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review 2020-06-28 19:51
The Scarecrow
The Scarecrow - Michael Connelly

The main reason why I am not giving this five stars is that it's a bit much that Jack keeps facing off against killers. It's okay that he's a reporter and that's it. Also the story gets a little lost at times I thought. It picks up when Jack meets Rachel again, but I wish that Connelly actually spent more time in going into Jack's life up until this book. We just get a really quick series of things dropped on us as readers. Jack is now divorced (to who?) is working for the paper (what happened to his book thing? We get that addressed eventually) what happened to his sister in law? What happened with his parents? There's a lot of things I still don't think got addressed int his one. I am glad I finished though since I plan to read the next book in this series soon.

 

"The Scarecrow" picks up 12 years after the events in the first book in the Jack McEvoy series. Jack is working for the Los Angeles Times and is number 99 on the list of journalists who are getting RIFed (I work for the government, we have a fear of that acronym). Jack is told to train his replacement (which ouch people) and decides on the last two weeks of the job to look into a case where a grandmother says her grandson did not murder a woman and leave her body in a trunk. Jack quickly runs down leads and realizes that it appears a serial killer is on the loose. He calls up ex-lover Rachel Walling who is still with the FBI. Rachel initially dismisses Jack, but soon enough realizes he may be telling the truth. The two of them go head to head with a serial killer who seems to know their every move.

 

So first off, I ended up liking Jack more in this one. The petulance of the character seems to be way down in this installment. He still tries to get indignant about things, but it didn't bug me as much as it did in the first book. We know that Jack has been keeping tabs on Rachel, and Rachel rightfully so has wanted nothing to do with him since the events in the first book. I liked the two of them together in this one and I definitely enjoyed it when Rachel explains about the whole "one bullet" theory. We get more characters in this one, but I have to say that I didn't really have interest in the "Scarecrow." Per usual we get some hints about the serial killer in this one, but nothing is ever definitely found in the end. I think I like Bosch novels more because at least with Harry, he's chasing down leads so you can see the full picture of the bad guy(s) that he is after.

 

The writing was good in this one, it's a bit different since Connelly rails at times about how the world of journalism has changed because of the internet. I wonder how Connelly would change up this book in the year of 2020 with so many newspapers and sites going under?

 

The flow was off a bit, since Connelly switches between Jack's POV and then the "Scarecrow.". Those sections were so short that you won't miss anything by skipping them. They started to read very repetitive after a while.

 

The ending leaves things on a new note with Jack and am interested to see how things work out in book #3. I do have to say that the book kind of loses steam at the last 10 percent. I just think Connelly wanted to throw in a twist without seeing if it worked and then we are left going wait did I miss something? This also I think is a bit shorter than his usual novels. I got to the 87 percent mark on my Kindle and that was it. The book just does sneak peeks and an interview with Connelly.

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text 2019-06-17 15:20
BLOG TOUR, REVIEW & #GIVEAWAY - The Scarecrow & George C by Mia Kerick
The Scarecrow & George C - Mia Kerick

@XpressoTours, @MiaKerick, #Contemporary, #LGBTQ+, #NewAdult, #Romance, 4 out of 5 (very good)

 

The Scarecrow & George C is the third book of Mia Kerick's I have read, and whilst I didn't enjoy it as much as The Princess of Baker Street, I still thoroughly enjoyed getting to know these characters.

Van (Donovan) is the Scarecrow in this scenario. Through childhood trauma, he is too scared of people to behave 'normally'. So he pushes everyone away, makes them afraid of him, and then feels the loss inside when they believe his facade. George C doesn't believe it though. He sees past that false veneer to the young man inside, scared, hurt, and oh so alone. Both Van and George C have a past though, which could affect their future.

With an interesting and sometimes sorrowful story, this book gripped me from the start. I wanted to see Van change, become all he could be. With George C by his side, it seemed a possibility. And with Van by his side, the world was an oyster for George C. One of the best things about this book was seeing their relationship slowly change, as their feelings did.

There were no editing or grammatical errors in this book, and the characters were excellent. With quirkiness and romance, tragic pasts and hopeful futures, this was a great read I have no hesitation in recommending.

* A copy of this book was provided to me with no requirements for a review. I voluntarily read this book, and the comments here are my honest opinion. *

Merissa
Archaeolibrarian - I Dig Good Books!

Source: archaeolibrarian.wixsite.com/website/single-post/2019/06/17/The-Scarecrow-George-C-by-Mia-Kerick
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review 2019-03-17 08:22
The Scarecrow Trilogy
Area 7 - Matthew Reilly
Scarecrow - Matthew Reilly
Ice Station - Matthew Reilly

This is an attempt to review three novels in one go. As they are all similar/inter-connected, it seems pointless to tackle each individually.

