Customer Reviews for

The Scarecrow

Average Rating 4
( 313 )
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(133)

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(46)

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(12)

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(14)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

5 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

Mr. Connelly will have his fans up late with THE SCARECROW.

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...
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

posted by harstan on April 2, 2009

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Most Helpful Critical Review

12 out of 16 people found this review helpful.

Horrible, Halfbaked and a Rip-off Of JEFFERY DEAVER. CONNELLY HAS REALLY LOST HIS MOJO - BIG TIME.

Michael Connelly really disappoints. All of those reviews lauding him as the greatest crime writer are outdated and in the past. He is not a great crime writer - this book is about as disjointed as a Ferrari engine running on a Ford Transmission. The two themes of the d...
Michael Connelly really disappoints. All of those reviews lauding him as the greatest crime writer are outdated and in the past. He is not a great crime writer - this book is about as disjointed as a Ferrari engine running on a Ford Transmission. The two themes of the dying newspaper industry and our technology dependence did not jive with the murder plot. It was always so obvious when Connelly sprinkled in his sour opinions on the fate of newspapers, so obvious that it felt ill-placed in the book to the point that he was beating readers over the head with his viewpoints.
Connelly claims to explore his characters in depth, but Jack McEvoy and Rachel Walling were about as one dimensional as James Patterson's characters. In fact, at points I thought I was reading a Patterson novel.

Connelly has really lost his touch. And he created a book that felt rushed to print, full of cardboard characters, unbelievable plotlines that jump around and result in more unbelievable reactions from the characters.

And the book strangely just - ENDED. There was no clever wrap-up except for an epilogue that read like a Reader's Digest snippet. Leaving so many unanswered questions and so many missed opportunities to explore the plot and the characters further. Too much energy focused on the dying newspapers that at some point, you almost wanted to turn the book over, look at Connelly's picture and say to it "Who cares Connelly, GET OVER IT AND GET ON WITH YOUR BOOK!"

It was also very second-rate that this book was a rip-off of JEFFERY DEAVER's The Broken Window, published a year before the Scarecrow. The similarities were so obvious and striking that the dust jackets could almost have been interchanged with readers not being able to tell the two apart. It seems as though Connelly wanted to vent on his newspaper views, then became a story idea thief and used Deaver's plot as a schematic for his poorly written, half-baked imitation.

And there is no explanation on the implausible antagonist. Why he does what he does is blown over with some strange child-abuse, one paragraph mentioning. It would have been more of a story to explore this guy called Carver then to read about McEvoy and his dying newspapers, or Rachel Walling and her childish on-again off-again association with the FBI. That stuff really does not happen that way. Do your research Connelly.

HERE IS A NEWSFLASH FOR ALL OF YOU PROSPECTIVE READERS: The newspapers are one their way out, and so, too, is Michael Connelly. Pathetic writing and half-baked, copied ideas make this an unsatisfying, grossly overrated book - a sin and a let down to the craft of writing.

Connelly can't get it together anymore.

posted by SteveKna on October 8, 2009

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  • Posted October 8, 2009

    Horrible, Halfbaked and a Rip-off Of JEFFERY DEAVER. CONNELLY HAS REALLY LOST HIS MOJO - BIG TIME.

    Michael Connelly really disappoints. All of those reviews lauding him as the greatest crime writer are outdated and in the past. He is not a great crime writer - this book is about as disjointed as a Ferrari engine running on a Ford Transmission. The two themes of the dying newspaper industry and our technology dependence did not jive with the murder plot. It was always so obvious when Connelly sprinkled in his sour opinions on the fate of newspapers, so obvious that it felt ill-placed in the book to the point that he was beating readers over the head with his viewpoints.
    Connelly claims to explore his characters in depth, but Jack McEvoy and Rachel Walling were about as one dimensional as James Patterson's characters. In fact, at points I thought I was reading a Patterson novel.

    Connelly has really lost his touch. And he created a book that felt rushed to print, full of cardboard characters, unbelievable plotlines that jump around and result in more unbelievable reactions from the characters.

    And the book strangely just - ENDED. There was no clever wrap-up except for an epilogue that read like a Reader's Digest snippet. Leaving so many unanswered questions and so many missed opportunities to explore the plot and the characters further. Too much energy focused on the dying newspapers that at some point, you almost wanted to turn the book over, look at Connelly's picture and say to it "Who cares Connelly, GET OVER IT AND GET ON WITH YOUR BOOK!"

