. The Scarecrow also happens to serve, though perhaps unintentionally so, as a commentary on the dangers of the internet to our privacy. At one point the villain uses the internet to stalk his victim without her knowledge. In a time when computers are hand-held, cell phones are no longer just for talking, and sharing music by literally tapping someone else's media player with your own is reality, people tend to get caught up in the ease and accessibility of the entire world at their fingertips. Connelly brilliantly shows readers that, sometimes, the click of a mouse can be more deadly than a gun making for a fantastic learning experience as well as a thrilling adventure.
For full review see: Interface, Berglund Center for Internet Studies at Pacific University.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
clara baker baldwin
Rachel Walling, but no Harry Bosch. A crime story set against a backdrop of failing newspapers starring Jack McEvoy of Poet fame. I think it could have been a little longer to better tie in Western Data and the crime spree, but it was relatively clear. Think character development of the Scarecrow and his crew was a little lacking, maybe could have been done with less back and forth with McEvoy and his news room buddies. Overall, a good read
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
suebaby
The Scarecrow is another Connelly great and suspenseful story. Those of you who follow Michael Connelly will not be disappointed and those of you who are reading Connelly for the first time will be hooked.

Connelly also gives the reader some insight into what is currently happening within the newspaper business. Jack McEvoy, the main character in the story, is a reporter for the Los Angeles Times who has been laid off due to the down sizing of the staff. Living in the Los Angeles area myself, I know much of what has happened to the LAT staff and the product that is currently produced. It is nothing but a piece of junk full of lame content.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
jett penny
Michael Connelly, IMHO, is the best mystery/suspense writer today. Although, Harry Bosch is his best character, he has had several other highly successful books with other lead characters. I refer to The Poet with Jack McEvoy, the main character of this book also, as well as Mickey Haller of Lincoln Lawyer and The Brass Verdict.

The Scarecrow is undoubtedly bestseller material but does not come close to the quality of its predecessor, The Poet. For one thing, it loses steam in the last 1/3rd of the book by being a little too predictable. I was really intrigued as the story unfolded, but "the catch the badguys" part lasted too long.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
rebecca
I must say right off the bat that I'm a big Michael Connelly fan. I've read all his books and eagerly anticipated reading this book. I enjoyed reading about the newspaper reporting process and is saddened by the impending demise of the print news media. The beginning of the book as many had indicated was indeed well written which presents what would eventually be a cat and mouse game between the story's protagonist and the serial killer he is trying to catch. The process in which Jack McEvoy discovered that there was a serial killer on the loose was cogently plotted which also took readers through a newspaper reporter's routine for submitting a story for publishing which I thought was really interesting. Mr. Connelly spoke fondly about the interactions and camaraderie amongst the journalists and the pride in not only breaking the news but in being able to write a good story with "breath and depth" - hallmarks of good journalism.

The latter half or third of the book though was a bit of letdown. While the identity of the killers were no longer a mystery at this point, the chase had somewhat become stagnant and quite honestly predictable. You almost know that there was gonna be a final confrontation between the main characters at the 'Farm', although the revelation as to who the brain behind the murders was actually pretty clever.

The A-ha moment was frankly just not that exciting. I also thought it kind of odd with the kind of intellect the killer possesses that he would allow himself to be known to colleague as the "Scarecrow" while applying that hideous culpatory "signature" on his victims. There was also no real sense of impending danger or urgency in most of the novel; even during the attempted abduction of Agent Walling.

Anyway, I did enjoy reading the book but I was not as drawn into the story as I normally would Mr. Connelly's previous works.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
heather campbell
The Scarecrow is one of the best books I have read this summer. Michael Connolly creates a thriller that vibrates with tension, twists and turns. As is the case with all great thrillers, you know who the bad guy is and rather than being a spoiler, it makes the book all the more exciting to read. The characters are well developed and the action is plotted very well. No one here is superhuman but instead they are intelligent and highly motivated much like real people.

This is a perfect beach or pool side read. I would recommend it to anyone who wants to dive into a book and not find themselves bored by page 30!
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
zarah gagatiga
Do not get me wrong. This book is not bad, it just is not great. Jack McEvoy, reporter for the Los Angeles Times, just got canned due to downsizing. In order to remain on the payroll for another two weeks he must train his cheaper replacement. Jack pretty much takes things in stride until he gets a call from a gangbangers grandmother who describes Jack as scum for writing all lies in the paper concerning the arrest of the kid on a murder wrap. Jack decides to get to the bottom of the case when he decides to attempt to discover the truth, set the kid free, and write his final story. Little does he realize that his sleuthing opens up an entirely new can of worms when he discovers a serial killer is on the loose. Not a bad read, just not Mr. Connelly's best work.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
rebecca douglass
I like a good thriller and mystery. "The Scare Crow" is a good thriller, but not so much a mystery as the villain (a psychopathic killer) is revealed early on in the novel. Michael Connelly has written an intense novel and mentions The Poet (which I thought was one of his best). He also brings back FBI Agent Rachel Walling and Jack McEvoy whom both appeared in "The Poet". I haven't read many of Connelly's books and enjoyed the internet security, hacking and identity theft aspect of the story. Make you wonder. He is a fine author and is detailed in his writing. It drew me into the story: a good escapist novel.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
celina
Wow, what a lousy book by one of the best authors around. I guess he had to grind out a book to fulfill a contract obligation or something, but this book was lame from beginning to end. Connelly ought to stick to writing about Bosch or the Lincoln Lawyer. McEvoy seems to bring out the author's worst qualities. I found the book wanting on many fronts: unrealistic plot, lousy characterization, too much serendipitous coincidences to move the plot forward, a weak ending, and so on and so forth. It pains me to find one of my favorite authors serving up such a bomb. He can do a lot better -- a lot better!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
kathita
How does Michael Connelly write so many books and do them all so well? (Unlike other, unnamed authors, who churn out a poorly done book a year.) I sometimes wonder if it is due to his newspaper background, when he had to write fast and get it right.

This book is straightforward and well-done, with twists and turns, for sure, but nothing meant to trick or confuse the reader. Loved it! Lots of action, lots to make the reader think.

I liked how Connelly wrote about the demise of newspapers, but without being preachy.

