The Scarecrow

Baby boomers facing unhappy, significant life changes, seem to be the common thread in the fiction I’ve read lately – that and finding themselves mixed up in plots of grisly murders.   In Exit Music it was retirement, in The Scarecrow by Michael Connelly, crime reporter Jack McEvoy is being laid off by the Los Angeles Times.

However, in spite of the raw deal served up by the LAT, McEvoy gets to reunite with former flame FBI Agent Rachel Walling, track serial killers and help free Alonzo Winslow, wrongly accused of murder, and maybe even snag a Pulitzer.  Not bad, not dull.

I enjoy Connelly’s writing style, creepy villains and attention to detail.  He is a former newspaper writer, crime beat, so the newsroom scenes ring true.  And this novel weaves technology into the plot to the same degree as motive and character development.  There is a harrowing description of identity theft, hackers and what technology was doing to the newspaper business.  I found the following interesting:

“It used to be you wanted the ad on the back of the Yellow Pages,” Danny told us.  “Nowadays you’ll get more business with a bang-up web site through which the potential client can make immediate connection and contact.”

I nodded and wished I could tell Danny that I was well versed in how the Internet had changed the world.  I was one of the people it had run over.

I enjoyed The Scarecrow very much as I do all Connelly’s books.