Thursday, June 25, 2009

Book 37 of 52 -- Michael Connelly's The Scarecrow

Ever wonder what the ratio of serial killers to the general population is in real life as opposed to mass popular entertainment?

Real serial killers are probably a huge minority, perhaps even a protected class which is why they get so much ink and film.

Therefore, if one's going to write a novel which a good chunk is devoted to the serial killer's point of view, at least spend more than a few nebulous sentences and old Doors song lyrics explaining "why".

Instead, Connelly rushes for the finish line with the hero stumbling upon the killer's identity with a deus ex machina that would have embarrassed Eurpides.

That, combined with the woefully underwritten female FBI agent (in a recurring appearance, no less), and predictable plotting, makes The Scarecrow a below average thriller.

However, The Scarecrow is saved from being completely disposable by the fascinating and frightening description of what is happening to the print newspaper industry.

There Connelly is at his best, and there is where he exhibits the passion that unfortunately doesn't exist in the rest of the novel.

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