Fair Warning

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Let me just say this about Michael Connelly. His prose is workmanlike; no danger of confusing him with (say) Tana French. His dialogue can be clunky. His characters only have enough depth to explain their actions.

But no other writer can get me turning pages like Connelly. What happens next? Tell me, Mike, I gotta know!

This is the third entry in Connelly's "Jack McAvoy" series. Jack, having helped catch serial killers "The Poet" and "The Scarecrow" is now put on the track of "The Shrike". Who is in the habit of picking up sexually adventuresome women in bars, having his way with them, then killing them via atlanto-occipital dislocation, a technique you've probably seen in some action movie. By sheer coincidence, one of his victims is a lady with whom Jack had a one night stand months previous. Which makes him a suspect, so the LAPD's non-finest come knocking. (Harry Bosch would have cleared this up faster.)

Jack's working for an online newspaper, FairWarning (which actually used to exist), a consumer watchdog. Homicide is not the paper's mission, but Jack is intrigued by the crime he's sort of connected to, and he brings his investigative skills back to life. He also ropes in ex-FBI "profiler" Rachel Walling. They uncover a sordid trail involving a shady DNA-analysis company, some pathetic misogynists, and a truly devious murderer.

I should also add one more thing about Connelly: I think he and Robert Crais have some sort of contest to see how many words they can devote to describing their characters' driving routes around LA. "The freeway entrance looped around then I was heading south on the 170. I took one of the 101 merge lanes and got the car up to sixty."