Gone For Good is the first in a new mystery series from award-winning author Joanna Schaffhausen, featuring Detective Annalisa Vega, in which a cold case heats up.
The Lovelorn Killer murdered seven women, ritually binding them and leaving them for dead before penning them gruesome love letters in the local papers. Then he disappeared, and after twenty years with no trace of him, many believe that he’s gone for good.
Not Grace Harper. A grocery store manager by day, at night Grace uses her snooping skills as part of an amateur sleuth group. She believes the Lovelorn Killer is still living in the same neighborhoods that he hunted in, and if she can figure out how he selected his victims, she will have the key to his identity.
Detective Annalisa Vega lost someone she loved to the killer. Now she’s at a murder scene with the worst kind of déjà vu: Grace Harper lies bound and dead on the floor, surrounded by clues to the biggest murder case that Chicago homicide never solved. Annalisa has the chance to make it right and to heal her family, but first, she has to figure out what Grace knew—how to see a killer who may be standing right in front of you. This means tracing his steps back to her childhood, peering into dark corners she hadn’t acknowledged before, and learning that despite everything the killer took, she has still so much more to lose.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book! The murder mystery surrounding the Lovelorn Killer kept me turning the pages until the very end of the story. I really liked the concept of the Grave Diggers cold case amateur sleuthing group and how they influence the police investigation of the Lovelorn Killer serial murders when the killer resurfaces after a twenty year absence. Detective Annalisa Vega is assigned the case, and she’s the quintessential lone wolf detective, willing to sacrifice anything and anyone to catch the killer. (And she does–which is the single miss for me in this otherwise engaging story.) I can’t say more without spoilers.
Annalisa’s love triangle with her partner/ex-husband Nick, and the-one-who-got-away first love, Colin, gave the novel romantic levity in an otherwise dark tale. Given that this reviewer has been multi-published in the romance genre, their triangle was my favorite subplot of the book. I hope Nick and Colin appear in future stories to compete for Annalisa’s (very broken) heart. I look forward to reading more in this series to see how it develops.
Many thanks to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press/Minotaur Books for providing an ARC of Gone For Good to read and review.
Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/3866689403
Amazon Link: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/125026460X/