And Connelly has a new one, a Harry Bosch book, coming out in October. While I was glad to re-meet Jack McEvoy from THE POET, I still love Harry best.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
jessica trujillo
This book reminded me of the final season of The Wire series where they dealt with the rapid changes and downsizing of the newspaper industry, some of the start of the book is very reminiscent of this.

I found this book to be a good and quick read that I liked but it just did not grab me like a Harry Bosch book does. I think that the author is wanting to spread his literary wings a bit with books on Jack McEvoy and the Mickey Haller series but it just comes off as a bit flat to me.

The depth of writing is lacking when Bosch is not involved and we get a kind of shallow set of characters who one just does not get into at all.

In this novel, Connelly sets up a novel revolving around the newspaper industry but soon this gets pushed aside for the story of the murders. This is all well and good but I would really have liked to have seen more depth about the industry and how the characters view newspapers and the future, rather than a fairly mundane mystery.

All in all, I give the book 3 stars.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
genie
Tightly written, very carefully scripted, you get quickly involved in the mind-set and determination of an intense newsman who hears, remembers, and analyzes information until he adjusts the story or digs deeper into it. This is a gruesome,but gripping, tale right to the end
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
sarabeth
Connelly uses a reporter, Jack, he introduced once before, in "The Poet". Jack has just been told he is being laid off from the Times. Newspapers are in serious trouble, and Jack's salary is higher than that of the brand new reporter who will take his place.

All of this just adds depth to the story, which centers around a murder. Jack had reported briefly about the routine slaying of a stripper by a 16-year-old who was apparently selling her drugs.

Or was the young man the killer?

This one is so much fun you will need to schedule a whole day free so you can read it all at once. Because you certainly won't want to stop!
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
hashim
I have become addicted to Micheal Connelly, however, this book (as well as several
more-recent reads), have become too predictable & filled with pulp. It's a puzzlement
to me that this antagonist failed to use more of the 'smarts' he was promoted to have
to have put up a far better effort to escape -- of course, at 550 pages (the first 400
pulp!), Connelly had already lost his focus & impetus.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
karen scott
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.

Meanwhile the scene is switching back and forth with a place called "the Farm" where two hacker types are discussing attacking people trying to get into their system and also women subjects for other purposes. When Jack's replacement does a search on a web-site it sets off an alarm to the hackers who decide that Jack and his replacement need to be eliminated.

Jack tries to enlist Rachel Walling's aid, since he knew her from the Poet case. As the hackers get close to carrying out their plan Rachel and Jack must save each other and try to find out who the bad guys are.

The author uses third person when writing about the hackers and in investigative reporter first person when discussing Jack. This works very effectively.

The tension is high throughout and there are some parts towards the end that have the excitement of the Fugitive movie as Jack must take the bad guys out.

Jack seems to be more interesting than either of Connelly's other main characters, Harry Bosch and or The Lincoln Lawyer. I am hoping for more Jack tales in the near future."
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
cristian
OK, the part about the reporter getting involved in the investigation of a murder and outinvestigating the FBI is a little stupid. It is still a good adventure story where a mastermind is committing brutal murders then framing others for his crime. The action moves fast and keeps the reader interested. It's what you expect from a good crime novel.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
bennie stoffberg
Michael Connelly lights the reader's fire.
Reprising LA Times crime reporter Jack McEvoy (Michael Connelly?) and FBI Special Agent Rachel Wallling (The Poet), Mr. Connelly once again has his protagonists enter the dark, psychopathic world of serial killers. The Scarecrow (antagonist) is a computer data storage genius who uses his job at a major data storage company to hunt for his next victims. Together with his protégées he acts out his bizarre psychopathic desires, ultimately disposing of his victims in the trunks of unsuspecting dupes who end up in jail for a crime they did not commit. As the story slowly unfolds Connelly weaves reporter McEvoy and FBI agent Walling into the hunt for The Scarecrow. The chase is a fast paced thrill ride of murder, mayhem, rekindled love, and shaky employment for both protagonists. Ultimately, the story explodes in a climatic ending with several unique twists.
Mr. Connelly is simply a terrific mystery writer. His style, story structure, and informative writing grabs the reader from the opening paragraph and like psychopaths he writes about holds the reader hostage until the final period. He doesn't just write a novel, but along with the reader lives the story. Like all Connelly books you become a voyeuristic interloper in the thrilling world that Michael Connelly has created. There's plenty of action but more importantly there is beautifully crafted, complex mystery that make Connelly one of the best mystery writer today. I especially Liked how he integrated the 1960s music group The Doors into the story.
Superb character development on all levels. Knowing that his main protagonist, Harry Bosch, is getting long in the tooth, it is good to see Mr. Connelly developing other wonderful characters to eventually take his place. Connelly is a master at character integration and we are all the better for it.
No gratuitous sex, or violence. Some very rough language in regards to a black suspect, but integral to the storyline to make a dramatic point.
Hearty recommend. Even at today's high hardback prices worth the money. You can always get Mr. Connelly's books at the local library but plan on waiting a very long time. Always looking forward to Mr. Connelly's next book.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
julia mcentire
Jack McEvoy and Rachel Walling, who were the main characters in Connelly's first novel about a serial killer, The Poet, return in this novel, in which they are chasing another serial killer. This killer is a genius with the computer, able to get into any personal account anywhere to deny service, plant phony evidence, close out bank accounts, cancel plane reservations, or spy on e-mails and interoffice communications. What's worse--he works for an internet security agency, and he is so clever that no one is even aware that a seemingly straightforward murder investigation involves a serial killer at all. Jack, a respected and relatively well paid reporter for the Los Angeles Times, has just been given two weeks to finish up his stories before he is laid off from the paper.

Jack (like Connelly), the author of a book about a serial killer called The Poet several years ago, has decided that if he's going to leave the paper, he's going to write a sensational final story. When he receives a phone call from a woman who claims that the police have jailed her juvenile son for a murder he never committed, Jack and a photographer go off to the projects to interview her. Though Alonzo Winslow may have been involved in any number of other crimes, including the sale of drugs, Jack becomes convinced that he did not, in fact, confess to the murder for which he is currently jailed--the torture and suffocation of a woman who was then stuffed into the trunk of a car, a plastic bag around her neck. Jack is soon up to his eyeballs in complications, chasing down leads and looking up old cases.

