I'm a huge fan of Michael Connolly's early books -- Concrete Blond, Black Ice, etc -- but thought he ran out of steam several books ago. Actually, I wonder if he's even writing them anymore, or if he's got a team, like James Patterson, who merely puts his name on as author. Whatever, this one is better than some of the recent ones.
It does hook you right from the beginning. It has genuine moments where you can't stop listening, wondering what will happen next. There was never a time when I considered quitting.
So what's the problem? A niggling one, maybe. There's a plot problem, one made worse by the narrator. A key element to the plot is that the ace newspaper reporter, Jack McEvoy, has been "downsized", lost his job, with his position to be taken over by a younger -- and cheaper -- newcomer. Throughout the whole book, Jack whines about that -- he gives the impression that he believed that once someone had worked for a company for an unnamed period of time, the employee was ENTITLED to be employed there forever -- or at least until he decided to quit. That's so unrealistic. That may have been the way the world worked, decades ago, when retiring employees would get gold watches after 40 years. But that's not today's world. Is it too bad he lost his job? Of course. For every one of the tens of millions of good employees who lose their jobs, that's a tragedy. But it's the way things are -- he may as well bitch and complain about why water always runs downhill. Surely that's not right! In a just world, water would run uphill too, right? That's only fair! McEvoy's constant bitching about it is rather pointless. Yes, it's too bad. But geez, fella, get over it. PLAN for it. No one these days has a guaranteed, permanent, job. No rational person expects it.
All of this is made worse by the narrator who, in this book and others he narrates, has kind of a petulant, put-upon, whiny tone to his voice. It's a little-boy voice, one who's whining to his mother that his brother got a bigger cookie, and besides, the kids next door get to stay up late. When you add that whiny tone to Connolly's whiny plot, it gets a little tiresome.
Still. Pretty good book. Better than some. I won't listen to it again, but it was a good-enough use of a credit.
Typical cat lady: lazy, sings off-key, craves spicy bloody marys.
Timely plot including the demise of the newspaper industry and the controversy over server farms but Jack and Rachel are like Batman and Robin. POW! SHIZAM! HOLY CR*POLA! Narrator Peter Giles has a lot of conviction, even when some of the dialog is contrived. Someone else wrote "interesting but not exciting." 'Bout sums it up.
Another Solid Work from an exceptional author. In fact Connelly is my favorite mystery/thriller author and this book did not disappoint.
Though a few of of the negative reviews have some validity in that there was need for suspension of disbelief in a few minor areas, the bulk of the story presented "real world" logic, and was consistent throughout the plot. As usual there was plenty of suspense filled action, without going overboard, and it was easy to feel affinity for the main characters whether you had already read the Poet or not.
The reader was just "ok". I missed Dick Hill who has read most of his Harry Bosch novels. Although with Dick Hill reading, it would have been hard to distinguish McEvoy from Bosch as he is the voice of Harry Bosch for me and the two characters are actually very similar. Though the reader wasn't bad, his voice was too young for the main character and he basically had only two distinguishable voices...I would recommend the producers find a new reader for the next Connelly novel.
Addicted to Audible!
I enjoy Michael Connelly's books on audio - while not too deep, they are fast moving and keep my interest while I walk or drive or do other boring tasks. I like the way he brings back characters from other books. This is another fast paced mystery with a great reader!
If you love reading/listening to Michael Connelly's books, this one will not dissappoint you. I think Giles casts McAvoy a little too young, after all it's been 12 years since the Poet, so it's a bit hard to believe this guy is as tough as he needs to be to go against the criminals. By the middle, I thought this is the best since Chasing the Dime, my personal favorite. But in the end, it doesn't hold up to that standard. Still, listening to the VERY end makes this top notch.
I took a chance purchasing this audiobook with never listening to a Connelly book before. Wow, am I glad I did. I might have found one of my favorite authors now. This book kept me interested the entire listen. The writing is superb and the narration fits the story perfectly.
The Poet will be my next purchase from Audible.
I have now listened to about half of this book, by a fine author whom I admire greatly. But the narration is so distracting that I may not be able to finish. Just as a good narrator can make a writer seem better than he or she is, a bad narrator can mask a writer's talents. I realize that this is a matter of personal taste. but this story about an LA Times reporter on the ropes, who finds a new angle to a murder investigation, would be captivating if read differently. The narrator sounds as if he usually reads children's stories...his emphases are inappropriate, and at times, he seems bored with the story. Do yourself a favor and buy this one in paperback.
"The Scarecrow" is not Michael Connelly's best work, but is a quick moving and will entertain (even if just a little) fans of the author and genre. It's obviously been written to go to Hollywood as many of Connelly's more recent works seem to have been. If it does, it will make a B-grade thriller. It's an action flick in novel format. The character development is rushed and Connelly relies too much on his previous novels to back fill the relationships between the main characters. It's quite glaring at times.
The narrator had a lot of difficulty with proper emphasis and prosody. At times, I found myself asking if he had even read the novel prior to recording the narration. He spends too much time trying to make the novel darker than it already was by reading with a very phony tone of urgency. The effect comes off as inappropriately campy.
All in all, it's a worthy download if you want something quick and easy to digest. If you want more than that, then you likely aren't even reading this review.
I'm a big Michael Connelly fan so I couldn't understand some of the negative reviews. For several months I considered it then dismissed it. Well, I'm glad I finally ordered. I was not disappointed. It was good being with Jack and Rachel again. Having read "The Poet" and "The Narrows" was helpful when they made reference to them. The novel was exciting and I don't think the narrator was as bad as some people have indicated. A bad narrator gets in the way of the story. I didn't think this was the case here.