Jack McEvoy is a reporter for the Los Angeles Times. Or he was, until he found himself the recipient of a pink slip--now called an RIF, for reduction in force, form. Jack McEvoy is the reporter who broke the story on the Poet, a serial killer working the west over a decade ago. He wrote a best-selling true crime book about the case, and coasted in on that fame to land a job at the Times. And now, after a decade on the crime beat, he's history. He's got two weeks left on the payroll--more than most RIF victims get--to train his replacement, and Jack intends to use that time to write the story of a lifetime, one so great he'll be awarded a Pulitzer Prize and the paper will have to come crawling after him to offer his job back. Or that's the idea, anyway.
He thinks he's found just the right story: a 16 year old Aftrican American gangbanger has been falsely accused of the gruesome murder of a young, white stripper. What McEvoy actually finds--after helping get the foul-mouthed young hoodlum released from jail--is a case much deeper than anyone realizes.
McEvoy teams up with his partner (and love interest) from The Poet, FBI Agent Rachel Walling. Together they uncover the work of the serial killer who will come to be known as the Scarecrow. Wesley Carver is a brilliant MIT graduate who--after stripping McEvoy of his savings, his credit cards, and his email access--will manage to stay at least one step ahead of them until the very end.
The book alternates chapters narrated by McEvoy with chapters told from the Scarecrow's perspective, which makes the suspense that much more deliciously unbearable when they cross paths with one another. Michael Connelly is always good, and even the occasional novel of his which feels as if it were phoned in to some degree is a cut above the rest. But when he shines, as he does in The Scarecrow, watch out.
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