Cover Image: Lonely Hearts

Lonely Hearts

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Member Reviews

The search for a missing woman and her daughter will test Jessica Shaw’s talent as a private investigator. Jessica is contacted by a woman who has lost touch with and is concerned about her friend and her friend’s daughter. Is she missing or has she gone off the grid on purpose? Years ago, her friend was a member of the Lonely-Hearts Club, a pen pal club for prisoners. Meeting and communicating with the notorious serial killer, Travis Dean Ford, she gave birth to his daughter. He has since paid the ultimate price for his crimes, but his daughter and her mother are missing. When Ford’s widow is murdered, she is concerned that his daughter may be the next target. Is someone seeking revenge on behalf of one of the women that he killed…his daughter is alive, but he had murdered their daughter? A fascinating and unique murder mystery. I received an advance review copy at no cost and without obligation for an honest review. (by paytonpuppy)
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This is a crime series I automagically put on my list without even reading the synopsis. I just know I will not be dissappointed and have read all of this author's previous books. The story could probably be read as a standalone, but is better if you have character background from prior books.
Private Investigator Jessica Shaw is still in LA working with her partner, Matt Connor, at MAC Investigations. Still living and working out of a motel room or a diner, still has commitment issues. The attraction between them simmers in the background as the romance takes an unexpected new course.
Jessica is a spunky, no-nonsense, slightly flawed young woman. A relatable person with her own trauma and secrets in the past.
Jessica has a new client who's searching for her missing best friend. Christine Ryan hasn't seen  Veronica Lowe in over fifteen years. Christine needs to have closure, is Veronica dead or did she dissappear for other reasons? The connection in the search for Veronica keeps leading Jessica to the Lonely Hearts club.
Bibi Durrant organized this "dating agency" for women to write to men in prison. This was before the internet and people actually used pen and paper to correspond. Insightful glimpse into the psyche of women who have relationships with  imprisoned men.
Meanwhile Detective Jason Pryce has a homicide victim who could intersect with Jessica's case. Jordana Ford, an author and activist, has been found murdered.
Both Veronica and Jordana were involved with convicted serial killer Travis Dean Ford. His death sentence was carried out, but the destruction he caused hasn't ended.
There are good supporting characters and many suspects relating to Veronica's disappearance. The search uncovers even more mysteries, secrets and lies. Each time I developed a new theory another twist or revelation would take me in a new direction. The search for Veronica was full of nail biting suspense. The final reveal came as a complete surprise. My theories were close, but I did not figure out much until very near the ending. I must be slipping or missed clues!
I will be waiting to put the next installment on my list, definitely tecommend.
Thanks so much to Netgalley, Lisa Gray and Thomas & Mercer for the advance digital copy of  "Lonely Hearts" Jessica Shaw thriller #4. These thoughts and opinions are mine alone, given voluntarily.
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PI Jessica Shaw's usual cases involve getting the dirt on cheating spouses, but her latest client, Christine Ryan, is a middle aged woman trying to find a missing childhood friend. Twist #1: the friend went missing over 15 years ago. Twist #2: she was a member of The Lonely Hearts Club, a pen pal service for women to meet men in prison, and she before she disappeared, she had fallen in love with and had the child of convicted serial killer Travis Dean Ford. The case takes on new urgency when another woman connected to Ford is found murdered; is Christine's friend still alive? Is she in danger? Even though I figured out one of the twists relatively early, the interesting characters and twisty plot held my attention to the end.
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Lonely Hearts by Lisa Gray is the 4th in the Jessica Shaw series and if you have started the series like I did and took a chance and that chance had me hooked with Thin Air. They just blend perfectly. Lonely Hearts I highly recommend the story is seamless in every chapter. Travis Dean Ford is a serial killer , Veronica falls in love with this killer from behind prison walls and bears his child . But they disappeared years ago. But Travis had a wife , Jordana who turned up murdered in the same way Travis’s victims. 
Now Christine Ryan has been searching for her childhood friend for years. And now with murder of Jordana she is even more eager to find her friend before someone else does. So she hires Jessica Shaw and if any one can find Veronica and her daughter it will be Jessica .

I love Lisa Gray books great story telling your hooked right from the first few lines. And thank you Net Galley for the chance to read and review Lonely Hearts by Lisa Gray.x
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How have I not known about Jessica Shaw before?  I really want to read her backstory so before writing this review I added the first books in the series to my wish list.  Now, that's done so....Lisa Gray set up book 4 in the series so that it could be picked up and read all one its own.  While I am intrigued by the mentions of Jessica's past, they did not keep me from loving this book.

