It’s a Mystery: The Scarecrow, by Michael Connelly

The Scarecrow (Jack McEvoy, #2)High tech

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The struggles of the newspaper business in the 21st century hit journalist Jack McEvoy full in the face when he’s laid off, not for professional reasons, but because the new owners of the LA Times need to downsize. Jack’s spending his last two weeks investigating the possible emergence of a serial killer, and his initial computer search makes him a target for someone who generally targets beautiful women. When he phones a former lover, FBI Agent Rachel Walling, she quickly discovers that this killer is, technologically speaking, highly sophisticated. Against her better judgment, but to Jack’s delight, Rachel arrives in person to track down the malignant “unsub”.

Author Connelly, whether he’s writing about Harry Bosch, Mickey Haller, or Jack McEvoy, never goes stale, never resorts to stock characters or hackneyed plots. His protagonists have their flaws, sometimes serious ones, and his villains usually have comprehensible reasons for having gone bad. The Scarecrow is no exception. Both Jack and Rachel are go-getters, and while their relationship seems like a natural to the reader, for them it’s not so easy. The bad guy, as usual, is smart and savvy, and he puts the investigators rigorously through their paces.

Recommended to readers who enjoy fresh, intelligent crime procedurals. There’s no one on the current scene who does it better than Michael Connelly.

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