2022 Reading Challenge

2022 Reading Challenge
Jill Elizabeth has read 5 books toward her goal of 260 books.
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Book Review: Long Gone by Joanna Schaffhausen

About the Book

Chicago detective Annalisa Vega shattered her life, personally and professionally, when she turned in her ex-cop father for his role in a murder. Her family can’t forgive her. Her fellow officers no longer trust her. So when detective Leo Hammond turns up dead in a bizarre murder, Annalisa thinks she has nothing to lose by investigating whatever secrets he hid behind the thin blue line.

Annalisa quickly zeroes in on someone who had good reason to want Hammond dead: a wealthy, fast-talking car salesman who’d gotten away with murder once and wasn’t about to let Hammond take a second shot. Moe Bocks remains the number one suspect in his girlfriend’s brutal unsolved death, and now he’s got a new woman in his sights—Annalisa’s best friend.

Annalisa is desperate to protect her friend and force Bocks to pay, either for Hammond’s death or his earlier crime. But when no one else believes the connection, she takes increasingly risky chances to reveal the truth. Because both Hammond and Bocks had secrets to die for, and if she doesn’t untangle them soon, Annalisa will be next.

My Review

I absolutely love the way Joanna Schaffhausen tells a story! I feel like I write that in every one of my reviews of her books, but it continues to be true.

I really enjoy the Annalisa Vega series, as much as (albeit in a different way than) the Ellery Hathaway books. I like that this is a protagonist who gets tested time and time again and yet manages to stick to her beliefs – and guns – despite an ever-increasing slate of odds that seem stacked against her on all fronts. I also like that these books are not quite as dark yet still offer an emotional panoply as well as a lot of dramatic build up.

Characterization is one of the things Schaffhausen does particularly well though, and both series regulars and newly introduced characters are rich,
robust, and relatable. I am particularly enjoying the way the relationship between Vega and Nick Carelli is developing, as well as the furtherance of her familial relationships in this second book. The ending of this installment really opened some doors on that front and I’m very curious to see where the author takes her characters next.

On top of that long-range development, I really enjoy the individual cold-case explorations of each of these stories. I read a lot of detective stories, mysteries and thrillers, and yet despite an abundance of experience with these types of stories, Schaffhausen manages to surprise me with the originality of her case investigations and the personality quirks and foibles of her characters at every turn. Things like the diving suit are odd and unexpected and yet exactly the kind of details that make a story more believable for all their oddities.

I really love this series and already can’t wait for the next book!

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for my obligation-free review copy.

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