Gone For Good (Annalisa Vega #1) by Joanna Schaffhausen
Publication Date: August 10th 2021 by Minotaur Books
When Grace Harper, an amateur sleuth, is found murdered in the same way as the victims of the Lovelorn Killer, Detective Annalisa Vega is called into the case. The Lovelorn Killer, a serial murderer active twenty years earlier had the residents in Chicago afraid and alert. He murdered seven women by tying them up, strangling and reviving them over and over until finally choking them to death, but he stopped killing leading police to think he either died or went to prison for another offense.
Annalisa is no stranger to the facts of the cold case since his last victim, Katherine Duffy, was a neighbor, and mother of her first love, Colin. Soon after a grief-stricken Colin left breaking Annalisa’s heart in the process. Her own father, a retired police officer, investigated the crimes as well, but the crimes grew cold and were never solved.
Grace was a member of the Grave Diggers, a group of civilians looking into cold cases, had become obsessed with the Lovelorn Killer case and found new information that made her think she could lure the killer out and catch him. Is this the case of a copycat or is the original killer back?
Annalisa is thrust into the middle of the investigation while having to deal with her past when she’s assigned to work with Detective Nick Carelli, her ex-husband. There’s a lot of personal issues for Annalisa to deal with: her family, Nick and Colin, and things are a bit messy. I’m not sure which guy to root for yet, there are pros and cons with either one, but I’m eager to see how it plays out in future books. I want Annalisa happy!
As far as the case, for the most part I was on board with Annalisa. She did make a reckless decision that made me want to shake her, but I guess it could be chalked up to her feeling like she had no other choice. The ending left me reeling a bit. There were breadcrumbs, so I wasn’t completely blindsided, but it definitely made an impact! I look forward to the next book!
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.