 

Matthew Reilly is an oddity – An Australian writer who has cracked into the action/espionage market. The stories move at breakneck speed, from his ‘Wonders’ series to this batch of ‘Scarecrow’ tales.

 

We follow the fantastic journey of a US Marine, call sign Scarecrow. He is no ordinary Marine. Not once, but thrice, the fate of the world rests on his shoulders. It’s tough enough to be sparring with other nations intent on stopping him, but when he realises he has traitors within his team, it comes down to Scarecrow to do it solo.

 

I’m sure most of you remember the Choose Your Own Adventure books? For those too young (way to make me feel old!), you got to the end of each page, then had a choice of 2/3 options, and turned to the relevant page for your pick.

 

We are going to do the same here, feel free to mix and match!

 

Scenario:

A – If Trump’s heart stops beating, then airports in the US north will explode. Sorry, I know that’s teasing, what’s a few airports to get rid of the turnip?

B – A cartel of Earth’s richest men are intent on launching nuclear strikes against most of the world’s major cities. Just to make more money.

C – Nations are slaughtering each other to access a UFO stuck under the ice. Scarecrow is fighting SEALS, and is saved by seals.

 

The Bad Guys:

A – The Chinese, the Russians, and parts of the US government. Britain. And the French.

B – Most of his command structure, some of his Marines, and the President’s Men. Britain. And the French.

C – 12 of the world’s richest men employ a bunch of psychotic bounty hunters. And the French. (The Brits helped him this time.)

 

Seriously, he was asked after the last novel what he had against the French. He saw them as perfectly placed to play the modern villain in the absence of Germany/Russia/Japan etc.

 

Destruction:

A – Pretty much everything, including an iceberg, a submarine and a UFO.

B –  Nearly everything, including fighter planes, half his team, Russian bases and a French Castle.

C – Everything, and then more. Seriously, I tried keeping a rough ‘insurance’ count in one of these, and my eyes starting rolling when we hit multiple trillions…

 

No Way!:

A – Climbs up from the launch vehicle to a space shuttle, just before separation. Overpowers crew, flies back to land. All in the space of 15min.

B – Spends up to 7 hours (out of 24) in freezing Antarctic waters. No wonder he is knackered for the final fight.

C – By my count, he loses his trusted sidekick Mother (a brute of a lady) 8 times over the 3 novels. Yet she is there hosting another BBQ at the end of the 3rd novel, making Houdini look like a novice.

 

I think you get the idea…

 

To be honest, you can grab 2 from each category and still fall short of just one novel. When the climax of each draws near, the trials and tribulations Scarecrow has faced flash though his exhausted mind. Then you are reminded he has essentially fought off up to 3 national forces and saved the world in 24 hours – again.

 

I generally don’t read Fantasy. This ebbs awfully close to that shore, but then, what espionage novel doesn’t flirt with that line. If you can suspend reality, then Reilly does a good job of telling a fast paced tale, loaded with action. Judging from the progression, I might need a seatbelt for the next world crisis.

 

** Reilly has also written Hover Car Racer. Originally written as an internet serial, and aimed at YA, this was great! OK, I’m an F1 fan (can’t stand most other motor sport), but this one held me cover to cover. Shows the versatility of Reilly – he has appeal with different audiences, and knows how to pace a story. One could say he chooses the ‘speed’ of his writing…

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text 2018-04-30 13:54
April Wrap-up
Russian Roulette: The Story of an Assassin - Anthony Horowitz
Scorpia Rising - Anthony Horowitz
Scorpia - Anthony Horowitz
Agent 21 - Chris Ryan
End Game - David Baldacci
Live Wire (Myron Bolitar, #10) - Harlan Coben
Annihilation - Jeff VanderMeer
Authority: A Novel - Jeff VanderMeer
Lucifer, Vol. 8: The Wolf Beneath the Tree - Ryan Kelly,Ted Naifeh,Peter Gross,Mike Carey,P. Craig Russell
The Scarecrow - Michael Connelly

14 books in a month.  All really good read of 4 to 4.5 stars read. 

 

I went to a charity second hand book sales. This charity has placed collection books near my office and asked readers to unload their books into the books. These books then be categorized by volunteers and hold in really big second hands book fair. 

 

For USD 1.5 dollars each, you could pick any book you want and brought them home. 

 

I went after work with a coworker. We got around a dozen each. A lot of them are of the Alex Rider series. I even picked up the same book twice, from different zone. My mistake is not a big deal as it is for charity. Plus I could gift this to my coworker who went with me. 

