The Scarecrow

The Scarecrow

by Michael Connelly

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Overview

Forced out of the Los Angeles Times amid the latest budget cuts, newspaperman Jack McEvoy decides to go out with a bang, using his final days at the paper to write the definitive murder story of his career.

He focuses on Alonzo Winslow, a 16-year-old drug dealer in jail after confessing to a brutal murder. But as he delves into the story, Jack realizes that Winslow's so-called confession is bogus. The kid might actually be innocent.

Jack is soon running with his biggest story since The Poet made his career years ago. He is tracking a killer who operates completely below police radar--and with perfect knowledge of any move against him. Including Jack's.

Bonus materials include an in-depth interview with the author about writing "The Scarecrow" along with his exciting travel photos-plus a link to an online promotional video and links within the text to a fictitious website based on the novel and a teaser chapter from his next book, "Nine Dragons."



Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780316073455
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Publication date: 05/26/2009
Series: Jack McEvoy Series , #2
Sold by: Hachette Digital, Inc.
Format: NOOK Book
Sales rank: 10,162
File size: 3 MB

About the Author

Michael Connelly is the author of twenty-nine novels, including #1 New York Times bestsellers The Wrong Side of Goodbye and The Crossing. His books, which include the Harry Bosch series and Lincoln Lawyer series, have sold more than sixty million copies worldwide. Connelly is a former newspaper reporter who has won numerous awards for his journalism and his novels and is the executive producer of Bosch, starring Titus Welliver. He spends his time in California and Florida.

Hometown:

Sarasota, Florida

Date of Birth:

July 21, 1956

Place of Birth:

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Education:

