The Scarecrow

The Scarecrow

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By (author) Michael Connelly

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Product description

Jack McEvoy is at the end of the line as a crime reporter. Forced to take a buy-out from the LA Times, he's got 30 days left on the job. His last assignment? Training his replacement, a low-cost reporter just out of J-school. But Jack has other plans for his exit. He is going to go out with a bang - a final story that will win the newspaper journalism's highest honour - a Pulitzer prize. Jack focuses on Alonzo Winslow, a 16-year-old drug dealer from the projects who has confessed to police that he brutally raped and strangled one of his crack clients. But as Jack delves into the story he soon realises that Alonzo's so-called confession is bogus. The investigation leads him to a killer known as The Scarecrow who has worked completely below the police and FBI radar. Jack is soon off and running on the biggest story he's had since The Poet crossed his path twelve years before - but The Scarecrow knows he's coming...

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Author information

A former police reporter for the LOS ANGELES TIMES, Michael Connelly is the author of the Harry Bosch thriller series as well as several stand-alone bestsellers, including the highly acclaimed legal thriller, THE LINCOLN LAWYER, selected for the Richard & Judy Book Club. Michael Connelly has been President of the Mystery Writers of America. His books have been translated into 35 languages and have won awards all over the world, including the EDGAR and ANTHONY AWARDS. He lives in Tampa, Florida, with his family.

Review quote

Connelly writes with a taut precision and the sub-plots regarding data harvesting and media downsizing are gripping. CATHOLIC HERALD As ever, the plot is twisted and chilling, the characterisation spot on, the dialogue sharp...a riveting, page-turning read, with The Scarecrow a genuine monster at its heart. THE PRESS (York) when he's on top form -- as he is here -- nobody does it better NORTHERN ECHO

Editorial reviews

Downsized from the Los Angeles Times, crime reporter Jack McEvoy decides to ride one last big story to the moon.There's no mystery about who suffocated stripper Denise Babbit and stuffed her corpse into the trunk of her car, since Alonzo Winslow, 16, confessed to the murder after the LAPD found his fingerprint on the car's mirror. But when Alonzo's mother - or maybe it's his grandmother, or both - nags just-fired Jack to look into the case, he quickly realizes that Alonzo's confession isn't a confession at all. And Angela Cook, the twinkie barracuda Jack's been asked to groom as his replacement, alerts him to the earlier murder of Las Vegas showgirl Sharon Oglevy that has all the earmarks of this one, even though her ex-husband's already locked up for it. Clearly there's a serial killer at work, and clearly, though Jack doesn't realize it, it's Wesley Carver, a computer-security expert whose ability to track everyone on earth through cyberspace makes him uniquely sensitive to who might be on his case, and uniquely empowered to neutralize them. After losing his bank balance and his credit cards to identity theft, however, Jack is rescued by Rachel Walling, the FBI agent whose torrid affair with him enlivened his last big story (The Poet, 1996). The ensuing cat-and-mouse game, duly played out in chapters alternately presented from the viewpoints of Jack and Carver, is accomplished but not especially suspenseful for readers who've seen it before. Despite his cyber-powers, Carver isn't an especially scary villain, nor does Jack shine as a sleuth. But Connelly (The Brass Verdict, 2008, etc.), who's nothing if not professional, keeps the twists coming and provides column-inches of background expertise - perhaps more than the story needs - on the hard business of hard news and a realistic preview of Jack's likely fate.Middling among the distinguished author's score of thrillers. New fans hooked by this one will be happy to know that his backlist is even richer. (Kirkus Reviews)