Connelly's hero gets laid off, blogged

The-Scarecrow.jpgI just started reading Michael Connelly's latest Los Angeles mystery "The Scarecrow," and it feels hot off the presses. He's got the Rocky Mountain News shut down in Denver, newspapers all over in trouble, and on page nine his main character — a star crime reporter at the Los Angeles Times named Jack McEvoy who has appeared before in Connelly's books — gets laid off. McEvoy confronts the end of his journalism career and has conversations about the paper being re-populated by young "puppies" who know technology but nothing about reporting. The city editor tells McEvoy he'll be missed:

Think of all the great journalism we've seen in our lifetimes. The corruption exposed, the public benefit. Where's that going to come from now with every paper in the country getting shredded? Our government? No way. TV, the blogs? Forget it....corruption will be the new growth industry without the papers watching.

Connelly, if you can't tell, had been a police beat reporter at the Times before hitting the best-seller list in the mid 1990s. He includes a lot of up-to-date newsroom scenery

Also this: Within minutes of McEvoy getting axed, he gets a call from a blogger, a former Times staffer who's a "self-appointed watchdog and chronicler of the inner workings of the L.A. Times." His blog, The Velvet Coffin, is "avidly and secretly read by everyone in the newsroom." Their conversation:

Against my better judgment I took the call...

"I just heard," he said


"Just now."

"How? I just found out myself five minutes ago."

"Come on Jack, you know I can't reveal. But I've got the place wired...."

This book also brings back FBI agent Rachel Walling. Connelly's website has a film featuring her and other extras — and promises no spoilers.

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