A Book Spy Review: ‘Fair Warning’ by Michael Connelly

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Veteran reporter Jack McEvoy, the hero of The Poet and The Scarecrow, is back in the starring role in this new nail-biting thriller from Michael Connelly.

When readers catch back up with McEvoy here, he’s well past his days as a bestselling crime writer. Instead, he’s gone back to his roots—journalism—and is now reporting for an online media outlet called Fair Warning. His semi-boring life is suddenly turned upside down when a woman named Christina, whom he had a fling with months prior, winds up dead, and Jack suddenly finds himself at the center of the police investigation into her gruesome murder. With all eyes on him, he does what he does best, and goes digging for the truth, accidentally shining a spotlight on a serial killer nobody even knew existed in the process.

As it turns out, the strange way in which Christina’s neck was broken isn’t a rarety after all. In fact, Jack is able to link the cause of death to a number of other murders and soon believes one person is to blame for the repeated method of killing. What started out as a mission to clear his name quickly turns into a race to stop the deranged serial killer from claiming any more victims, but tracking them down won’t be easy with investigators watching his every move.

Connelly, one of the finest writers alive today, certainly knows his way around a crime thriller—and he’s true to form here. For readers sad that his famed LAPD detective isn’t front and center, it’s worth noting that this is easily one of the darkest stories Connelly has written in years, and it makes sense that he’d pick McEvoy over Harry Bosch to anchor the gritty, often mildly-disturbing plot. More mystery than procedural, Connelly holds readers in suspense until the thrilling climax, delivering another very solid and enjoyable reading experience for his legion of faithful readers.

There’s a reason Michael Connelly is the best crime writer in the game today, and Fair Warning only further cements that claim.

Book Details

Author: Michael Connelly
Series: Jack McEvoy #3
Pages: 416 (Hardcover)
ISBN: 0316539422
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Release Date: May 26, 2020
Real Book Spy Rating: 8.5/10

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Praised as “One of the hardest working, most thoughtful, and fairest reviewers out there” by #1 New York Times bestselling author Lisa Scottoline, Ryan Steck has “quickly established himself as the authority on mysteries and thrillers” (Author A.J. Tata). Steck also works full-time as a freelance editor and pens a monthly thriller column for CrimeReads. For more information, be sure to follow him on Twitter and Facebook. He currently lives in Southwest Michigan with his wife and their six children.

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