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The Scarecrow

Average Rating 4
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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 All of those reviews lauding him as the greatest crime writer are outdated and in the past.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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  • 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 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 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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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 23, 2013

    Terrific

    It was hard to put down and go to bed!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 18, 2013

    Leafburn

    "Hello?" She padded in curiously.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 23, 2012

    Meow

    "Do you know where Lestari or Yue are?" Oceansong asks. "Because I don't want Shadowleap stuck." Donasong adds.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 26, 2012

    Highly recommened

    Definitely thought provoking.

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  • Posted October 18, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Brilliant Writing!!

    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.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 8, 2013

    Nessa

    Well that makes sense i guess. Lol.

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  • Posted February 13, 2012

    another very good Michael Connelly book

    enjoyable read and enough detail to paint a good picture of the characters and scenes.

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  • Posted October 13, 2011

    Still the best author

    Only once did I think "impossible". This was a good page turner. Glad I picked up this book and very glad I have read this author.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 3, 2011

    A different story with a different twist

    This is the first Connelly book I've read, and I'm now looking forward to reading more. He tackles a number of issues extremely relevant today. You get an inside look at how a newspaper works, and what issues are facing the newspaper industry. You also learn inside how reporters dig to find stories, and what goes into what actually gets into the paper. Then there's the meat of this story. Connelly doesn't hide who the criminals are. You get insight immediately, though somewhat veiled, into who they are, and what their motives are. The path taken to connect everything together is windy, but the scenery along the way is at times breathtaking in it's presentation. Connelly does fall prey to overused novel writer's cliches and at times his dialog drags, but overall The Scarecrow will keep you turning pages, not guessing, but rather simply interested to know more.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 24, 2010

    The Scarecrow - Connelly at his best

    Great for plane trips! Tough to put down.

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  • Posted April 17, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Terrific book. One of Connelly's best

    The book flows very well. I am glad that Connely has created a new character. The book is hard to put down, but not difficult to come back to. There are not a lot of characters' names to remember. I would certainly buy additional novels about Mc Elvoy.

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  • Posted March 26, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Good Crime Story

    "The Scarecrow" is a well written story complete with several nice twists and revelations. Character development is good. I especially like the way that Connelly wrote the relationship between the protagonist and his female FBI friend. It was believable and natural. The final chapter was a very satisfying ending to a story that held my attention throughout and if you are a computer nerd you will enjoy the setting of the server farm. This was my first read of a Michael Connelly book and I'll definitely read another.

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  • Posted March 15, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    A good read that is hard to put down.

    I am a Michael Connelly fan, so I always look for his newest. And, I am a serious Bosch fan, so was disappointed at first, but not for long. It was good to read about McAvoy again. He is a good character.

    I loved how topical it was, newspapers going under, everyone afraid of the someone stealing information via cyberspace. So it was a very intriguing read.

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  • Posted March 13, 2010

    Lots of twists and turns

    Michael Connelly usually writes about L.A. police officers and lawyers, but in this book he returns to his own roots: newspaper crime reporter. His chief protagonist is about to retire (or be layed off) from a major newspaper when he stumbles upon a story about a young black man who is accused of killing a woman. However, there seem to be a number of pieces that don't fit together in this case. The more leads that are uncovered, them more the case leads to the world of a computer security expert who is using his expertise to commit some horrific crimes. In the end, death and destruction seem to be on every hand. One of Connelly's best!!!

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  • Posted March 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    another good read from mr connelly....keep it up and thanks for the exciting read

    enjoyed the charector development. the poet stil tops my list of one of my favorite connelly books, but it was nice to see the charectors again.

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