    It was also very second-rate that this book was a rip-off of JEFFERY DEAVER's The Broken Window, published a year before the Scarecrow. The similarities were so obvious and striking that the dust jackets could almost have been interchanged with readers not being able to tell the two apart. It seems as though Connelly wanted to vent on his newspaper views, then became a story idea thief and used Deaver's plot as a schematic for his poorly written, half-baked imitation.

    And there is no explanation on the implausible antagonist. Why he does what he does is blown over with some strange child-abuse, one paragraph mentioning. It would have been more of a story to explore this guy called Carver then to read about McEvoy and his dying newspapers, or Rachel Walling and her childish on-again off-again association with the FBI. That stuff really does not happen that way. Do your research Connelly.

    HERE IS A NEWSFLASH FOR ALL OF YOU PROSPECTIVE READERS: The newspapers are one their way out, and so, too, is Michael Connelly. Pathetic writing and half-baked, copied ideas make this an unsatisfying, grossly overrated book - a sin and a let down to the craft of writing.

    Connelly can't get it together anymore.

    12 out of 16 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 24, 2009

    Skip it!

    I have read other books of Michael Connelly's and enjoyed them a lot more than this one. This one wanders all over and it was a chore to get through. He constantly refers to his previous book the Poet, which is unnecessary in my opinion. This book is not what I expected from the title and I was disappointed in it. A lot of the plot was just plain silly, especially about the FBI agent who gets fired, and then just rehired again. So in a word, skip it!!

    8 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 19, 2009

    A satisfying literary potato chip

    I read Scarecrow in one night. It was satisfying, engaging and completely forgettable. Like a potato chip, Scarecrow is a pleasure but has no nutritional value whatsoever. Also like a potato chip, it makes no promise it can't keep.

    7 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 20, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Another serial killer -- YAWN!

    Connelly writes a good book and this is a good book. However the plot is pretty trite and I, for one, am getting tired of serial killers with near supernatural powers. Here we have a killer able to hack into any computer system in the world and wreak havoc.
    I work in the computer industry. This kind of childish fantasy just doesn't do it for me. It can't happen in the real world.
    But if you can sort of squinch your eyes at that kind of nonsense you do find an entertaining if overblown book.
    Hopefully Connelly will write a better, more believeable book the next time out.

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 2, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Mr. Connelly will have his fans up late with THE SCARECROW.

    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

    5 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 18, 2010

    The Scarecrow will keep you turning the pages.

    Michael Connelly weaves a tale of intrigue and murder using the high tech skills of a geek with a very serious personality dissorder. His murdering rampage has gone unnoticed until recent events lead a reporter to believe that there is a connection between the murder of two girls. Additional investigaion discovers that there may be many more than two, and that the common thread has been unnoticed for a very long time. Now that it has come to light, the killer has gone into high gear to cover up his trail. This book is hard to put down. There is some new twist or turn with every new page.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 25, 2009

    The Scarecrow

    Actually, I did not like this book. It was too slow getting started and I lost interest in it. In fact, I never finished it and will probably give it away...

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 3, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed for Midwest Book Review

    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.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 1, 2009

    So-So.

    Not Connelly's best work. Seemed to go on forever - and usually when I like a book, I don't want it to end . . .
    It certainly didn't seem worth paying the price for it - wait til it hits bargain price.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 18, 2009

    Typical Connelly

    Scarerow is typical Michael Connelly. Interesting enough to keep you reading, but not a page turner.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 16, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Fast Paced Thriller

    The Scarecrow by Michael Connelly is now available in hardback. Its ISBN is 075287585X. The protagonist Jack Mc Evoy is losing his job on his paper due to recessionary cuts. Before he leaves he has two weeks to train in a fresh grad into his job. Jack decides he is going to go out with a blaze of glory and write the crime story of his career.He decides to write a story on a 16 year old boy Alonzo Winslow who raped and strangled a woman. Jack receives a phone call from the kids mum saying he is innocent. With a little bit of old fashioned detective work he discovers the kid did not murder the woman. Whats worst he connects this murder to an earlier one in Las Vegas. He soon realizes there is a murderer on the lose and people are in jail for his crimes.The murderer is nicknamed The Scarecrow. The Scarecrow is a criminal who works on tha computer farm securing top secret data that must remain secure and he is prepared to kill to keep his secrets. Jack and his trainee Rachael has let off a digital tripwire and the killer knows he is on to him and he is waiting for him. In this fast paced thriller Jack joins up with his ex lover Rachael an FBI agent to catch The Scarecrow. They rush to stay alive and find the murderer and convict him. Will Jack and Rachael keep their jobs? This is a fast paced murder thiller that is a real page turner. The message of the novel is there is a dark side to technology it can work for or against you. Connolly fans and crime thriller readers will love this novel. Reviewed by Annette Dunlea author of Always and Forever and The Honey Trap.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 16, 2009

    Not his best! His books are always worth the read...but, this one is lacking meat!

