Another re-read of Scarecrow. Amazing, since I love the series, that I had no recollection of it – sometimes my brain’s dysfunction surprises even me. This is pure Matt Reilly. Shane “Scarecrow” Schofield is on a covert ops assignment in Russia when he is attacked. As he fights his way through, he slowly pieces together what is going on. Someone has put a price tag on the 15 best “warriors” in the world, Mossad, Special Forces, Delta, MI-6, Hamas, SAS, etc. All have a bounty of $20 million on their heads, and must be dead by noon that day, with their heads delivered to a castle in France. It takes awhile to figure all this out, but Schofield is helped out by “Mother,” his girlfriend Libby Gant, “Book,” and the rest of his small team. Helped by a mysterious bounty hunter named “the Black Knight,” he keeps on following the trail to find out who is behind this and why. They are all over the world, chasing and being chased, and flying by the seat of their maghooks. The who is not as important as the why, and finding that will take all his skill and the help of Aloysius Knight, his guardian angel. Typical breakneck Reilly pace, but as always, he manages to imbue his characters with personalities in few words, more by way of action. And not all are as cookie cutter as they may seem. Over the series of books, each becomes clearer, and some get lost along the way, as in real life, but never forgotten. This is not for the faint at heart, or those looking for a great literary classic. But if you like pulse-pounding excitement, non-stop action, and improbable and impossible stunts (think 007, MI) then this is for you, but I would recommend going back and reading Ice Station and then Area 7 first. It’s not necessary, but there are occasional references to those missions, so it wouldn’t hurt.
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