In preparation for a road trip away from the great prairies I picked up Michael Connelly's 2008 novel The Scarecrow.
I've had mixed reactions to Connelly's books ever since son Jim introduced me to them. Connelly is a great story teller. He weaves together intricate plots and creates fascinating characters. But I take his story telling too literally. The bad guys he invents are really bad guys. The crimes they commit are about the most reprehensible that Connelly can imagine.
There's only so much imaginary awfulness that I want to read about.
That was especially true for me as I read The Scarecrow. It didn't help that I was reading this one while in one of the earth's most beautiful places.
The plot is about a serial killer who is more of a criminal mastermind than Lex Luthor ever could be. Reporter Jack McEvoy is being laid off by his cost-cutting newspaper and is out to write a story good enough to embarrass his soon-to-be-ex bosses. FBI agent Rachel Walling has resigned under pressure for using a Bureau airplane under questionable circumstances. She has a reputation to protect and scores to settle as well.
I was engaged and drawn along by Connelly's story telling over half way through the book. Then the beauty of a mountain sunrise convinced me that I didn't have to read a book about some of the worst human depravity -- even if the good guys might win in the end.
I put it aside. Maybe I'll go back and finish it someday.
Have you read The Scarecrow? What did you think? Write and tell this little bit of the world.
- The author's web site
- Jeffrey Trachtenberg's review in the Wall Street Journal
- Rege Behe's review in the Pittsburgh Tribune Review