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The Scarecrow by Michael Connelly
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's review
May 22, 2011

really liked it

This is Connelly's second book about crime reporter Jack McEnvoy. In the first book he was a reporter for a newspaper in Boulder, CO, but he worked on a case that took him to LA. When this book opens, he has been in LA for several years and has the murder beat for the LA Times, but he is about to be laid off due to staff cuts. To add insult to injury, he has two weeks to train his replacement.

Connelly likes to link major characters from his books. In the first book where Jack was the main character, he was one of Connelly's typical loner male characters. In this book we learn that while he has been living in LA he has been married to and divorced from Keisha Russell, a reporter that Harry Bosch sometimes worked with. Since the divorce Keisha is now working for a paper in DC. Connelley's books are as much about complex relationships between his characters as they are about hunting down the bad guys.

Connelly always gives brief background as to what happened in previous books, but you really need to read them in order.

In this book Connelly shows us what the psychopathic killer, the Scarecrow, is thinking in one chapter. Then in the next chapter we see how Jack gets involved in the case. He also gets involved with disgraced FBI agent Rachel Walling, with whom he has had a previous relationship. She also had a previous relationship with Harry Bosch. Her relationship with Harry is alluded to in the book, but his name isn't mentioned. Kind of an inside for fans who read all of his books. Rachel was moved to the Dakotas because she had a relationship with Jack on another case. Relationships with reporters are a no-no. She worked her way back to LA with a case she worked with Harry.

Connelly doesn't go back and forth chapter by chapter, but we do have several chapters where we know what The Scarecrow is thinking and in the end we learn about how he got so messed up. Another interesting book from Connelly.
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