When the title “Scarecrow” stood out on the cover of a Matthew Reilly book, I knew it would be good. I had read the first two books of the series, and I knew the central character and his quirks and such. The title indicated that this book would be about him and not about something else that he runs into.
A list of names, fifteen in total, and every name on the list has to be dead by a particular time. The price on each head (literally) is huge, and as we are told later, this is a bounty hunt that’s very rare. On the list is a certain USMC captain, Shane “Scarecrow” Schofield. Scarecrow and his team member Buck “Book II” Riley are in Siberia, set to meet up with two Delta groups, also led by two who are on the kill list. Both Delta groups and all Marines except for Scarecrow and Book are eliminated in Siberia when they are targeted by bounty hunters. From there, the action moves to Afghanistan where Gena “Mother” Newman and Elizabeth “Fox” Gant are on a mission. There are kill list targets there too. They also find an unexpected ally there. Working on Scarecrows orders, David Fairfax unearths details and also helps when the time comes. Also working from information they find in London (when they go to talk to a kill list target), Book II unravels that the reason these fifteen men are on the list is that only they can unlock the security system on missiles that are set to fire on various cities in the world, in order to cause a Cold War. Can they do it?
Good heavens. If Area 7 had pace aplenty, this book has double of that. Seeing Scarecrow’s name in the list itself helped the page to turn, and the action in Siberia helped. I still remember Fairfax’s dialogue “Slow day huh?” when Scarecrow tells him of the action in Siberia. I like the characterization here… almost a perfect villain in Killian, slow and methodical, just like the Scarecrow. And the character of Knight as well… an unexpected ally for Scarecrow. Yes, the action borders on unbelievable again, but it was somehow expected this time. What I didn’t like was that the author kills off a major character.
I’m not quite sure if the series is being made into a film, but the new cover designs are not that nice. I hope they bring back some originality there. Cover or not, the book remains a favorite of mine.
|Title: Scarecrow||Series: Shane Schofield #3|
|Author(s): Matthew Reilly||Genre: Thriller|
|ISBN/ASIN: 9780330513470||Publisher: Pan MacMillan|
|No. of Pages: 544||Price: Rs. 399|
(© 26th April 2015)