Saturday, November 21, 2009

Julie's Review: The Scarecrow

Summary: 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.

Review:  I love mystery/thrillers and I'm psyched when I get turned onto a new author in the genre. My dad introduced me to Michael Connelly a while back and I've read a couple of his books. While he's a newer to me author, he's definitely not a new author. This is the first book that I read with Jack McEvoy as the lead character and let me tell you, I liked him. The Scarecrow is a high octane, wild ride to catch a serial killer that no one knows about until Jack and his writing partner, Angela Cook happen upon him. What I like about Connelly's books is that he's always up on the latest thing and in this book it's technology. I can understand some of that talk up to a point but then you lose me...aka it goes over my head. Connelly doesn't quite go over my head, he gives me just enough to understand the depth and seriousness of the IT security business and what is at stake.

I was glad to see Agent Rachel Walling of the FBI show up in the book, since I've liked her in the Harry Bosch books I've read prior. I like that she's a profiler. I've always thought that would be a cool job, but it can put you in harms way. In other words, I'm not sure I'd want to be profiling serial killers all the time. I'm sure that would make you nuts.

The book starts off quickly and never stops. At first it's about proving that an young man was innocent of murder, even if he wasn't an innocent young man. It quickly becomes a whole nother story that Jack begins to unravel. What I really found intriguing was the newspaper aspect. I worked for the high school paper for a nanosecond because I thought I wanted to be a newspaper reporter. Connelly captures the energy of the paper extremely well (I know that he's a former crime beat reporter). I liked learning how a crime reporter gets his stories and the connection he has to the police department.

The ending of the book leaves it open for another Jack McEvoy novel, that I hope will feature Rachel as well.

Final Take: 4/5


Anonymous ,  November 24, 2009 at 7:04 AM  

Isn't it great to "discover" a new favorite writer? Connelly is great.

Anonymous ,  November 24, 2009 at 7:05 AM  

Isn't it fun to "discover" a new favorite writer? Connelly is great!

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