Connelly keeps the action coming fast and furiously, and when Jack contacts FBI agent Rachel Walling, with whom he solved the case of The Poet, years ago, the action ratchets up even further, providing a complicated love interest at the same time. The author's prose style is efficient and effective as he alternates first-person accounts by Jack McEvoy with third-person narratives involving the computer expert who seems to be pulling all the strings and playing games with his pursuers. Unfortunately, though Jack McEvoy and Rachel Walling develop into characters with individuality, Connelly reveals almost nothing about the computer genius at the heart of the mystery.

An early but fleeting scene from the man's childhood is not explained or developed until the last pages of the book, and his motivation for these grisly murders is never explained. While this may increase the tension and drama as Jack is pursuing the killer, it makes the ending much less satisfying than it would have been if we had been allowed entrée into the "whys" his behavior. Ironically, Connelly himself anticipates this criticism when Jack McEvoy eventually decides to write a book about this case, announcing that his editor has told him that "The record of grim deeds [the man] committed cannot overshadow the motivations behind it...I must be able to tell more than what happened. I must tell why." It is too bad that Michael Connelly did not heed the same advice during the more than four hundred pages of this novel. n Mary Whipple

The Brass Verdict: A Novel (Harry Bosch)
The Lincoln Lawyer
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
natalie mcnee
How do you capitalize on your previous job experience? You write about it!
Michael Connelly books have mesmerized readers with his working knowledge
of the California Law Enforcement community. Not even some of his main characters are saved from the evil that lurks there. My thoguht is: If once you delve into his world of characters, and you don't find yourself fully engaged, you might want to check your sanity.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
haya totah
The closer you get, "The Scarecrow" doesn't hold the fear factor--just like the real thing.

For a Connelly submission, I'd file this under "just okay."

Connelly is a former reporter--and so am I (twenty years worth). The newsroom tidbits are good and so is the idea of writing about a newsroom veteran on his way through the downsizing wringer. The "newspapers in decline" backdrop is nifty--and immediately sets up a terrific timeframe for the book, that our hero has only two weeks (until his job expires) to report and write a story that will light the city on fire.

The idea of "springing an innocent" during his final run has considerable appeal, of course, and Jack McEvoy has just the "case" he needs--a wrongly accused inner city kid.

But it's not a "case" and that's where I think Connelly has McEvoy approach things too much like a cop (hello, Harry Bosch) and not much at all like a reporter. McEvoy's methods, approach, mobility and style are much more cop-like than reporter-like, even given the loose license McEvoy is given in his final stretch of work. "This is getting pretty far- fetched, isn't it?" McEvoy asks at one point when thinking about how many firewalls and computer systems the bad guy would have had to crash in order to wreak so much havoc within the L.A. Times network. The answer is, "yes, pretty far-fetched."

The plot feels baked up out of a random series of cookie cutters. The bad guy's warped sense of humanity is sprung from the familiar turf of psycho/sexual perversions. The bad guy saddles up next to McEvoy at a bar--without McEvoy knowing it's him. FBI agent Rachel Walling loses her badge and then regains it, just in the nick of time. The bad guy is a mentor for others and his students have to "prove" their worth to the master. The ticking clock near the end--the most thought and action ever recorded in a 45-seconds span--is straight pulp.

But--it's Connelly. The writing is crisp, McEvoy's struggles are palpable, the book is hard to put down. Two lines in particular made me think Connelly had a good idea for this book and then mailed it in.

Quote number one from McEvoy: "The thought chilled me to the center of my soul."

Quote number two: "I was part of the story again--I had killed one of the people the story was about."
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
mack
I discovered after finishing this that Connelly was partially inspired to return to the Jack McEvoy character (from The Poet) after watching season five of The Wire; its scathing portrait of the newspaper business and its current status made Connelly interested in visiting some of the same territory. I've long argued that Connelly isn't the greatest writer in the world, but his sense of time and place - whether the post-Rodney King LA of the Bosch novels or the increasingly downsized Los Angeles Times of this one - and his strong sense of verisimilitude more than make up for his pedestrian style. The Scarecrow is no exception, and in some ways, it may be one of his best books in a long time. The main story - about McEvoy being given his two-weeks notice, his desire to go out with a bang, and the way that leads him into the sights of a long working but unknown serial killer - is a great one, and Connelly milks the suspense for everything its worth. (His use of alternating sections between McEvoy and the killer is intriguing; not only does it allow him to add to the suspense, it adds more depth to the villain than we could otherwise get.) But the book is just as worthy for its subtext about the declining state of newspapers; while McEvoy isn't as complex or rewarding a character as Bosch, his strong commitment to journalism makes him a great character for Connelly (himself a crime reporter for many years) to write about. A great serial killer tale, a nice exploration of the media, and more, The Scarecrow is a must for any Connelly fan.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
paula kenny
As a dedicated fan of Michael Connelly's work, the sequel to the award-winning poet is a very good page-turner that is exciting and filled with vivid depictions of locales and police procedure, and in this book modern digital technology plays a large part in the plot. While most of the technology is quite accurately depicted, the security part seems a little far-fetched, for someone like me who has worked in the field, I have to say common law firms most likely will not use this kind of services. However my major complain is how the story is structured, that the villain is revealed in the beginning so the reader know exactly who he is. While this plays into the story of the limited cat and mouse chase the writer has represented, it takes away the mystery and the twist the author is good at, as in the Poet, we would have kept guessing till the end who the murderer was. But in this book, we knew who he was from the beginning and his every move, some of them smart and devious, but some of them, mostly towards the ending, childish and impossible, as the plot has demanded, the bad guy makes mistakes and losses. Aside from my complains, this is still a very well-written book, and even at his worst, not to say this book was his worst work, Connelly is still much better than a lot of best-selling authors out there.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
kirsten
Why are more and more thriller villains sadistic psychopaths? Thanks to overexposure in print, film and tv, this character has become predictable and flat. Michael Connelly uses his extraordinary talent to develop Carver in a masterful way. But I would like to see him put his gift to work creating a unique antagonist instead of polishing a cliche.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
laura murphy
This one started out a little slow for me. But my Mom had sent this book to me and she urged me to keep reading it. "It's about computers and you know computers. Just stick with it." I'm glad she persisted because it did pick up speed and I became wrapped up in the story and characters. It was interesting and kept me flipping through the pages once I did get into it. I enjoyed it.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
juliet king
Unfortunately I have been trying to read a string of really poorly written novels by authors who have generally had excellently written books. Suddenly we are getting novels that seem thrown together for only one reason - make money for the author, publisher etc. While Scarecrow is not quite as poor as some, it has a predictable set up and the plot is often forced, especially the one that names the book. The main character who has been a journalist for many years, as well as a famed author, apparently has never heard of the term "unsub"! Watching tv would have filled him in. Once he learns the definition he uses it every chance he gets like a two year old who has just learned MAMA. I wish someone would count the number of times he uses that term!!! Talk about making your lead character unbelievably stupid and naive on so many levels! And let's not talk about the lead female FBI agent - who must surely be made to appear to be a "dumb blonde" with a badge...(my term not his). I did read the story to the end, with some skimming as it was too long and too winded...editor, please! Where are the authors who would never allow such a poorly constructed book to be published? Coming to mind is Ed McBain who never let us down no matter under what name he wrote. Please no more notes for a good book! Let the author fully develop it! Disappointing.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
cke387
I loved this book. I always enjoy reading Michael Connelly's books. I didn't want to put it down once I started it. I won't go into the story line since so many others did already. It made me more careful about of putting information out on the internet. I really liked his book "The Lincoln Lawyer" too. I saw it in the stores for months before I picked it up to buy and I am glad I did buy it.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
olegas
The face of crime has changed. Mind-numbing murders still occur, random violence, serial killers, perverted thrill seekers. But with advanced technology, law enforcement faces a more sophisticated field of criminal enterprise, these days tracking suspects "through the labyrinthine portals of the digital world". Author Michael Connelly has kept up with the pace of technological investigation and in this novel he delivers an action-packed, up-to-date thriller that runs the gamut from serial perversions to a digital landscape where a twisted mind preys on the innocent postings of a naïve public. Meanwhile, print journalism continues its slow dance with irrelevance, as crime reporter Jack McEvoy gets pink-slipped by the latest rash of downsizing at the LA Times.

