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The Scarecrow | [Michael Connelly]

The Scarecrow

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.
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Publisher's 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 Poetmade 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.

©2009 Michael Connelly; (P)2009 Hachette

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (2826 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Charles Atkinson Greensboro, NC, United States 06-14-11
    Charles Atkinson Greensboro, NC, United States 06-14-11 Member Since 2015

    How can the characters in this year's True Detective be worse? Ferrill is asexual, drunk, corrupt, a child abuser and worse!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "This is a great mystery."

    I still hate missing Connely's great detectives Bosch or McCaleb, but this is a really good mystery, great narrative and incredibly realistic.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    karen 11-29-12
    karen 11-29-12
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    "Better than some..."

    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.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    mindusq san francisco 07-03-09
    mindusq san francisco 07-03-09 Member Since 2008

    Typical cat lady: lazy, sings off-key, craves spicy bloody marys.

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    "Kinda silly but fun to listen to"

    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.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Douglas Tulare, CA, United States 06-10-09
    Douglas Tulare, CA, United States 06-10-09 Member Since 2013
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    "Characteristic Connelly"

    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.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J. A. Katz 06-10-09
    J. A. Katz 06-10-09 Member Since 2006
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    "Great thriller, as usual!"

    Story is contemporary with a tight plot. Loved it all and had a hard time hitting pause when I needed to stop. Connelly does not disappoint!

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Vikon USA 06-05-09
    Vikon USA 06-05-09 Member Since 2010
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    "If you love Connelly...."

    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.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marty Newton, NC, USA 06-01-09
    Marty Newton, NC, USA 06-01-09
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    "One of my favorites!"

    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.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Karen San Diego, CA, United States 06-10-10
    Karen San Diego, CA, United States 06-10-10 Member Since 2009
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    "I may not get through this one"

    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.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Keith Gainesville, FL, United States 02-16-10
    Keith Gainesville, FL, United States 02-16-10
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    "Fast-paced if somewhat thin"

    "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.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nilda 12-30-09
    Nilda 12-30-09 Member Since 2002
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    "Almost missed it!"

    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.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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