    Always enjoy Michael Connelly's books......but, this was a bit slow....good but, not up to his usual standards.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 4, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Connelly Does it Again!

    I don't just read Michael Connelly's books...I devour them. The Scarecrow took me just 2 days to read, and it held my interest every minute. It was great having Rachel and Jack back and the storyline was exciting and timely. I have found that I enjoy Connelly much more than James Patterson. You do not want to miss this thriller!

    2 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 4, 2009

    One of Connelly's best!!!

    Connelly is a master of the genre. This book is one not to miss. The McEvoy/Walling characters are strong and the plot is carefully constructed to produce an excellent read!

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 6, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    One of the best books I've ever read!

    I've long been a Michael Connelly fan but I particularly loved this book. My husband and I listened to it in the audio version and were spell bound. It made the trip go so much faster. The characters were believable and the story holds your interest to the very end. Highly recommend this book!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 30, 2010

    GREAT and thrilling entertainment!

    Always enjoy reading Michael Connelly

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 26, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Didn't want to put it down.

    It took some time before I connected the "Scarecrow" in the title.
    Jack McEvoy keeps you guessing, and stays on the move. I found myself skimming some parts, because I was anxious to see what happened next.

    1 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 13, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    really enjoyed it

    I am a huge MC fan and this book did not disappoint. It was a great Saturday/Sunday read, great page turner in my opinion. I hope the duo gets to work on another case soon - very much looking forward to another MC thriller.

    1 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 1, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Jack is Back!

    Jack McEvoy made headlines when he helped track down a deadly serial killer early in his career. These days he is being forced out of the Los Angeles Times because of budget cuts. It seems the world has forgotten about the hero reporter who avenged his brother's death. Just as Jack is ready to throw in the towel, he catches wind of a story that might just allow him to go out with a bang. As Jack digs deeper he soon discovers that the newspaper may be done with him, but a deadly new killer is certainly not.

    We first met Jack McEvoy in Michael Connelly's highly acclaimed novel, The Poet. Many consider that first introduction of the character to be Connelly's finest work, surpassing even the dearly loved Harry Bosch novels. Thankfully, Connelly decided to prove to us all that Jack McEvoy is anything but a one hit wonder.

    The Scarecrow is the perfect blend of vintage Connelly with a welcome dose of tech savvy thriller. While The Poet dealt much more with the daily life of a beat reporter, this time around we get more action layered with the perfect amount of detail. One of Connelly's trademarks is his thoroughness, giving the audience an all access pass into the lives of his characters. While that element is still strong throughout here, it almost feels like Connelly holds back just enough to let the characters tell the story. The Scarecrow has a much tighter, fast paced feel that makes for an even better read than The Poet.

    Rachel Walling is of course back and Connelly does a masterful job of portraying the ache of old flames and the hope of what might be. Jack and Rachel have both matured in different ways, yet they can't deny the spark that never died. Their relationship feels like a natural overflow of the story and even helps carry the tension along as the plot unfolds.

    The Scarecrow himself is a deeply disturbing villain whose weapon is the one thing that makes us all vulnerable: technology. This is a whole new frightening breed of serial killer, and Connelly wondrously brings this character to life through some riveting third person narrative.

    What sets The Scarecrow apart from the rest is the character of Jack McEvoy. Michael Connelly nails every aspect of this veteran reporter with an unyielding sense of justice. The use of the first person is second to none here and the switching from first to third person throughout works as a clever storytelling device.

    Millions of Michael Connelly fans wait with bated breath for the next Harry Bosch novel, and rightly so. I, however, can't help but hope that we haven't seen the last of Jack McEvoy.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 13, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Slow start with some spark

    Slow start with a lot of poor me, but when you get to the half way point
    that's where it really picks up. Usually, I read a Micheal Connelly book in two days this took a week, a lot of computer education is given to the reader. I skipped a lot of paragraphs. I did like the bed room action, found it kind of funny on the warp side of humor.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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