Source: Review copy
Publication: 26 May 2020
Length: 10 hours 14 minutes
ASIN no: B082975V1M
Jack McEvoy is a reporter with a track record in finding killers. But he’s never been accused of being one himself.
Jack went on one date with Tina Portrero. The next thing he knows, the police are at his house telling Jack he’s a suspect in her murder.
Maybe it’s because he doesn’t like being accused of a crime he didn’t commit. Or maybe it’s because the method of her murder is so chilling that he can’t get it out of his head.
But as he uses his journalistic skills to open doors closed to the police, Jack walks a thin line between suspect and detective – between investigation and obsession – on the trail of a killer who knows his victims better than they know themselves…
I love the Jack McEvoy books and Fair Warning is a cracker. Both a love letter to journalism and an exciting serial killer thriller, Fair Warning is a must read.
Jack McEvoy, once LA Times reporter turned author, is working for an internet based, non-profit consumer news organisation called Fair Warning. Jack is an intrepid journalist and solver of crimes but all too sadly prone to self-sabotage in matters of the heart.
Fair Warning is a real news organisation; Connelly is on the Board and as a post-script he has a discussion with its editor, Myron Levin which explains what Fair Warning is and why it is important in an era of declining investment in newspaper journalism and a rising prevalence of fake news.
Jack works as a consumer investigative journalist at Fair Warning and when he is questioned by the police for having once been to the home of Tina Portrero, a woman he picked up in a bar – and that woman was subsequently murdered some time later- he starts to look into her case. What he discovers is a link to the murder of other women, and that link plays directly to his role as a consumer journalist.
Finding his way around the unregulated world of ancestry determination – involving DNA analysis, Jack discovers that we are all giving away knowledge of ourselves far too cheaply in a free for all world which chooses not to regulate this industry at all.
In his quest to find the serial killer Jack McEvoy does not miss his opportunity to bring in former FBI agent and profiler Rachel Walling, a woman who captured his heart in The Poet only for him to throw it away in a cloud of mistrust and self-doubt. Jack, a fellow reporter and Rachel work together to establish the existence of a pathological serial killer known as The Shrike. As ever, Connelly has his finger on the pulse and he references the rise of pockets of Incel groups of men who are the worst kind of misogynists, fuelled by their hatred of women.
Fair Warning is Connelly at his best. Great characters, fast paced action, miles of authenticity and a brilliantly plotted story all come together beautifully.
Fair Warning is fascinating, intense and exciting. Connelly is such a brilliant writer that his plots never fail to surprise and delight. He can build the tension to such a peak that your heart races and you just have to know what’s coming next.
I love the Bosch/Ballard novels too, but there’s something about Jack McEvoy that makes me think this is Connelly going back to his roots – to what he loves best, and it shows in the way this book is crafted.
Easily read as a stand-alone, the audiobook is narrated by Peter Giles, who also read The Scarecrow and makes for a fabulous listen.
Verdict: Tense and thrilling with layered and detailed plotting, and masses of suspense, this is another terrific book from a writer at the top of his game.
A former police reporter for the Los Angeles Times, Michael Connelly is the internationally bestselling author of the Harry Bosch series, and several other bestsellers including the highly acclaimed legal thriller, The Lincoln Lawyer. The TV series – Bosch – is one of the most watched original series on Amazon Prime and is now in its third season. He has been President of the Mystery Writers of America, and his books have been translated into thirty-nine languages and have won awards all over the world, including the Edgar and Anthony Awards. He spends his time in California and Florida.