To add insult to injury, Jack is expected to train his replacement, an eager, tech-savvy, young reporter, Angela Cook. As Jack Tackles his last story, the trunk murder of an exotic dancer by a sixteen-year-old gang-banger, Angela searches the internet for related crimes. Random events escalate as McEvoy begins to suspect the murder might not be as simple as first appears and he is suddenly vulnerable to a growing threat. Leaving Angela in the dust, Jack heads for Las Vegas, in a nail-biting cat and mouse chase where the reporter's every move is followed by a killer always a few steps ahead of law enforcement and Jack's inventive approach to reporting.

Connelly is an innovative writer who uses technology to crank up the excitement in a novel riddled with surprises and the outrageous mayhem of a serial killer adept at covering his digital tracks while mining pertinent information on his prey, especially Jack. The story is infused with the harsh reality of today's newspapers, these bastions of the truth, including the LA Times, gradually dismantled to reflect the demands of a changing world. McEvoy may be a dinosaur, but he's not through. The one clear voice in a mixed field of corporate cutbacks, the bureaucratic roadblocks of the FBI and the evil machinations of a monster, Jack stubbornly rides the wave of his last big story at the LA Times. Luan Gaines/2009.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
paris
A fairly good read, and as usual with his books it was hard to put down..BUT ... somewhere towards the end I felt it lost its way. The setup was excellent, and I was dreading what was going to happen to the main characters and how they were going to deal with this smart scarecrow fella ... but then it kinda fizzled out. I think it could have been a lot better and I ended up a bit disappointed.
Although there are some gruesome parts to the book..... Im glad they were not in detail , which is what so many authors in this serial killer genre use to sell their books.
Overall I recommend this.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
randy lakeman
I am a big Michael Connelly fan and await each well-plotted and excellently described novel. The plot and setting are excellent as usual here, but the characters need work.

Harry Bosch is Connelly's most interesting and well-developed character. He's been interesting from the start and the sad truth is that Jack McEvoy can't compete.

What's basically a solid story with riffs on the state of the current print media industry, just pales in comparison to Connelly's other work. While this book might be just fine as a stand-alone novel, it exits in Connelley's LA.

Rachel Walling is back, screwing up and saving her job again. Her character rings a bit hollow. Her emotions, her words, just a bit off.

The story is a good one, all about the Orwellian nightmare of private data centers, but the telling is lacking.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
maggard
If you're reading this, you probably already know Michael Connelly's work, so I won't bore you with useless praise, but this was by far my favourite read in years. The story flows and escalates page after page and the realism of the IT business is part of it's appeal. The seemingly irrelevance of the opening chapters comes together seamlessly and you'll find yourself turning page after page devouring this book with ease.

A great story which passes from LA to LV with great insight from the author for both the locations, the technology and the FBI procedures make this a masterpiece of its time. After The Poet, this has to rank as one of Connelly's best pieces.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
alysia brazin
This book is tight. Meaning, super story and action. Very readable. Whatever the heck that means. But heck, I am not even finished with this book and I am going with 5 stars. Its that good. Great cover too. Nothing like a book with a crow on it. That's gotta be a plus. Now if it were a blue jay or a robin, just wouldn't be as powerful. But a crow. Yes!
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
cogwheeler
My husband and I listened to this audiobook during a 14 hour drive we made to visit our home town. The book was very well written, interesting, and entertaining. It made the drive go by very quickly. When we had to stop to re-fuel, we were both anxious to start up the audio again to see what would come next. It was nice to find a book that we could both enjoy together.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
shari seitz
Michael Connelly clearly has a lot of interesting stuff going on in his head. I love crime fiction and I also like stories where the protagonist is a writer. It makes me feel that I am getting an extra little bit of insight into the author's mind and I did feel that nice lttle hum of intimacy in Scarecrow. The villain is interesting and I would like to know a bit more about him. Connelly touches on the roots of his madness but really doesn't do him justice as a character. Jack's connections to other characters could also have been fleshed out a little more... what of Angela? What was behind her sporadic flirtiness and the dark websites she visited? A good read, a little cliched in the solution to the mystery but good nonethless. Is it a gender thing that I want to know the relationships better?Crisp Whites
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
arija
My first Michael Connelly. Not impressive. A solid concept. Brutally watered down with its length. Cardboard characters spouting much cliche-filled dialogue. At half its length this would have been much better. There's imagination displayed in the plotting and that's it. Someone else should have written the characters.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
jaimee
I have read all of the authors books and in my opinion this one is his masterpiece. Maybe the plot isn't the strongest, maybe the characters aren't the best but this book is an absolute roller coaster ride of excitement. Connelly's ability to get inside his characters minds and to make those minds seem real is what seperates him from other writers. I like Crais, Coben, Deaver and others but Michael Connelly is the top of the list.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
jackieo
I like this book because
- the plot move forward few delay
- sense of humor
- reasonable IT --> I use the example to discourage my daughters reveal too much information in her facebook

