Sunday, July 19, 2009

The Scarecrow by Michael Connelly

About the book: For Jack McEvoy, the killer named The Poet was the last word in evil. Think again, Jack.
Jack McEvoy is at the end of the line as a crime reporter. Forced to take a buy-out from the Los Angeles Times as the newspaper grapples with dwindling revenues, he's got only a few days left on the job. His last assignment? Training his replacement, a low-cost reporter just out of journalism school. But Jack has other plans for his exit. He is going to go out with a bang — a final story that will win the newspaper journalism's highest honor — a Pulitzer prize.

Jack focuses on Alonzo Winslow, a 16-year-old drug dealer from the projects who has confessed to police that he brutally raped and strangled one of his crack clients. Jack convinces Alonzo's mother to cooperate with his investigation into the possibility of her son's innocence. But she has fallen for the oldest reporter's trick in the book. Jack's real intention is to use his access to report and write a story that explains how societal dysfunction and neglect created a 16-year-old killer.

But as Jack delves into the story he soon realizes that Alonzo's so-called confession is bogus, and Jack is soon off and running on the biggest story he's had since The Poet crossed his path years before. He reunites with FBI Agent Rachel Walling to go after a killer who has worked completely below police and FBI radar—and with perfect knowledge of any move against him.

What Jack doesn't know is that his investigation has inadvertently set off a digital tripwire. The killer knows Jack is coming—and he's ready.

My thoughts: I haven't read The Poet so I didn't know Jack or Rachel but I came to like them quickly. I found this book scary on at least two levels. First of course is The Scarecrow himself, a serial killer who has been at it for years. On another level there is the technology that he uses. You've seen it at the show. The Scarecrow (or whoever) can ruin lives just sitting behind a computer. Even though you know from early on who the killer is, the suspense is still there. There were no big twists, no big surprises but it was a good solid thriller. I'll have to read The Poet next. Out of order of course.

View the trailer with Michael Connelly:

thriller, murder, serial killer, computer hacking,FBI


Jo, a retired teacher said...

I've read several of Michael Connelly's books, now I know I'll have to put this one on my list too. Thank you.

Teddyree said...

I'm really looking forward to this one, I picked it up on audio, do you think it would be better to read it?