Readers familiar with Weston’s work will expect a finely paced, credible and thrilling adventure and Scarecrow provides all these elements. Jack’s father found evidence of insider trading at the bank where he worked and leaked the names of those involved to the national press, putting both himself and Jack in great danger. His friend Douglas offered them his hunting lodge in a remote part of Scotland as a secure hideaway and they fled. Jack is bi-polar, his moods and occasional hallucination controlled by the medication he does not always take, so that when he sees a scarecrow apparently catching and eating a bird which has strayed too close to him he feels sure that his mind is simply playing its usual tricks on him.
For once, however, this is not the case. Philbert is a very special scarecrow, a sentient being as a result of the ancient rituals observed when he was created by Annie, mother of Rhoda and wife of Ken, living on the farm nearest to the lodge. Annie, terminally ill with cancer, constructed Philbert to keep watch over the farm and her family after her death and when Jack and Rhoda become friends Philbert extends his duty of care to him. This becomes essential when Jack’s father’s pursuers-with Douglas’ help, find their hiding place and try to make him sign a document saying that the claims he made were false. Mysterious things begin to hinder the thugs’ efforts as Philbert silently and doggedly protects those who he was made to keep safe. The tension is ratched up even further because only Jack knows his secret. Adventure powers through the pages and themes are worn lightly but convincingly. The adjective `unputdownable’ can be overused, but it fits Scarecrow perfectly.