This week on Read it! the incomparable Michael Connelly’s recent release, The Scarecrow.

While I don’t care for police procedurals, I love Connelly’s Harry Bosch series. I mentioned this to Connelly at a writers’ conference once. I think he thought I was a stalker. Regardless, if I enjoy his Bosch books, I’m certainly going to appreciate a non-procedural like The Scarecrow.

What’s it about?
The Scarecrow tells the story of soon-to-be laid off LA Times reporter Jack McEvoy – a victim of downsizing at the newspaper. Jack wants to go out in a blaze of glory by writing the story of all stories: how a drug dealing teen turns to murder. But when Jack discovers the boy’s confession is a fake, that the murder in question is possibly one of a string of serial killings, the game, as they say, is afoot.

Why read it?
Because Michael Connelly wrote it. If that’s not good enough for you, and you’re not a mystery/suspense fan (why are you reading this blog again?) then read The Scarecrow because it is a heartfelt homage and memorial to our nation’s newspapers, many of which are in their death throes. Connelly reminds us that by forfeiting print for the latest and greatest online, we lose something more important than birdcage liners in the trade-off.

Read The Scarecrow to better understand the far-reaching threat of computer technology to individual privacy. Not only is Big Brother watching, but likely a few of your cousins, the guy at the corner gas station, and maybe a serial killer in the next state—or next door.

And finally, if you are a writer, read The Scarecrow because of it’s double point of view: hero and serial killer. Connelly’s execution of the dual perspective is brilliant and a superb lesson for anyone who puts pen to paper.

Want to know more? Read it!

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