 

So... 

 

Got even more reading ahead of me. 

 

The Alex Rider series. 

 

I like it a lot. It is about a teenager, who was orphaned when young, and lost an uncle. It turned out his uncle was a spy working for MI6. So he got recruited, and used by the MI6. 

 

It is kind of interesting to see that most of the adults in the books are either the bad guys or dishonest adults with little concern for putting a teenager at risk.

 

The story is good enough. 

 

Scorpia - Anthony Horowitz  Scorpia - Anthony Horowitz  

 

The real bad guys starts with Scorpia. An international assassin group. Alex found out more about his father. He was told that he was once an assassin working for this group. And his loyalty to MI6 ended up with him being killed. 

 

Alex was briefly convinced that his father was betrayed by MI6.  One of the woman board member at Scorpia wants to turn Alex Rider to be on their team instead of the MI6. 

 

The plan work, for a short while. He was sent to an assassin assignment. To kill the leader of M16 Mrs Jones. 

 

The story is good and moving along nicely. There are some plot twists. The good thing about YA is that the bad guy usually tell you their evil plan instead of asking the readers to find a lot of clue on what's going on. 

 

The evil plan has to be spoiled and the teenager hero has to save the day. Not that much different with the adult versions. Just less bloody. 

 

A solid 4.5 stars read. 

 

Ark Angel - Anthony Horowitz  Ark Angel - Anthony Horowitz  

 

Alex was shot in the ending of the previous book. 

 

He was lucky that he was not killed. He was in a hospital.

 

The boy in his next room was there and some bad guys tried to kidnap him. Of course, Alex would try to save this boy. So he switch the room no with the boy and let the kidnappers mistook his identity and chase after him.

 

More danger ahead. 

 

The boy's father is thankful and invited Alex to take a trip with them.

 

Only to find out that the father was actually a bad guy.

 

More danger ahead. He tried to set a bomb in space and mayhem and destruction ensured. 

 

Only to have Alex soiled their plan.

 

Another 4 stars solid read. 

 

Snakehead - Anthony Horowitz  Snakehead - Anthony Horowitz  

 

Alex was in space in the end of the previous book.

 

He then fallen back on Earth and picked up by Australian intelligent agent. They tested his skills and kind of manipulated him to work for them.

 

The amount of cruelty involved is being belief. Seriously, how could adults deal with a teenager this way. Instead of wanting to protect him, they tried to use him.

 

This time, he met someone who knew his parents. 

 

He was supposed to go undercover. But his cover is brown and the bad guys already got his real identity.

 

Who rat him out? That's the more juicy part and side story. 

 

Another solid 4 stars read. 

 

Scorpia Rising - Anthony Horowitz  Scorpia Rising - Anthony Horowitz  

 

One of my favorite Alex Rider so far. A 4.5 to 5 stars read. 

 

There are new bad guys in Scorpia. In order to build up their reputation again, they are going to something big. 

 

As for Alex, he was supposed to be left out of any mission. Afterall, he is still a teenager. 

 

A terrorist threat has been made and the only clue is that it would target a school.  He seems to be a perfect guy for the part.

 

So again, there is a threat against Alex's life. This time, a sniper attack at his school. His friend got hurt in the process.

 

Alex has to leave school, and helped with MI6. Of course it is a trap. 

 

Before this book, Alex has suffered a lot. But he seems to be fine so far. 

 

Not this one. A big loss is coming. 

 

Solid 4.5 stars read. 

 

Russian Roulette: The Story of an Assassin - Anthony Horowitz  Russian Roulette: The Story of an Assassin - Anthony Horowitz  

 

A side story. The story is not about Alex but his opponent Yassen. 

 

Yassen background is horrible. He also lost his parents when he was young. He was not treated with kindness and he got involved with Scorpia much too young. 

 

A twist of events made him stayed with Scorpia. He got to know Alex's father, who tried to talk him out of being an assassin.

 

The story is good and give a bit more background of another character other than Alex.

 

Another solid 4 stars read. 

 

 

End Game - David Baldacci  End Game - David Baldacci  

 

The latest installment of Will Robie and Jessica Reel story. 

 

The Blue Man is missing. So Robie is tasked to find him. Reel joined in but was giving Robe the cold shoulder, 

 

Never Robie or Reel is good at taking about their emotion.

 

Robe is under stress. He failed his previous mission and was afraid that his PTSD would affect his performance. 

 

Blue Man went for a fishing trip and lost contact. Robie and Reel arrived at the location only to find hostile skinheads dominating the place.

 

A lot of running around and action. 

 

Also met the old flame of Blue Man.