Improvement
- the ending discover of Scarecrow come out instant ... looks like author want to end it quick
- finding scarecrow signature from Wizard of Oz lack of convincing

Overall, I enjoy it and willing to recommend
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
melissa martin
Admittedly, this is not the topnotch writing that I've come to expect from my favorite author, but I liked the story just the same. Yes, this is no "Poet", but for me he's entitled to stumble once. And it was a minor stumble, because for the first time this story wasn't as compelling as the many other novels by Mr Connelly. And I've read them all. And I anxiously wait for the next.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
andrea perhay
It was a good book, had lots of suspense but a few times got a little confusing. There were a lot of characters in this one and had to keep trying to remember who they all were. It was good enough to finish though. Really enjoy Michael Connelly.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
eric gibb
I am not really one that like to write book reports. I can tell you that his particular book was a page turner. It was hard to put it down once you got past the first chapter. I would recommend it to my friends.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
terrie
A fairly good read, and as usual with his books it was hard to put down..BUT ... somewhere towards the end I felt it lost its way. The setup was excellent, and I was dreading what was going to happen to the main characters and how they were going to deal with this smart scarecrow fella ... but then it kinda fizzled out. I think it could have been a lot better and I ended up a bit disappointed.
Although there are some gruesome parts to the book..... Im glad they were not in detail , which is what so many authors in this serial killer genre use to sell their books.
Overall I recommend this.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
jude giaramita
I am a big Michael Connelly fan and await each well-plotted and excellently described novel. The plot and setting are excellent as usual here, but the characters need work.

Harry Bosch is Connelly's most interesting and well-developed character. He's been interesting from the start and the sad truth is that Jack McEvoy can't compete.

What's basically a solid story with riffs on the state of the current print media industry, just pales in comparison to Connelly's other work. While this book might be just fine as a stand-alone novel, it exits in Connelley's LA.

Rachel Walling is back, screwing up and saving her job again. Her character rings a bit hollow. Her emotions, her words, just a bit off.

The story is a good one, all about the Orwellian nightmare of private data centers, but the telling is lacking.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
rishika
If you're reading this, you probably already know Michael Connelly's work, so I won't bore you with useless praise, but this was by far my favourite read in years. The story flows and escalates page after page and the realism of the IT business is part of it's appeal. The seemingly irrelevance of the opening chapters comes together seamlessly and you'll find yourself turning page after page devouring this book with ease.

A great story which passes from LA to LV with great insight from the author for both the locations, the technology and the FBI procedures make this a masterpiece of its time. After The Poet, this has to rank as one of Connelly's best pieces.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
darius
This book is tight. Meaning, super story and action. Very readable. Whatever the heck that means. But heck, I am not even finished with this book and I am going with 5 stars. Its that good. Great cover too. Nothing like a book with a crow on it. That's gotta be a plus. Now if it were a blue jay or a robin, just wouldn't be as powerful. But a crow. Yes!
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
simona stoeva
My husband and I listened to this audiobook during a 14 hour drive we made to visit our home town. The book was very well written, interesting, and entertaining. It made the drive go by very quickly. When we had to stop to re-fuel, we were both anxious to start up the audio again to see what would come next. It was nice to find a book that we could both enjoy together.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
julie compton
Michael Connelly clearly has a lot of interesting stuff going on in his head. I love crime fiction and I also like stories where the protagonist is a writer. It makes me feel that I am getting an extra little bit of insight into the author's mind and I did feel that nice lttle hum of intimacy in Scarecrow. The villain is interesting and I would like to know a bit more about him. Connelly touches on the roots of his madness but really doesn't do him justice as a character. Jack's connections to other characters could also have been fleshed out a little more... what of Angela? What was behind her sporadic flirtiness and the dark websites she visited? A good read, a little cliched in the solution to the mystery but good nonethless. Is it a gender thing that I want to know the relationships better?Crisp Whites
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
jordan raskopoulos
My first Michael Connelly. Not impressive. A solid concept. Brutally watered down with its length. Cardboard characters spouting much cliche-filled dialogue. At half its length this would have been much better. There's imagination displayed in the plotting and that's it. Someone else should have written the characters.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
emily reynolds
I have read all of the authors books and in my opinion this one is his masterpiece. Maybe the plot isn't the strongest, maybe the characters aren't the best but this book is an absolute roller coaster ride of excitement. Connelly's ability to get inside his characters minds and to make those minds seem real is what seperates him from other writers. I like Crais, Coben, Deaver and others but Michael Connelly is the top of the list.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
anthony gramuglia
I like this book because
- the plot move forward few delay
- sense of humor
- reasonable IT --> I use the example to discourage my daughters reveal too much information in her facebook

Improvement
- the ending discover of Scarecrow come out instant ... looks like author want to end it quick
- finding scarecrow signature from Wizard of Oz lack of convincing

Overall, I enjoy it and willing to recommend
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
vasu kanna
Admittedly, this is not the topnotch writing that I've come to expect from my favorite author, but I liked the story just the same. Yes, this is no "Poet", but for me he's entitled to stumble once. And it was a minor stumble, because for the first time this story wasn't as compelling as the many other novels by Mr Connelly. And I've read them all. And I anxiously wait for the next.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
matt darling
It was a good book, had lots of suspense but a few times got a little confusing. There were a lot of characters in this one and had to keep trying to remember who they all were. It was good enough to finish though. Really enjoy Michael Connelly.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
sabrina gavigan
A remarkable trait of Connelly's skill as a writer is that he doesn't have to rely on tricks or past success. He is primarily known as the author of the Harry Bosch series, but his greatest books have been, in this reviewer's opinion, the non-Bosch books. This is not to denigrate the Bosch books by any means, as they are all excellent, but merely to point out that Connelly isn't a formula writer, he doesn't stick to the familiar, and he's not afraid to take chances.

