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review 2020-06-28 19:51
The Scarecrow
The Scarecrow - Michael Connelly

The main reason why I am not giving this five stars is that it's a bit much that Jack keeps facing off against killers. It's okay that he's a reporter and that's it. Also the story gets a little lost at times I thought. It picks up when Jack meets Rachel again, but I wish that Connelly actually spent more time in going into Jack's life up until this book. We just get a really quick series of things dropped on us as readers. Jack is now divorced (to who?) is working for the paper (what happened to his book thing? We get that addressed eventually) what happened to his sister in law? What happened with his parents? There's a lot of things I still don't think got addressed int his one. I am glad I finished though since I plan to read the next book in this series soon.


"The Scarecrow" picks up 12 years after the events in the first book in the Jack McEvoy series. Jack is working for the Los Angeles Times and is number 99 on the list of journalists who are getting RIFed (I work for the government, we have a fear of that acronym). Jack is told to train his replacement (which ouch people) and decides on the last two weeks of the job to look into a case where a grandmother says her grandson did not murder a woman and leave her body in a trunk. Jack quickly runs down leads and realizes that it appears a serial killer is on the loose. He calls up ex-lover Rachel Walling who is still with the FBI. Rachel initially dismisses Jack, but soon enough realizes he may be telling the truth. The two of them go head to head with a serial killer who seems to know their every move.


So first off, I ended up liking Jack more in this one. The petulance of the character seems to be way down in this installment. He still tries to get indignant about things, but it didn't bug me as much as it did in the first book. We know that Jack has been keeping tabs on Rachel, and Rachel rightfully so has wanted nothing to do with him since the events in the first book. I liked the two of them together in this one and I definitely enjoyed it when Rachel explains about the whole "one bullet" theory. We get more characters in this one, but I have to say that I didn't really have interest in the "Scarecrow." Per usual we get some hints about the serial killer in this one, but nothing is ever definitely found in the end. I think I like Bosch novels more because at least with Harry, he's chasing down leads so you can see the full picture of the bad guy(s) that he is after.


The writing was good in this one, it's a bit different since Connelly rails at times about how the world of journalism has changed because of the internet. I wonder how Connelly would change up this book in the year of 2020 with so many newspapers and sites going under?


The flow was off a bit, since Connelly switches between Jack's POV and then the "Scarecrow.". Those sections were so short that you won't miss anything by skipping them. They started to read very repetitive after a while.


The ending leaves things on a new note with Jack and am interested to see how things work out in book #3. I do have to say that the book kind of loses steam at the last 10 percent. I just think Connelly wanted to throw in a twist without seeing if it worked and then we are left going wait did I miss something? This also I think is a bit shorter than his usual novels. I got to the 87 percent mark on my Kindle and that was it. The book just does sneak peeks and an interview with Connelly.

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review 2020-06-15 16:55
Blue on Black (Harry Bosch 14.5)
Blue on Black - John Connelly

What a great short story by Connelly! I had no idea that he even wrote some stand alone stories starring Harry Bosch. This one was great and we even get some interaction with a character familiar to longstanding readers, Rachel Walling. 

"Blue on Black" is a short story between Connelly's "Nine Dragons" and "The Drop." Harry thinks that a man that they have been following, named Denniger is responsible for two young women who are missing. Harry asks FBI agent Rachel Walling to look at what he has so far in order to help him figure out if Denniger is their man.


I liked how the story came together and the role that Rachel plays with things. Connelly is able to evoke so much emotion in this story with Harry wanting to make sure that the two young men have someone that stands for them. I know a lot of people complained this was too short, but to me I thought it was pitch perfect. It made me want to go back and re-read the Harry Bosch series. 

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review 2019-07-01 15:15
What a Waste of Time
Void Moon - Michael Connelly

I don't want to even see the word "void" for a month. It's repeated throughout this book and also moons are shown. I just wanted to finish this so I could count it to Horror Aficionados ABC Challenge. If it wasn't for that, I would have DNFed this thing on Sunday. 


"Void Moon" follows Cassie Black. Cassie we find out through a long winding road is an ex-felon. She decides to take one last heist in order to get enough funds to kidnap her daughter who was adopted at birth. I throw in that last part so you can get why I wasn't rooting for Cassie. She's self absorbed and due to her actions causes a lot of damage to people. I found out after the fact she appears in "The Narrows" and is referred to in other Harry Bosch books. That said, she didn't need a standalone. I did not care a whit about her and the other characters in this book were underdeveloped and a mess.


The book takes a really long time to get going. We start off with Cassie touring a house and I was able to put two and two together rather quickly. I didn't get all of the details right, but enough to just hard sigh through everything. I have to say that the twists in this book were just ridiculous after a while. The heist plot didn't work for me and then we found out about a plot towards the end that made zero sense to me. 


Of course the heist goes wrong and then the book starts to also follow Jack Karch. Karch is a psychopath. I got nothing else but that. He has a tenuous connection to Cassie and the guy seems to get off on "winning" at all costs. Connelly follows Cassie and Karch as they run around causing havoc in Las Vegas and Los Angeles. 


I can't say much about anyone else in this book. They were merely there to either be killed or help out Cassie. 

The writing was typical Connelly, but without Bosch to ground the book I just didn't care. Reading about how to burgle a room and steal from a mark had me yawning. I should have just rewatched Ocean's Eleven again. The flow was awful from start to finish. Everything read very disjointed because I think that Connelly wanted to throw out surprises/twists to readers. Instead I just hard shrugged through most of it. 

The ending just fell flat. I think the biggest issue I had was this book does not matter in the Bosch universe at all. I rather have another Haller book. 


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