 

Finally when the bad guys got sorted. Emotion things got sorted too. 

 

But how to deal with this is another story. 

 

A real estate plan to turn an old missile site into luxurious bunker for the rich. 

 

Some interesting plot twists later, and some interesting action at the end. 

Solid 4.5 read. 

 

Live Wire (Myron Bolitar, #10) - Harlan Coben  Live Wire (Myron Bolitar, #10) - Harlan Coben  

 

Myron is a sport agent. But he also got involved into trouble because he seems to be getting himself into trouble while trying to help others.

 

Harlan Coben is a brilliant writer, especially in developing the relation between Myron and Win.

 

Suzze is the former tennis queen. He asked Myron to help find her husband Lex.

 

While trying to find Lex, he run into his sister in law. His brother has lost contacted with Myron. 

 

So now he wants to find his brother. 

 

Quite a bit of running around. The bad guy was at the house of a rock star, keep making solid music with Lex while being hidden.

 

All is not well when Myron take a closer look under the surface. 

 

He called for help. Win stepped in.

 

Win was correctly pointed out the while Myron intention maybe good. He was the one who get into the trouble, while Win has to step in to do what he has to do to save him,

 

Win is a good friend. With a friend like Win, one could do a lot of things that one wouldn't dare on one own. 

 

Solid 4.5 read. 

 

Chris Ryan Extreme: Hard Target: Faster, Grittier, Darker, Deadlier - Chris Ryan  Chris Ryan Extreme: Hard Target: Faster, Grittier, Darker, Deadlier - Chris Ryan  

 

Bloody and action base. Read like a B action movie with a lot of loud sounds of explosions and shootings. 

 

Joe Gardner was ex-military. He lost his arm to an IED. He got a call from an ex-military John Bald saying he was in trouble.

 

Gardner got to Bald only to find that the urgency for a job. A money making illegal one. 

 

He wants out. But got interrupted by some other bad guys who found Bald's location.

 

Now he is offered by MI6 to find Bald, to protect him so that they could get to the even bigger fish.


A lot of persons shot at him. And he fired back.

 

The story left with a clip hanger. 

 

Not a lot of characters developments yet. That's why the movement seems a bit jumpy, with changing from one location to another. The plot seems a bit too complex to get notice by the intelligent agency. And the idea to have Gardner get into trouble and get something done. 

 

Not bad. Not great. But not bad. Solid 4 stars read. 

 

Agent 21 - Chris Ryan  Agent 21 - Chris Ryan  

 

Hard to believe this is from the same writer Chris Ryan. Spy story children version.

 

As I have just finished reading some Alex Rider stories. It is hard not to compare the two.  By comparison, the action is more real, but the characters not as adorable. 

 

Zachary is a teenager who parents were killed in a mass poisoning. 

 

He then recruited to be a spy. They faked his death and give him new identity. 

 

The problem is, he was supposed to be thirteen. There seems to be a lot of manipulation on the part of the adults. 

 

Thirteen can do a lot. But what motivated him to be a spy. Again, there are some secondary supporting characters. But none have developed deep relationship with Zachary yet. 

 

The action part is good. The character part is a bit underdeveloped. 

 

Still a solid 4 stars read. It read like a young Bourne. 

 

Annihilation - Jeff VanderMeer  Annihilation - Jeff VanderMeer  Authority: A Novel - Jeff VanderMeer  Authority: A Novel - Jeff VanderMeer  

 

First two books of a trilogy. 

 

Annihilation is a psycho sci-fi mystery. 

 

Four women scientists were sent into a strange alienated zone to find out what's going on. 

 

It seems to be a organic invasion but all the equipments failed after entering the zone. Previous expeditions were unsuccessful. 

 

What's at play is human psychology. The mistrust is there and the betray also. 

 

They were lost in the zone. And all of them were put into hypnotic suggestions in trying to control them.

 

There were strange writings on the wall. Instead of ink, it is some kind of moss that found the writings.  

 

Strange.  The setting of mood is really good. 

 

Solid 4.5 read. 

 

The second book was about how they survived and being interrogated by government agents. 

 

Again. Who is the liar? What do they all wants? 

 

Control is head of the project and interviewing the biologist. 

 

Everyone is lying. Is it drug or some kind of alien parasite that make people this way? 

 

Very weird. Like sci-fi on an acid trip. 

 

Solid  4 stars read. 

 

 Private: No. 1 Suspect: (Private 4) - James Patterson  Private: No. 1 Suspect: (Private 4) - James Patterson  

 

I have not read any James Patterson before. I bought two of his books and this is the first one. 

 

Seems okay at first. A detective agent head is in trouble. His girlfriend is murdered, found naked on his bed.

