Friday, February 9, 2024

Review - Gone For Good

Title:  Gone For Good
Author Joanna Schaffhausen
Series:   Detective Annalisa Vega #1
Publisher:  Minotaur Books
Genre:   Mystery & Thrillers
Format:  Kindle ARC
No. of Pages:   294
Date of Publication:   August 10, 2021
My Rating:   5 Stars

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.


When a murder shrine is discovered, it is clear that a killer is back, The Lovelorn Killer. Detective Annalisa Vega is currently partnered with her ex-husband Nick, a man she was married to for only a short time. A victim of twenty years ago and a victim now have the same signature. 

When Annalisa and other members of the police enter the victim's apartment, they discover a murder wall. A wall that goes back two decades to a brutal killer that seemed to have completely disappeared. This leads to the Gravediggers Group, amateur sleuths who dig and dig into unsolved cases. As the victim, Grace Harper, was a part of that group, the investigation starts there. 

The case is personal to Annalisa as one of the victims of the Lovelorn Killer was someone she knew. Someone she was close to. Now as the killer is definitely back in action, Annalisa, Nick, and even the Graveyard Group, are determined to stop them for good.

The more Annalisa digs, the more she finds herself in the direct site of the killer. Will she discover the killer's identity before she herself becomes a victim? Then, Annalisa's past presents itself to her in a completely different manner. Determined to navigate the past with her present, Annalisa never once lets up.

What a fabulous introduction to a new series for the determined detective. This book was so good, that I had to immediately move onto Long Gone, book two in the Detective Annalisa Vega series.


Joanna Schaffhausen wields a mean scalpel, skills she developed in her years studying neuroscience. She has a doctorate in psychology, which reflects her long-standing interest in the brain―how it develops and the many ways it can go wrong. Previously, she worked as a scientific editor in the field of drug development. Prior to that, she was an editorial producer for ABC News, writing for programs such as World News Tonight, Good Morning America, and 20/20. She lives in the Boston area with her husband and daughter.

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