Beginning with The Poet, the novel that introduced Scarecrow's own Jack McEvoy and Rachel Walling, Connelly began to step away from Bosch on occasion. That book was not only one of Connelly's best, but one of the scariest books I've ever read. Scarecrow may not top it, but it comes close to matching it. With the title character, we are given a villain equal to anything Connelly has conceived before, a criminal mastermind of the most striking manner. Particularly remarkable is that you never see him commit any killings. His manipulation of everyone involved, his extraordinary capacity for self-preservation, is mind-numbing. The idea of someone like The Scarecrow actually being out there in the world is enough to keep me up at night.

As a page turner the book succeeds remarkably. This may be the fastest I've read any Connelly book, finishing it in two days. I was worried that Connelly may have rushed this, coming out so soon after The Brass Verdict, but those fears proved unfounded. I'm not sure Connelly would know how to write a bad book.

Whatever you do, don't start this before you go to bed. Either you'll have trouble putting down the book to go to bed, or you'll have trouble sleeping cause it's just too disturbing. You may just have to stay up to find out how it ends.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
miles
I am not really one that like to write book reports. I can tell you that his particular book was a page turner. It was hard to put it down once you got past the first chapter. I would recommend it to my friends.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
diem le
I'm a long time Michael Connelly fan, so I wasn't surprised to find myself enjoying this book. While I generally favor the author's Harry Bosch books, I was happy to see Jack McEvoy making a return appearance. The thriller elements here are taut and suspenseful, just as they should, but I found the backdrop of the crumbling of the Los Angeles Times to be just as intriguing and captivating. The death of a newspaper I myself have been mourning the last few years brings another layer of tragedy to the proceedings. Another fine book from Mr. Connelly. A King of Infinite Space
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
jewlie williams
This was the best of this summer's reads. Good action and suspense, however, some of the other reader's critical comments were valid. Clearly, not as good as most of his earlier works. Though it was not the case in this book, Connelly is best for coming up with a surprise ending that the reader never sees comming. Nevertheless, he's probably my favorite author.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
tosha y miller
At the end of The Scarecrow there are two chapters previewing the upcoming Harry Bosch novel by Connelly. In reading those two chapters I knew why I prefer The Bosch novels. The details through Bosch's eyes are just more interesting. The dialogue between Harry and his partners more riveting. Bosch's character is more complex, more exciting.
The Scarecrow has some other problems. The plot drags too long. Too many unnecessary details about the data systems. I was more interested in Jack's relationship with Rachel but the relationship never felt fully explored. I was told about their feelings for each other. I needed more.
I needed less summary and more passion. On page 414 Jacks's Editor reminds him that "the record of grim deeds Carver committed cannot overshadow the motivations behind it." Jack than muses, I must be able to tell more that what happened.
That is what I needed from Connelly. Connelly kept me interested
just not excited.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
lex sebasti n
It's hard to write a review for a book like this because you don't want to give anything away to ruin the suspense. Like many of Connely's books, this one is full of surprises, vivid writing, and intrigue. The gruesomeness of this book is fierce, but it's done in a way that won't turn your stomache. Jack McEvoy is one of my favorite characters of all time and it is good to see him in action again.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
gem2wrtr
An opportunity for the author to do something different. He succeeds greatly. Our vulnerability to hackers et al is the scariest stuff here. We mourn with Connelly the loss of news as we know it, and await the future.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
jerry t
I have yet to read a Connelly novel that I couldn't get pulled into or that I didn't absolutely love. That still holds true after reading "The Scarecrow." Whether a stand-alone or part of the Harry Bosch series, Michael Connelly always writes a novel that is well written, very suspenseful and well-researched. His main characters are not caricatures, but feel like real people with flaws and foibles. Once again, Michael shoots and scores with "The Scarecrow." A fabulous read.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
ozaray
I did enjoy The Scarecrow. It was an entertaining read that I blew through in an evening. The only problem I had with the book (which kept me from adding another star to my review) was that it was not as dark as I would have liked. As a follow-uo to The Poet (which was a 4-5 star book) I had simply hoped for more. As a recommendation for a dark thriller/mystery you might want to read The Hollow Man: A (Transgressive) Novel of Suspense. The Hollow Man: A (Transgressive) Novel Of Suspense
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
marie steere
This was not a bad book, nor did it offer the depth and sharpness that Connelly has brought in his other writing. Too long, too predictable and while the cyber hacker intrigue was a timely piece, it could not make up for the limited plot and character development. I actually found the commentary on the changes in news gathering and reporting to be more engaging than the whole criminal pursuit and wonder if that is not what Connelly really wanted to write about in the first place. Harry Bosch is definitely a stronger, more complex and more engaging character.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
maryneth
Not one of Michael Connelly's better works. The story begins well, but too soon gets predictable and a little too far fetched. The villain pulls off too many almost impossible crimes, and Jack and Rachel, our hero and heroine fall into unbelievable luck with figuring out the killer. I think Connelly fans may be a bit disappointed with this one. But don't give up on the author. He still has a lot of good ones in him.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
leah mcmanus
The scarecrow is fairly well written but has holes in it. Walling doesn't ask Mizzou questions that any adequate, much less good FBI agent would ask. Jack and Rachael also are a little less researched in there locations. LA's hangouts for writers and cops??? NO. I usually like the way Connelly makes you truly care for his characters; However, Rachael is just to flighty and disingenuous to me. Let's get back to Bosch.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
janice
With Brass verdict published a few weeks ago, the Scarecrow now and another book scheduled for the end of the year, that's three Michael Connelly in 2009. So OK, I bought the first two and will buy the third, but isn't this a little weird?
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
suzette kunz
Its just another book with a murder investigation. It does not tie you down or make does not have a nail biting finish etc. I bought this because it is in Top 10 Books: Mystery & Thrillers. I was kind of disappointed and lost some credibility points for the top 10 book selection at the store.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
kakoli
I just finished The Scarecrow and enjoyed it immensely. It is as good as anything else he has written. Great character development, great villan, plot moved at a perfect pace. Nice insight into the news business. I also look forward to his new Harry Bosch novel.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
kendall
This book was "ok". I was not terribly bored by this nor was I ready for the next chapter. It was a book I had to finish, simply because I started it. I like the "Jack Mcevoy" character and the other supporting roles. I felt really let down by this book. I kept thinking Michael Connely would throw a twist in there somewhere but he kept it typical.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
soraia
The story started well. The main character is a journalist, soon to be downsized. He came to the paper with a wonderful story at another paper under his belt and underperformed for 10 years. So, he is being downsized. Not his fault, just a statement on newspapers.

