Being a career journalist, I’m usually leery of novels about reporters. I’ve picked up too many written by someone who’s never been on the cop beat pushing nouns against verbs for a living. When a friend recommended this “great” book about a reporter, the old reservation reared its head. However, when she added that it was by Michael Connelly, I immediately ordered it. Not only is Connelly, well, Michael Connelly, but he also started his career as a reporter.
Fair Warning opens with veteran investigative journalist Jack McEvoy grousing that he likes the headline he’s written, but since editors–not reporters–write the headlines it probably wouldn’t make the cut. Nothing makes fiction better than a hefty dose of reality.
Connelly has penned a deal to bring Fair Warning to the screen. According to Deadline, involved in the production are heavy hitters Denis O’Sullivan and Jeff Kalligheri of Compelling Pictures, and two-time Emmy nominee Jeffrey Pollack. There’s been no announcement yet about who will play McEvoy. With the first two novels featuring the reporter, The Poet and The Scarecrow, also being bestsellers, I’m hoping for a television series along the lines of Harry Bosch.
In Fair Warning, a one-night stand doesn’t end quite as satisfying for Jack McEvoy as he’d thought. The following evening, he encounters investigators outside his home and finds himself drawn into a brutal homicide case–with himself top of the suspect list.
Ignoring warnings from both the police and his editor to steer clear, Jack pushes on with his own investigation. His editor isn’t happy about the senior reporter at Fair Warning, an on-line consumer protection investigation site, being under suspicion. Jack’s also reminded that he’s not on the police beat any more.
As Jack continues to search public records and work his sources, it becomes clear that a vicious and ruthless killer has been plying his brutality undetected and unfettered across the country. To identify the killer, Jack knows he must determine why these victims were selected and what connects them–and why the attacks were so vicious.
Jack discovers a common thread tethering the victims: a desire to know more about their DNA–and the use of one private lab. He now has his consumer protection angle and support of his editor. He reunites with Rachel Walling, his former lover and former FBI agent, now a private investigator.
In the loosely regulated DNA-for-profit world, budding genealogists are promised anonymity as they discover their ancestry. However, the companies keep the rights to that information to study–and sell–as they desire. Jack can hear the clock ticking as he rushes to find and protect the one source who can lead him to the killer–if she lives long enough.
Fair Warning is an excellent thriller–fast paced, tense, and frighteningly educational. Readers are given a glimpse behind the cloak of the dark web, where the abnormal desires and vengeance of the twisted are satiated.
Michael Connelly is the author of 35 previous novels including the No. 1 New York Times bestsellers The Night Fire and Dark Sacred Night. He’s the author of the wildly popular Harry Bosch series, which has been adapted into a Amazon Prime original series. He’s also the author of The Lincoln Lawyer series, and the creator and host of the Murder Book podcast. His books have sold more than 74 million copies and have been translated in 40 languages. To learn more about this incredible talent and his impressive catalog of work, visit his website www.Michaelconnelly.com. and follow him on social media.