B.A. in Journalism, University of Florida, 1980

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Scarecrow 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 314 reviews.
SteveKna More than 1 year ago
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 All of those reviews lauding him as the greatest crime writer are outdated and in the past.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.
BellalunaCA More than 1 year ago
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!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Cats505 More than 1 year ago
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...
edofarrell More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Kataman1 More than 1 year ago
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 a 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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
mysterywomannc More than 1 year ago
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!
PeggyBrooks More than 1 year ago
Scarerow is typical Michael Connelly. Interesting enough to keep you reading, but not a page turner.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Always enjoy Michael Connelly's books......but, this was a bit slow....good but, not up to his usual standards.
Anonymous 29 days ago
Be+prepared+to+be+up+late%2C++it%27s+a+great+journey+
mahallett on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
pretty good. good reader. i can't really tell you how the hero solved this. some parts seemed to be glossed over. but i was carried along. i agree that the perversion talked about is so peculiar. where would one get leg braces now? e-bay?
dbeveridge on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Best Michael Connelly in awhile. Great tense thriller recalling the characters from The Poet.
juli1357 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The only other book I've read by Michael Connelly is "The Lincoln Lawyer." Based on reading those two books, I would say that one of the unique features of his mysteries is that in the course of defining his protagonist, the reader will learn a lot about his/her profession. In "The Lincoln Lawyer", you learn a lot about what it is like to be a criminal attorney who is forced to defend someone he knows is guilty. In "The Scarcrow," you learn a lot about what it is like to work as a journalist for a major newspaper, in this case the L.A. times. I found this an interesting enough story, but I would have preferred to learn more about the serial killer the book is named after. When you do learn about what motivates and drives him, it's pretty much in the last few pages of the book. A few hints are dropped here and there, but aside from that, the bad guy remains pretty much a stock character. I didn't dislike the book, but I wouldn't recommend it for anyone other than hardcore Michael Connelly fans, those who want to read everything he has written.
PermaSwooned on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this book. It is very timely, with really up to date references to what is happening in the newspaper biz and the far reach of the internet. I was very glad to see a new protagonist....I liked him a lot. When an author is writing a series around a central figure, it starts to get old for me.
dspoon on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Bestseller Connelly comments on the plight of print journalism in a nail-biting thriller featuring reporter Jack McEvoy, last seen in 2004's The Narrows. When Jack is laid off from the L.A. Times with 14 days' notice to tie up loose ends, he decides to go out with a bang. What starts as a story about the wrongful arrest of a young gangbanger for the brutal rape and murder of an exotic dancer turns out to be just the tip of an iceberg that takes McEvoy from the Nevada desert to a futuristic data-hosting facility in Arizona. FBI agent Rachel Walling, with whom he worked on a serial killer case in 1996's The Poet, soon joins the hunt, but as the pair uncover more about the killer and his unsettling predilections, they realize that they too are being hunted. With every switch between McEvoy's voice and the villain's Connelly ratchets up the tension.
kraaivrouw on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
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.
tututhefirst on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
If you spend any time surfing the web, be warned, this will make you want to rip out the internet connection in your house. A stunning plot, very up-to-date, written so non-geeks can understand. Jack McEvoy, a newspaper journalist, discovers that the killer he is tracking is always one step ahead of him, and seems to know his every move. I don't do spoilers in reviews, so it's hard to write about the plot without spoiling. There are lots of twists, lots of very well-developed characters, and a stunning story that will keep you on the edge of your chair until the last suprising page.
tororojo on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
You can absolutely rely on Michael Connelly to deliver a well-written novel with expert pacing. There's almost no disappointment here. Jack McEvoy, a character from previous Connelly novels, is the book's focus, as he tries to end his job at the Los Angeles Times with his best story. A phone call from a woman about her grandson's arrest sets the wheels in motion, and it leads to murder and death in three states.In many respects, this is Connelly's eulogy to the newspaper culture from which his career launched. He asks, quite reasonably, what is society losing when we lose our newspapers? What is lost when long-time reporters who know the ropes are replaced by rookies who stay only until they, too, are replaced? Combined with what are likely his own recollections when he held the job that his protagonist is leaving, this main thread of the novel serves as an excellent backdrop for a mystery of average quality.I'm always a little bit frustrated when Connelly gets away from what he knows best - police, crime, reporting - and delves into areas that he doesn't know very well at all. His subplots that lead to Las Vegas are always a little bit sketchy, with subtle errors that don't detract from the story but leave me wondering why he doesn't get them right. So too do the errors appear when he goes high-tech. It's annoying when he writes the acronyms HIPAA and SOX phonetically as HIPPA and SOCKS. While he's hardly alone among authors when he attributes skills to his villains that are not technologically possible, I wish he'd avoid the temptation to make his villains more menacing with their scary hacking chops.But these are minor hits on what is, as always, another solid effort by Connelly.This novel doesn't include Bosch, but there are a few pages from The Nine Dragons, which comes out in October 2009, that will whet the appetite for more Bosch just a little bit.
BeckyJG on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is what a serial killer thriller should be: taut, scary, fast-moving, making good use of the usual tropes (for the killer: childhood trauma, cool/goofy nickname, grotesque fetish, high intelligence; for the hero: personal life in a shambles, likeability issues, high intelligence) while building and maintaining a high degree of originality. Jack McEvoy is a reporter for the Los Angeles Times. Or he was, until he found himself the recipient of a pink slip--now called an RIF, for reduction in force, form. Jack McEvoy is the reporter who broke the story on the Poet, a serial killer working the west over a decade ago. He wrote a best-selling true crime book about the case, and coasted in on that fame to land a job at the Times. And now, after a decade on the crime beat, he's history. He's got two weeks left on the payroll--more than most RIF victims get--to train his replacement, and Jack intends to use that time to write the story of a lifetime, one so great he'll be awarded a Pulitzer Prize and the paper will have to come crawling after him to offer his job back. Or that's the idea, anyway.He thinks he's found just the right story: a 16 year old African American gangbanger has been falsely accused of the gruesome murder of a young, white stripper. What McEvoy actually finds--after helping get the foul-mouthed young hoodlum released from jail--is a case much deeper than anyone realizes. McEvoy teams up with his partner (and love interest) from The Poet, FBI Agent Rachel Walling. Together they uncover the work of the serial killer who will come to be known as the Scarecrow. Wesley Carver is a brilliant MIT graduate who--after stripping McEvoy of his savings, his credit cards, and his email access--will manage to stay at least one step ahead of them until the very end.The book alternates chapters narrated by McEvoy with chapters told from the Scarecrow's perspective, which makes the suspense that much more deliciously unbearable when they cross paths with one another. Michael Connelly is always good, and even the occasional novel of his which feels as if it were phoned in to some degree is a cut above the rest. But when he shines, as he does in The Scarecrow, watch out.
meli1029 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
There were some twists once the killer was identified to the reader, but not enough to make the identification worth while. I wish that the author had delayed this gratification just a little while longer. The pacing was good, but it was difficult to get invested in the characters. A nice quick mystery read but nothing mind-blowing.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Another great Connelly book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago