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The Scarecrow Hardcover – May 26, 2009


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company; 1 edition (May 26, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316166308
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316166300
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1.2 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (420 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #390,114 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Book Description
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.


Michael Connelly and Janet Evanovich: Author One-to-One
In this Amazon exclusive, we brought together blockbuster authors Michael Connelly and Janet Evanovich and asked them to interview each other. Find out what two of the top authors of their genres have to say about their characters, writing process, and more. Janet Evanovich is the bestselling author of the Stephanie Plum novels, including Finger Lickin' Fifteen, twelve romance novels, the Alexandra Barnaby novels, and How I Write: Secrets of a Bestselling Author. Read on to see Janet Evanovich's questions for Michael Connelly, or turn the tables to see what Connelly asked Evanovich.

Janet EvanovichEvanovich: So dude,... Okay, you're back in Florida. Do you ever get to the beach? And when and if you get to the beach...is Harry Bosch with you? And what kind of beachwear are you guys sporting? Flip-flops? Crocs? Speedo? Board shorts?

Connelly: I go to the beach often on weekends. Board shorts are required and I wear flip-flops with the built in bottle opener. Comes in handy. In Florida we rarely have waves, unless there is a hurricane in the Gulf. So I have taken up paddle-boarding, which essentially involves a big surfboard that you stand on and paddle. Still a balancing act, but easier than surfing, and you don't need waves.

Evanovich: What will a bookstore look like in 2020? Will we all be downloading?

Connelly: Good question. Since it is only eleven years from now, I think there will still be a solid population of "old school" readers who need the book in their hands. The question is, will they get it at a bookstore or will we have a Kindle 9.0 device that manufactures a book for you at home, complete with photo of author in a bomber jacket.

Evanovich: If everybody is downloading in 2020 what the heck will we be signing on book tour? Body parts? Kindle cases?

Connelly: I signed two Kindles yesterday. One person asked me to leave room for signatures from you and Dennis Lehane. So next time you're in Seattle she'll be in your line.

Evanovich: Do you eat when you write? Beer nuts? M&Ms? Just coffee? What keeps you from falling out of the chair in a narcoleptic stupor?

Connelly: Have you ever seen what eating Cheetos can do to a keyboard? I have to say I am addicted to Coke. I always have a glass of it nearby. I eat a lot of candy, too. Keeps me going. Smarties are a great writing tool. I often need to raid my daughter's stash and then there is trouble on the home front.

Evanovich: Are you a messy guy or a neat guy? Do you keep clutter on your desk? In your head? Are there soda cans and crumpled fast food wrappers rolling around on the floor of your car?

Connelly: I keep a clean car but a desk that gets progressively messier as I write a book. When I am finished with the book, I clean up the desk—and eat all the stray Smarties found under the paperwork. The clean desk then promotes the start of the next book.

Evanovich: The new book, The Scarecrow sounds terrific, and I know it's followed by Harry Bosch in Nine Dragons in the fall. Does your publisher prefer one series over another? And do you find one series to be more commercially viable than another?

Connelly: They let me do what I want. I like writing about Harry Bosch and he's pretty popular, but usually when I write a standalone it widens the audience a bit.

Evanovich: Want to meet me in a bar in Ft. Myers? Is that halfway?

Connelly: Name the place.


From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Bestseller Connelly comments on the plight of print journalism in a nail-biting thriller featuring reporter Jack McEvoy, last seen in 2004's The Narrows. When Jack is laid off from the L.A. Times with 14 days' notice to tie up loose ends, he decides to go out with a bang. What starts as a story about the wrongful arrest of a young gangbanger for the brutal rape and murder of an exotic dancer turns out to be just the tip of an iceberg that takes McEvoy from the Nevada desert to a futuristic data-hosting facility in Arizona. FBI agent Rachel Walling, with whom he worked on a serial killer case in 1996's The Poet, soon joins the hunt, but as the pair uncover more about the killer and his unsettling predilections, they realize that they too are being hunted. With every switch between McEvoy's voice and the villain's, Connelly ratchets up the tension. This magnificent effort is a reminder of why Connelly is one of today's top crime authors. 8-city author tour. (May)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

More About the Author

Michael Connelly decided to become a writer after discovering the books of Raymond Chandler while attending the University of Florida. Once he decided on this direction he chose a major in journalism and a minor in creative writing ' a curriculum in which one of his teachers was novelist Harry Crews.

After graduating in 1980, Connelly worked at newspapers in Daytona Beach and Fort Lauderdale, Florida, primarily specializing in the crime beat. In Fort Lauderdale he wrote about police and crime during the height of the murder and violence wave that rolled over South Florida during the so-called cocaine wars. In 1986, he and two other reporters spent several months interviewing survivors of a major airline crash. They wrote a magazine story on the crash and the survivors which was later short-listed for the Pulitzer Prize for feature writing. The magazine story also moved Connelly into the upper levels of journalism, landing him a job as a crime reporter for the Los Angeles Times, one of the largest papers in the country, and bringing him to the city of which his literary hero, Chandler, had written.

