The Scarecrow by Michael Connelly

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.


This is the first Michael Connelly novel that I have read so I can’t offer any comparisons with The Poet or the Harry Bosch series.

I enjoyed The Scarecrow quite a lot actually. As I have stated many times on this blog before, thrillers and mysteries are my favourite genres. When I am reading them, its almost like I am in some kind of bookish comfort zone. Thankfully, this did not disappoint.

The identity of “The Scarecrow” is revealed in the 1st few chapters itself. So the book is more about how McEvoy uses his limited time as a journalist and limited resources to track down a suspect and how the Scarecrow is always a step ahead.

But the main reason why I liked it was the climax. It wasn’t predictable. Well, good does win over evil as always but it isn’t in some silly hero vs villain knife fight so that was a relief.

There is also a love interest which I guess is from the previous novel. Is a romantic angle really necessary in a thriller like this ? I don’t know but I’m guessing its a template of sorts. Even if the hero has to prevent some nuclear explosion thing-y and thwart World War 3, he still has time for romance. Personally I’m willing to overlook this cliche as long as it doesn’t hamper the flow of the narrative.

So if you like thrillers, give this a shot.

Let me know what you think !