Book Review: The Scarecrow, Michael Connelly

The Scarecrow, Michael ConnellyJack McEvoy is a crime journalist whose position has been put at risk – meaning he has only two weeks left in the job. As well as handing over to a younger, cheaper journalist, he decides to go all out to write a final, brilliant story to show his employer what they’re missing. And perhaps he’ll be able to finish his first novel too.

Rather than a newspaper story, McEvoy uncovers a serial killer. He hooks up with Agent Rachel Walling of the FBI in order to investigate. Now, Walling has also appeared in other Connelly books with Harry Bosch – e.g. Echo Park. I love it when authors recycle characters across stories, Jeffrey Deaver does similar tricks.

The investigation focusses on a web hosting firm with a highly secure data centre. The description of “The Farm” (the grid of machines hosting sites) is quite interesting, although it’s a shame that the technicians are so stereotyped (not everyone that works with computer hardware is a long-haired hacker!).

It’s a pretty good story – hard not to have sympathy with McEvoy (who’s ex-wife is quite successful whilst he’s left jobless with few prospects), and there are sufficient twists to keep one’s interest.
Four stars

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