Our hero decides to actually get a good story as his final act. And does. However, in pursuit of the rest of the story his motives and logic leave this reader shaking her head.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
jano
this is not the best work. i have been waiting for this book for months, and anticipated a great read. but i have let down. after reading all of connelly's books this is his worst print ever. like other thrill authors such as p. cornwell, have lost the touch. if i did not know better, i would say dan brown wrote this story. MC please write about your best story character harry bosch, and stay away from the newspaper busines.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
a reid
This book kept me turning pages, and it was a fun read for that reason. Overall, the writing was good but there were times when it was sophomoric. Further, it is the second novel I have read im recent weeks where the killer expertly uses technology to frame others for his evil deeds. No points for originality, but it is still a good book. I would have awarded 3.5 stars if the store would have let me-the book is above average, but not a true 4-star novel.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
julie hamill
The Scarecrow
Michael Connelly can write, and in the first half of his "the Scarecrow" much of his ability comes out. The start of the story moves well, suspense builds and the character development works. Cyber stalking kicks in and I was "trapped" in the suspense of how powerful - and powerless Jack McEvoy became with the abilities of the stalker to literally shut out the reporter from society; financially, identity theft and literally a man out in the cold. Now comes the big Disappointment: 1/2 way throught the book everything grinds to a halt. Connelly could not decide whether this story was about cyber-stalking, cold blooded (and brutal) murder, or an egomaniac of a criminal. The plot drags. Is predictable and I quickly lost interest in reading. The ending is one that has been rehashed over and over. I suggest reading some of his earlier works or another author's work...
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
amelinda
I have never read anything from this author and found it to be entertaining. The sub plot was very on-point with how the publishing industry is failing but also on how (just like every business) has to adapt to the changing world. Based on this book, I will definatly pick up more of his writings.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
elysabeth
I just finished The Scarecrow and enjoyed it immensely. It is as good as anything else he has written. Great character development, great villan, plot moved at a perfect pace. Nice insight into the news business. I also look forward to his new Harry Bosch novel.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
naomi gross
This book was "ok". I was not terribly bored by this nor was I ready for the next chapter. It was a book I had to finish, simply because I started it. I like the "Jack Mcevoy" character and the other supporting roles. I felt really let down by this book. I kept thinking Michael Connely would throw a twist in there somewhere but he kept it typical.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
pablo salas
The story started well. The main character is a journalist, soon to be downsized. He came to the paper with a wonderful story at another paper under his belt and underperformed for 10 years. So, he is being downsized. Not his fault, just a statement on newspapers.

Our hero decides to actually get a good story as his final act. And does. However, in pursuit of the rest of the story his motives and logic leave this reader shaking her head.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
bigreddsp
I agree with the reviewers who were not happy with the ending. The plot was a good one, the storyline moved very well. It sure made me think about what my family and I post online. Just as was starting to feel for the real life effect that this story had, then came the ending, which was not believable at all. As the title says, with a better ending this would have been rated much higher by many reviewers.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
desiree kipuw
this is not the best work. i have been waiting for this book for months, and anticipated a great read. but i have let down. after reading all of connelly's books this is his worst print ever. like other thrill authors such as p. cornwell, have lost the touch. if i did not know better, i would say dan brown wrote this story. MC please write about your best story character harry bosch, and stay away from the newspaper busines.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
lindsay christensen
This book kept me turning pages, and it was a fun read for that reason. Overall, the writing was good but there were times when it was sophomoric. Further, it is the second novel I have read im recent weeks where the killer expertly uses technology to frame others for his evil deeds. No points for originality, but it is still a good book. I would have awarded 3.5 stars if the store would have let me-the book is above average, but not a true 4-star novel.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
julia grant
The Scarecrow
Michael Connelly can write, and in the first half of his "the Scarecrow" much of his ability comes out. The start of the story moves well, suspense builds and the character development works. Cyber stalking kicks in and I was "trapped" in the suspense of how powerful - and powerless Jack McEvoy became with the abilities of the stalker to literally shut out the reporter from society; financially, identity theft and literally a man out in the cold. Now comes the big Disappointment: 1/2 way throught the book everything grinds to a halt. Connelly could not decide whether this story was about cyber-stalking, cold blooded (and brutal) murder, or an egomaniac of a criminal. The plot drags. Is predictable and I quickly lost interest in reading. The ending is one that has been rehashed over and over. I suggest reading some of his earlier works or another author's work...
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
ian o gorman
I have never read anything from this author and found it to be entertaining. The sub plot was very on-point with how the publishing industry is failing but also on how (just like every business) has to adapt to the changing world. Based on this book, I will definatly pick up more of his writings.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
julie
What this novel is not is a page turner. Most authors' attempts at mixing first and third person viewpoints, even in separate chapters, can slow a story to a crawl. But the put downer for me is Connelly's sudden fascination with tampons. And he has a minor character speaking in complete sentences for a couple of paragraphs, telling the main character (and the reader) what the story will be about. Connelly is a much better novelist than to resort to such. Apparently, he's started churning 'em out for the money.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
morris
This book was excellent! Michael Connelly is one fantastic and complex storyteller! I find myself eagerly searching for wonderful new books to read by this author, and this book was no exception! Total entertainment!!!
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
lindsey brooke
This is the first Connelly book that I've slugged through and probably won't finish. There's no mystery or excitement that made me care for any of the characters and their fate. This novel seems to have been made up from scraps and pieces from his other books that were, with good reason, edited out. Michael, get back to your quality writing even if it means slowing down a bit in your production. Sorry, this seemed truly phoned in. James Crumley, to whom you dedicated this, would expect more.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
bronsen hawkins
an entertaining mystery but not up to Connelly's usual extraordinary standards. I was tempted to give it three stars, but realized that if the book had been written by an unknown writer I would have considered it a four star mystery, so that's what I gave it
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
brenda noonan
The economic case for the newspaper business has been much discussed. Michael Connelly gives a great insight into the business and puts a human face on its death. That part of the story is realistic and interesting. I can not help but to feel sorry for the what appears to be the death of newspapers.

