In The Scarecrow, Jack McEvoy, a crime reporter for the Los Angeles Times, has just been told he's being laid off. Shortly after that he receives a call from a woman complaining about one of his stories. In that story, a 16 year old boy is accused of murdering a young woman. The woman on the phone swears this boy is innocent even though the police say he has confessed to the crime. Since his career as a crime reporter is near the end, McEvoy decides to produce the story of his career focusing on how society helped create this teenage murderer. However, as his investigation begins to heat up, McEvoy soon realizes that something is wrong with the confession and the case need closer examination.
I loved this book. It contains all of the things a great thriller should. It's fast paced with plenty of intrigue and wonderful, convincing characters. Once I picked it up, I didn't put it down for very long until I got to the explosive and shocking ending. The story was extremely interesting and intense. I love how Connelly presents the story, jumping back and forth between the good guys and the bad guys. With this story, you don't have to wait until the very end to see the killers, Connelly puts them upfront.
The book is timely as it gives insight into the life of a journalist when newspapers are struggling to keep their heads above water. It also offers a glimpse into the life of a computer genius who can take control someone's life with just a few keystrokes. It was alarming to learn much damage this guy could easily do from his computer. With all of our personal information stored on various computers around the world that "hackers" potentially have access to...well that's more than a little bit scary.
The book is filled with some great characters. I especially loved Jack McEvoy. He sought to right a wrong and diligently and tenaciously worked the clues that he uncovered.
Scattered throughout the novel, there are 12 URLs (website addresses) in the text which relate to the story. If you're the adventurous type, try typing them into your browser. You won't be sorry. I did and was pleasantly surprised by what I found. Incidentally, I waited until I finished the book, to check out the websites. You just never know when a spoiler will surprise you. These URL "extras" were definitely one of the things I loved about this book.
This isn't the first of Connelly's books I've read. Coincidently, I also read The Poet which just so happens to be mentioned in this book several times and features the same two main characters, Jack and Rachel. I'll definitely be reading more of his books. I'd love to check out the Harry Bosch books. I've heard great things about them.
For more information:
- about the author, visit Michael Connelly's website.
- about the book, visit the Hachette Book Group. Look on the right hand sidebar for a great Q&A with the author, as well as Reading Group Guide.