The story moves along until the reader is on that train we all hope will come with a book.  It starts off slowly and you are just enjoying the scenery.  Seeing the sites.  Then you get to a hill.  While slowly trudging up that hill, a sense of dread sets in.  What happens when we get to the top?  We know that soon we will be racing down the other side with no control over the action as it ramps up.  This is the analogy I use in class to teach plot.  Lonely Hearts had a good plot.  Lonely Hearts had an interesting cast of characters.  Lonely Hearts had an engaging setting.  And I have yet another new series to catch up on.
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First time author for me. Great book. Lots of twists and turns.  It was very interesting.

Thank you net g was alert for giving me this great opportunity to read this book
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I never thought I'd  be so happy for a "haboob" to show up! 😆 This latest installment of the Jessica Shaw series did NOT disappoint!  I didn't want to finish was that exceptional.  I really tried to read it slowly because it's one of those books that you want to savor but it was just too good, I finished it so quickly! 😂📖 I easily fell back into the Jessica's character and was able to become part of her story once again.  Thank you Lisa Gray for writing another phenomenal Jessica Shaw book!  A definite MUST READ - not to be added to your TBR (to be read) list - this one you need to stop and read! 😉And if you haven't read the first 3 Jessica Shaw are in for a treat!  5 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️@lisagraywriter
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Lonely Hearts, is the second book I have had the pleasure to read but is the fourth book in the Jessica Shaw series. This can be a stand alone read but to get more of the background of Jessica Shaw, starting at the beginning is best. I absolutely love Lisa Gray. She is one of my new favorites to read.

Lonely Hearts, is about a missing woman, Veronica, and her daughter, Mia. Christine, a friend of Veronica's, reaches out to Jessica in order to hire her to locate them. Jessica gets background information from Christine that Veronica had been a pen pal to Travis Dean Ford, a serial killer on death row. They became involved and Mia is their daughter. Sometime later Veronica and Mia disappeared.

Travis later marries Jordana but she was recently murdered the same way as Travis' victims.  After speaking to BiBi It comes out that Jordana and Veronica were part of a pen pal group for prisoners called The Lonely Hearts which BiBi had started. As Jessica digs deeper, she puts the pieces together and becomes aware there were more victims left behind.

This is a great follow up to the previous books. I could not stop reading. The story just keeps building and building to a surprising reveal.
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The newest book in the Jessie Shaw series gives us another chance to walk with the PI as she tries to solve a missing person case with some very unexpected twists. Jessie has to untangle a mystery that involves a death row inmate and the women who loved him. In the process, she uncovers a unique club of women who want to meet prisoners and pursue a relationship with them. As dead bodies start to accumulate, Jessie wonders if she will find the answers in time to save the next victim. It's an exciting read that keeps you guessing until the end.
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I really enjoyed this one. When I saw that the tag line was about falling in love with a serial killer, I was immediately intrigued. After starting the book, it didn’t take long for me to get hooked. I loved the multiple perspectives, in the past and present, so that we got a look into every aspect of the murder and missing person’s case. I also love knowing that this is a series because now I’m interested in going back and finding out more of Jessica Shaw’s adventures. I’ll also be here for any future books in this series because the mystery was so well done and the characters were fascinating.
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With every book that comes out in this series, I’m still pulled in from the beginning! With this being the fourth book, you’d think it wouldn’t be as great as the first but my expectations were blown out of the water. Jessica Shaw is a character I want more of. I love the cases she tackles and the journey she’s made from the beginning. I can’t get enough! I highly recommend not just this book but the entire series to everybody who will listen. I can’t wait to see where the next book will take her.
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Lonely Hearts, by Lisa Gray, is another entertaining read in the Jessica Shaw series.  It's a fast paced murder mystery with plenty of suspense that kept me hooked the whole way through. The main character is fairly likable and has just enough flaws to make her a down to earth and interesting. The secondary characters, the people that she works with, are just as likeable and interesting.
Although finding a missing person can be fairy straightforward for PI Jessica Shaw, her most recent case is anything but. Her newest client, 
Christine Ryan, says that she's desperate to find her lifelong friend, who vanished over 15 years ago. She'd had a child with Death Row inmate, Travis Dean Ford, a notorious serial killer. Since his widow was murdered in the same fashion as all his victims were, Christine's worried that Veronica and her daughter are next. That's assuming that they're even still alive.
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I've not read any books in this series previously nor was I familiar with the author but the premise of the book was enough to convince me that I would enjoy it and I was correct. 
I found this to be a very gripping story which as soon as I got into the pace of it I was reluctant to put down. I may well now go back and read some of the authors earlier books in the series. 

Thanks to Amazon UK publishing and to Netgalley for the advance copy in exchange for an honest review.
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This is the first taste of the Jessica Shaw series I've had, and honestly it has captivated me to want to go back and read the first three books - and I would love to read more as well. This is also one of the first mystery/thrillers I've read in a while, so it was a really great book to start my nosedive back in to this genre.