After three years on the crime beat in L.A., Connelly began writing his first novel to feature LAPD Detective Hieronymus Bosch. The novel, The Black Echo, based in part on a true crime that had occurred in Los Angeles , was published in 1992 and won the Edgar Award for Best First Novel by the Mystery Writers of America. Connelly has followed that up with 18 more novels. His books have been translated into 31 languages and have won the Edgar, Anthony, Macavity, Shamus, Dilys, Nero, Barry, Audie, Ridley, Maltese Falcon (Japan), .38 Caliber (France), Grand Prix (France), and Premio Bancarella (Italy) awards.

Michael lives with his family in Florida.

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Customer Reviews

The characters are well developed and the action is plotted very well.
R. C Sheehy
Too long, too predictable and while the cyber hacker intrigue was a timely piece, it could not make up for the limited plot and character development.
deeper waters
This book kept me turning pages, and it was a fun read for that reason.
Amazon Customer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

89 of 96 people found the following review helpful By J. Norburn on July 16, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Michael Connelly is easily one of the best crime fiction authors working today and The Scarecrow is a solid read, although I have to admit that after a great start the ending is a bit of let down. It isn't that the ending is bad (it isn't) - it's just that it follows a standard formula and was just too 'ordinary'.

The first half of The Scarecrow is exceptionally good. Connelly gives readers an insider's look at the inner workings of the newspaper business and the devastating effect that the internet and 24 hour cable news is having on it. I appreciated that our hero, reporter Jack McEvoy, starts chasing a story for reasons that are not entirely noble. When the grandmother of a gang member charged with murder insists her grandson is innocent, Jack follows up, not intending to prove the boy innocent, but rather to gain access to the family so he can profile the mind of a young killer. Of course, he does find evidence that leads the story in a different direction.

The greatest strength of Connelly's fiction is how thorough he is as a writer. For example: the killer is planning to frame someone (I don't want to give too much away) and Connelly has him address any holes in his plan, like the transportation of a firearm. Lesser authors would simply ignore the problem(s) and assume that readers wouldn't notice or would be willing to overlook the inconsistancies. Connelly though has his killer find a solution so that his plan is as realistic as possible. I appeciate that. I also appreciate that McEvoy and his partner FBI agent Rachel Walling don't just stumble around - they actually investigate, detect, and solve things. The criminals are intelligent too, which makes for a refreshingly smart read.
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46 of 49 people found the following review helpful By TheReader23 on July 16, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I added this up last night and discovered that I have read more books by Michael Connelly (15) than any other author I've read. So I guess one could say I'm a huge fan. The amazing thing is that they were all five star books (except for Chasing The Dime, of course). I find this almost hard to believe but it's true. And I'm actually one of the readers who started reading Connelly before his real fame came into being with the publication of The Poet.

I guess it's only fair then that his latest offering features journalist Jack McEvoy....the same Jack McEvoy who appeared in The Poet. Connelly's true fans have been awaiting a reappearance by one of their favorite characters for years now and in The Scarecrow, Jack's return does not disappoint for one minute. I loved this book from the beginning to the end.

Having started his career as a journalist, I'm sure this book is close to Connelly's heart as he watches the slow demise of the newspaper industry. The fact that technology is killing newspapers becomes only too clear as the book starts off with Jack getting a pink slip from the LA Times. But "our" Jack is intent on going out with a bang and makes it his business to come up with one last story that will be Pulitzer prizeworthy. He will set out to prove that a sixteen year old gang member is not guilty of the murder for which he is being accused. The good news to Jack's fans is that he will need to ask FBI agent Rachel Walling for her help as he starts to get too close to the answer to the mystery and much too close to The Scarecrow. Their "coupling" in this book is well worth the wait as they make such a great team.
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64 of 74 people found the following review helpful By Living Life - on July 17, 2009
Format: Hardcover
The Scarecrow
Michael Connelly can write, and in the first half of his "the Scarecrow" much of his ability comes out. The start of the story moves well, suspense builds and the character development works. Cyber stalking kicks in and I was "trapped" in the suspense of how powerful - and powerless Jack McEvoy became with the abilities of the stalker to literally shut out the reporter from society; financially, identity theft and literally a man out in the cold. Now comes the big Disappointment: 1/2 way throught the book everything grinds to a halt. Connelly could not decide whether this story was about cyber-stalking, cold blooded (and brutal) murder, or an egomaniac of a criminal. The plot drags. Is predictable and I quickly lost interest in reading. The ending is one that has been rehashed over and over. I suggest reading some of his earlier works or another author's work...
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By fjmcmm on July 16, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Admittedly, this is not the topnotch writing that I've come to expect from my favorite author, but I liked the story just the same. Yes, this is no "Poet", but for me he's entitled to stumble once. And it was a minor stumble, because for the first time this story wasn't as compelling as the many other novels by Mr Connelly. And I've read them all. And I anxiously wait for the next.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Poodytat on June 21, 2009
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I have been reading and enjoying Michael Connelly's novels for many years. However, this is the first time I really had to work at getting through one of his stories. The plot was very predictable: there is a sociopathic killer with bizarre fetishes. Our heroes go after him. The rest is pure formula and very predictable. FBI Agent Rachel Walling was particularly cardboard. And McEvoy was indistinct from Connelly's Harry Bosch character--- the dialogue and thoughts could have been written for either character. I'm hoping that Mr. Connelly's next book is a little more creative. What was worthwhile were the descriptions of life in the moribund newspaper business. These were the book's saving grace.
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