Friday, November 20, 2009

Review: The Scarecrow by Michael Connolly

Title: The Scarecrow
Author: Michael Connolly
Genre: Suspense/Thriller
Publisher: Allen & Unwin, 2009

Synopsis: Twelve years ago, crime reporter Jack McEvoy came face to face with a brutal serial killer nicknamed The Poet. Emotionally scarred by the encounter, Jack also found fame and fortune as the newspaperman who lived to tell the tale. But now Jack is yesterday's news, and he's about to be forced out of the Los Angeles Times amid the latest budget cuts. Angry and defiant, he's determined to go out with a bang, using his final days at the paper to write the definitive murder story of his career.
Alonzo Winslow seems to represent his best shot, a sixteen-year-old drug dealer in jail after confessing to raping then strangling one of his crack clients. The case has all the elements of of a Pulitzer Prize winning story................the only problem is, once he starts to look at Winslow's so-called confession, Jack begins to believe he's innocent.

Which means that somewhere out there a vicious and highly organised killer is still at work.

Michael Connolly is a brilliant thriller writer and I'm a great fan of his books. It's been a long time since I read The Poet but I've always considered it one of my favourites and really looked forward to this reunion of Jack and Rachel. So why did it fall a little flat with me? It was as I was considering what the reason could be I realised that it was the same as the underlying theme of the book. The passage of time , the inevitability of change and the new taking over from the old and the effects it has, in this case, on news reporting and journalism.
When Jack first meets Angela, the young woman who is to replace him at the newspaper, he observes............She was what they call a mojo.........a mobile journalist nimbly able to file from the field via any electronic means. Never mind the stories that would be missed because she had no sources. Never mind the many times she would be set up and manipulated by the police....
Jack belongs to the old school type of journalism and struggles to adapt to this new electronic age.
So do I..............but Mr Connolly has definitely moved with the times and the killer works within the darker depths of the internet with its potential for exploitation and criminal activity.
I find it difficult to connect to much of the jargon which slowed the pace and is probably why I was left feeling a little disappointed.
Still an excellent, fast paced thriller which most people will enjoy.

Rating 4 ****


  1. Sorry this one didnt quite hit the mark for you, I'm looking forward to reading it!

  2. I am a huge Michael Connelly fan! Thank you for your honest and balanced review. By the way, your blog is gorgeous. I am a new follower. :-)

  3. Teddyree, I'm sure you'll enjoy it.

    Laughing Stars.....thank you and welcome to the followers.