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Gone for Good


Gone for Good

The Lovelorn Killer terrorized the Chicago area when he murdered seven innocent women before disappearing into the sunset. These ritualistic killings included torture and blinding his victims prior to leaving them for dead. He shared his sick process by way of love letters written to those he had killed, which he sent to the local newspaper.

Twenty years have passed, and only those who were directly impacted by these murders speaks to the Lovelorn Killer anymore. One of those individuals who cannot let him and his murderous acts fade away forever is grocery store manager/amateur sleuth Grace Harper. Grace passionately believes that this brutal killer is still traveling among the very locations where he had claimed his victims, waiting for the precise moment to start up another round of slayings.

"With her extensive work in the field of psychology, Joanna Schaffhausen has chosen the right kind of novel to wield her powerful crime narrative."

One person who might give some credence to Grace’s assertions is Detective Annalisa Vega. Annalisa lost someone to the Lovelorn Killer back in the day; if he is indeed still out there waiting to pounce again, she wants to be the one to bring him to justice once and for all. We are blessed throughout GONE FOR GOOD with Grace’s original notes, and she is surprisingly astute in her claims and deductions about the Lovelorn Killer.

Annalisa is called upon to locate Grace, who has missed a couple of shifts at the store, which is very out of character for her. Sadly she finds Grace’s body --- nude, lying face down, hands and feet tied together in a series of complicated slipknots --- amidst photos of other deceased women in a sort of murder shrine. Annalisa is convinced that the Lovelorn Killer is back, and now she must inform the surviving family members of his previous victims that he may be seeking some sick form of revenge against those connected to his past crimes.

Jumping back into this case will open long-closed wounds while also exploring some fresh territory. One angle involves a group that refers to themselves as the Gravediggers, which includes some members of law enforcement in their clandestine faction. What this book does best is to humanize the work done by those who dedicate their lives to bringing serial killers to justice and the scars that are left behind.

With her extensive work in the field of psychology, Joanna Schaffhausen has chosen the right kind of novel to wield her powerful crime narrative. She has stated that GONE FOR GOOD is the start of a new series, and I already am looking forward to her next adventure.

Reviewed by Ray Palen on September 17, 2021

Gone for Good
by Joanna Schaffhausen

  • Publication Date: August 9, 2022
  • Genres: Fiction, Mystery
  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Minotaur Books
  • ISBN-10: 1250847613
  • ISBN-13: 9781250847614