 

Look like a frame job.

 

He called his people. And his people is willing to lie for him if he killed someone.

 

The chapters are short and story moved along nicely. 

 

4 stars read. Not enough to motivate me to read the whole series. But good enough to spend time with in a lazy afternoon. 

 

The Scarecrow - Michael Connelly  The Scarecrow - Michael Connelly  

 

A really good read. Very enjoyable. 

 

Jack is a journalist and he was being downsided. 

 

Rachel is a FBI agent. 

 

They teamed up before in the last book Poet.

 

Now Jack is out of a job, he wanted to write book and his investigation into the trunk murder is going to lead him to it.

 

He called Rachel. Jack was in danger and Rachel came to his rescue. 

 

The killer is on to Jack and wanted to eliminate him before he go any further.

 

Another frame job.

 

The killer tried to isolate Jack to frame him for murder by putting a dead body in his house.  Fortunately, Rachel was there.  And it spoiled the killer's plan for Jack. 

 

 

The clever killer has a good plan and able to get away with killing for a long time. 

 

Rachel first made the connection that Jack was being isolated for the kill. Jack made further connection that he lead back to the data center that the law firm and the newsroom has in common.

 

All good and well.

 

Now the killer know Jack is coming closer to the truth.  More violence ensured. 

 

Jack was really brave but not really a good fighter. The action sense is good when Jack has to go into a knife fight with a wine opener. 

 

Good stuff. 

 

 

Nice and smooth. 5 stars read. 

 

Lucifer, Vol. 8: The Wolf Beneath the Tree - Ryan Kelly,Ted Naifeh,Peter Gross,Mike Carey,P. Craig Russell  Lucifer, Vol. 8: The Wolf Beneath the Tree - Ryan Kelly,Ted Naifeh,Peter Gross,Mike Carey,P. Craig Russell  

 

The only graphic novel read this month. Lucifer is a character created by Neil Gaiman and continued by Ryan Kelly, Ted Naifeh, Peter Gross, Mike Crey and P. Craig Russell. 

 

It is pretty good. Lucifer has his core value of seeking freedom. 

 

Michel teamed up with Lucifer to stop the Wolf from poisoning the tree of life.

 

Pretty nice graphic. Meant for adults. It is hard to explain. Just read it. 

 

Very enjoyable 4.5 stars read. 

 

Summary 

 

A fast read month. A lot of stories and it formed an imaginary space in my mind. Like meeting new characters that one has already familiar with. All the books are good pick. Very happy with the finds. 

 

 

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2018-04-30 13:37
Jack and Rachel team-up again to catch killer
The Scarecrow - Michael Connelly

Jack was being downsided. 

 

He got a pink slip. A 12 days notice before clearing his desk.  He also needed to train his replacement Angela Cook, a very green journalist. 

 

A woman was found in car trunk, dead and naked. Jack reported it and was harassed by a caller who claimed the guy was innocent. 

 

Fingerprint found in the car pointed to a person who admitted that he has stolen the car, but didn't kill the woman. 

 

 

When he got into the investigation, he got his credit card cancelled, his bank account cleared out. And his email to his editor and Angela got lost. 

 

He didn't know why so he called the person he trust, Rachel Welling, the FBI that he worked before in catching the Poet. 

 

Rachel was not that enthusiastic at first, but after he told her what bad luck he had in the last 24 hours, Rachel knew he was being isolated and someone is seriously wrong.

 

So she used an excuse for an interview at Ely to fly over to Jack to find out more.

 

With his luck, he did run into the killer. The killer was just about the take action, before he was being deterred by Rachel. 

 

Quickly, they put together the clue that lead to another case. Another case in common with the current one. Another car trunk murder. 

 

In both cases, an alternative suspect was offered up and no one has made the linkage until now.

 

Jack made a discovery on how his email being hacked and bank account manipulated. 

 

Angela was the one who has done the initial search for trunk murder and she has fallen into a IP trap. This trap has alerted the killer of their discovery. 

 

Tracking this site that trap Angela and Jack. Rachel is able to track back to a data center. 

 

It is a very clever setup. 

 

They are seeking help from the data center. When they found another clue that lead to think it might be someone who linked to these murders might be working in the Data Center.

 

At the first half of the book, the killer was having the upper hand and doing the killing and chasing. 

 

In the middle, when more discovery happened, the killer was set on the run and made desperate move. 

 

The killer is clever. And there might be more than one. 

 

The cat and mouse game is really good. The development between Jack and Rachel is good too.

 

It run really smoothly, and it is a really good read. Unputdownable read. 

 

That's why I gave it 5 stars. 

 

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