The Scarecrow: A Novel About A Newspaper Reporter in Today’s Newsroom

I recently finished listening to the audiobook version of The Scarecrow by Michael Connelly and I was pleasantly surprised.  The book is a pretty decent thriller/murder mystery style of novel.  But the best part of it was how well it presented the life of a reporter in a newsroom.  The vocabulary of the book was an outstanding highpoint for me as it brought out a rich tapestry of newsroom process and what may be a dying art of newspaper reporting.

The characters were fairly decent and the plot was somewhat predictable, but it is definitely worth reading for any young future journalists out there.  The language is an issue and would keep it out of all but the most liberal of high school campuses, it is laced with the “F” word, but the salty language is a part of many newsroom cultures.

The book is set in the present day and the main character is being RIF’ed by the LA Times.  He is finishing his last two weeks at the newspaper when he hits on what may be the biggest story of his career.  He has to deal with MoJo’s, email, cell phones and all the other trappings of journalism in the 21st Century.

I enjoyed listening to the book, and the reader did a great job.  I did notice one mistake – he said “filling” when the author wrote “filing,” as in turning in a finished story – yet another journalism term.