Category Archives: Detective Annalisa Vega Series

Review: Gone for Good by Joanna Schaffhausen

Title: Gone for Good by Joanna Schaffhausen
Detective Annalisa Vega Series Book One
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery, Suspense
Length: 304 pages
Book Rating: B+

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley


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.


Gone for Good by Joanna Schaffhausen is an intriguing mystery starring police Detective Annalisa Vega.

Annalisa is a detective with the Chicago police department and she is eager to stay on a cold case turned sizzling hot. Twenty years ago, the Lovelorn Killer murdered several women then abruptly went dormant. The case was never officially solved but a recent murder provides the chance to bring the killer to justice. Annalisa has a personal stake in the investigation since his last known victim twenty years ago was a friend of her family.

The newest victim is amateur cold case sleuth Grace Harper and her murder is exactly like the earlier cases. Grace is part of the Grave Diggers Group and they have had success in closing old cold cases. Much to Annalisa and the other detective’s dismay, Grace’s computer is missing so they do not know what new information she has uncovered. With the FBI swooping in, Annalisa’s Commander Lynn Zimmer does everything possible to maintain control of the investigation. Will Annalisa and her current partner Detective Nick Carelli unmask the killer before he strikes again?

Annalisa is an intelligent woman with keen instincts. She is not as quick to dismiss tenuous leads as some of her counterparts and she doggedly powers through her exhaustion to follow every possible clue. Annalisa pays attention to details at Grace’s house that she hopes have relevance to their investigation. She is also juggling family problems due to her father’s failing health and an unexpected issue with one of her brothers. Annalisa is also faced with unresolved issues from her past that unexpectedly crop up during the investigation. However, she tries not to allow her personal life to distract her from the search for Grace’s killer.

Gone for Good is a fast-paced and engrossing police procedural. Annalisa is a multi-faceted character with a strong work ethic and wry sense of humor. The secondary cast of characters are well-developed and it will be interesting to watch the various relationships take shape in future books. The investigation into the Lovelorn Killer moves at a steady pace. With unanticipated twists and diabolically clever turns,  Joanna Schaffhausen brings this first installment in the Detective Annalisa Vega series to an absolutely shocking conclusion.

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Filed under Contemporary, Detective Annalisa Vega Series, Gone for Good, Joanna Schaffhausen, Minotaur Books, Mystery, Rated B+, Review, Suspense