Juxtaposed is an internet killer. Michael shows great knowledge of the internet and that part is interesting. The return of Jack McEvoy and Rachel gives us interesting protagonists to find the bad guy.

Michael Connelly is the best mystery writer working today in my view. Lee Childs is a close second. Having said that I wonder why he decided to reveal the bad guy so early in the book. I think it took away from the excitement and that is why I gave the book 4 stars.

I remember a very similar killer from someone's mystery. Does anyone remember a similar villain.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
vidula kelkar
While an interesting read, this is certainly not Connelly's usual quality. The first half of the book was good but it had a surprisingly disappointing and unbelievable ending. Plot and character development just fizzled.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
kerry kay
First off, I'm a huge fan of MC and love most all of his books. Of course the Bosch series are amazing and hard to follow. I thought the overall plot was interesting, with the usually MC twists and turns. However, the "reveal" was far too soon and far too obvious. It almost reminded of a Koontz book. He's known for his early "reveal" and the real suspense comes in the collision course between the main characters, good vs. evil. I also felt the character development was rather weak and even Rachel Walling seemed almost "thin" in this book. It's a worthwhile read, but MC can (and I'm sure will) do better. 3 stars.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
russell irving
Michael Connelly hits another home run with Scarecrow. He is one of the few authors who, after all of his efforts, can still deliver an unique thriller. I have never been disappointed. Way to go Michael!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
nina yee
I LOVED THE CONVENIENCE OF LISTENING TO THE BOOK ON DISC WHILE I WAS WEEDING MY GARDEN AND DOING THE IRONING. GREAT IDEA FOR A BUSY HOMEMAKER WHO LIKES TO READ BUT NEVER HAS TIME.

MAGGIE STEELE
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
richard cox
I read a lot of best seller fiction action/mystery books, but found it difficult to get into the Scarecrow. I would read a few pages and just lose interest. Part of it was possibly the unfamiliar newspaper jargon. I have a different understanding of the word "budget".
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
joe rubel
The Scarecrow works at a computer farm where top secret data is stored for many top law firms and businesses that want their secrets secured. The scarecrow scares off any potential hackers to the farm. He's also a master criminal that has been getting away with many vile crimes for many years without even a sniff of suspicion by law enforcement.

Jack McEvoy, the crime reporter for the LA Times is featured in this novel. McEvoy was the lead in THE POET, where he helped catch a man who killed his brother and wrote a bestselling book about it. Now, McEvoy is a victim of the tough economic times and is laid off from his job. McEvoy hopes to write one last great story and go out with a bang. While looking into a case where a 16-year-old gang banger murdered a prostitute, he discovers the kid may have been innocent. More importantly, he discovers there have been other people put jail for similar crimes that may also be innocent. Jack begins investigating and enlists the help of one time lover, FBI Agent Rachel Walling.

The good: I don't think they were mentioned by name, but Bosch and Mickey Haller both get mentions in this novel. Connelly's writing is excellent as always, a true page turner.

The not so good: I don't think Connelly does this with Bosch novels, but in this book, Connelly covers the point of view of the Scarecrow. Other authors are great at this, but Connelly is at the top of his game when he writes a straight procedural and we don't know who the villian is.

Connelly fans should rejoice that the author has two books coming out this year. THE SCARECROW is not as good as most Bosch novels, primarily because Jack McEvoy isn't the same beloved character as Harry Bosch. Still, a must read.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
joe whiting
Love the Boshe novels. This one is so weak I can't understand why it was released. Dopey dialogue (Rachel says "gotta" a lot -- not in character for her), silly character interaction (especially inconsistent wen it come to Rachel and Jack, an unsympthetic and uninteresting character to begin with, who go back and forth from remote from each other to lovers with nothing to explain how or why they bother), tells us, if anything, how dull and unimportant a friendless reporter's life is. Yes, there are very bad, perverted men in it,but we learn little about them either and so what? Pass this one up.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
rebekah grmela
Remember the movie from the 90s staring America's sweetheart Sandra Bullock called The Net and the movie called Unlawful Entry where in both movies the villian is a computer genius and freezed all teh heroeses' accounts and credit cards and all that? Well the same thing happens in this book FIFTEEN years later!! This book might be fun for senior citizens who never use a computer and think EMAIl will steal there soul. If you, like the chareacters int his book think "Googling" is some strange and magical event like in Harry Potter, then you will be fascinated by this crap.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
supernia
Very disappointed. I've read virtually all of MC's stuff -- love Harry Bosch -- but had to flog myself to finish Scarecrow. Kept hoping it would turn the corner and get better. Sadly, it didn't. Thankfully, a couple of reads right after by Peter Temple perked me up.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
anirvan
I have read 14 Michael Connelly books, so I am not a casual fan. But, this has got to be one of his weakest. Trust me, ignore the other reviews that rave about the novel's suspense and thrills. This book is objectively not suspenseful or thrilling. In fact, Connelly tells you who the killer is right from the start. This would be okay if he took a "Columbo"-style approach to the rest of the book, i.e., where Jack and Rachel know who the killer is, but just can't get the goods on him. Instead, Jack and Rachel are fooled throughout the book, up to the very end when they accidentally discover the identity of the real killer. So while the book might be suspenseful for its protagonists, it certainly isn't for the reader. In fact, since the reader already knows the killer's identity, the final third of the book just devolves into a series of pointless chase scenes. To add insult to injury, there is no real "wrap up" to the book. The killer's motives are never explained. Connelly just throws in a line from a Coen brothers' film, "Nobody knows anybody, not that well." While I understand that many serial killers do not have specific motives, nearly all of them are more interesting than this.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
auntie
Yet another so-called mystery thriller where the criminal and his identity are revealed right from the start. I am greatly disappointed in Mr. Connelly who has cheapened an otherwise good mystery by removing much of the mystery right from page one. I amsad i purchased this book for my Kindle before knowing this.
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