1. The characters
Even though I didn't have any background knowledge about the main characters that the series follows, i.e. Jessica, Matt Connor, Pryce, Medina, I was able to quickly grasp what each of them was like, and the relationship dynamics between them. I think Jessica is a super interesting protagonist, with great quirks. I also like how the relationship dynamics between everyone are prevalent throughout the story, but they don't interfere with the main crux of it; a good balance between solving the mystery and creating intrigue and some drama within Jessica's personal life!

2. The pacing
Succinctly: Well-paced! I  flew through this book, constantly intrigued as to what came next, and there was always something new to discover every chapter - none of the chapters felt redundant.
Additionally, the multiple POVs were great :)

3. The writing
I loved it. Very adept, very sharp, very witty. I actually giggled out loud several times. And I appreciate all the good dialogue too, and the way Lisa Gray writes the more expository segments -- it doesn't come off stale or boring, and she doesn't mince words, and I love that!

Although one note: There were several pop culture references, like to TikTok and Kim Kardashian, and in a few years' time, it could feel really dated. Maybe it's just my personal opinion, but pop culture references and fiction don't really mesh very well together, not for longevity...

4. And finally, the plot
At first, I didn't know what to make of it, but after giving it some thought, I realised that it's actually quite brilliant. It starts off as a simple missing-person case, though we soon find out it's much more than that, and then it gets more revelatory, but not in a bone-chilling way, more of a thought-provoking kind of twisty and turny. We see family relations, and we see the impact of serial killers on the families of victims that don't get necessarily taken into consideration often, how guilt and trauma and can fester and grow and lead one to stray and spiral, even if it's not their fault, and I think that's such an important topic to broach. Also, the way pop culture, or fame, exploits true crime, and even some commentary on the very real phenomena of serial killers having fans.
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Well I wasnt sure about this,  especially after I realised it was part of a series. My initial thoughts were just an easy read.   But well it got really interesting fast and it turned into one of those books that you had to keep reading (well I had to) it was that good, as I needed to know what happened.  I don't want to say anything more as there will be spoilers. 

Now that I have read  one I definately have to read more in this series to find out more. 

I was given an advance copy by the publishers and netgalley but the review is entirely my own.
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I really like Lisa Gray's books. This one wasn't as good as the previous books in the Jessica Shaw series. Just because the flipping back and forth wasn't that Seamless to me. It took mental work to get back into the other characters head. And the dude whatever his name is, Cooper? See I don't even remember his name. Either have her with him or not with him. The phone calls every few chapters from him were pointless in my opinion.
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A Lisa Gray thriller was just what I was looking for when I browsing aimlessly across Netgalley, in search of something fast-paced and strong like an espresso coffee. The first time, last year, I had stumbled upon her book by total chance, but now I knew what I was signing for, and I did sign gladly.

Jessica Shaw is a PI who somehow attracts messy cases. It starts out as a run-of-the-mill missing person case. A woman wants to find her best friend. Simple, no? But if you add that the friend has disappeared almost 20 years ago. And that the friend in question has a complicated past, as she had a child with a death row inmate. And not any death row inmate, a serial killer actually. Oh-Hum.

I knew theoretically that death row inmates and serial killers attracted romantic interests through pen pals. Here Shaw discovers a club of women who are all pen pals to prison inmates, and the girly reunion is quite a scene!

Lisa Gray crafts an efficient plot with lots of twists and turns and red herrings. It’s not as sophisticated as a Connelly novel but it still made me turn the pages fast until the last. I had guessed who the evil one was at about 75%, but the ride was no less enjoyable. You won’t get bored with Jessica Shaw!
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In  1999, when their love lives are going nowhere, Christine Ryan suggested to her friend Veronica Lowe that they join the Lonely Hearts Club, a pen pal service for men in prison. Originally reluctant, Veronica sees the photograph of serial killer Travis Dean Ford and signs up.  
The relationship went from letters to visits and the birth of their daughter, Mia.   Then Veronica disappeared 17 years ago after a photograph of Travis, Veronica and Mia appeared in a newspaper.  

Now Christine has asked PI Jessica Shaw to track down Veronica.

Author and activist, Jordana Ford attended a book signing for her latest book about her marriage to serial killer, Travis Dean Ford.  Attendance was by ticket, but that had not stopped a protestor interrupting the event. Now, Jordana has been murdered.    Detectives Pryce and Medina are investigating the death.

All roads seem to lead back to the Lonely Hearts Club.

Setting the story around a serial killer and the Lonely Hearts Club is an interesting decision, taking the reader into an environment which I doubt that many can relate to. Lisa has managed to introduce the impact of Travis’s actions, not only on the victim, but on their extended circle of family and friends.   The characters are well developed with some who are surprisingly likeable.
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Lisa Gray was a totally new author to me but one I will definitely read more.  The book Lonely Hearts grabbed my attention in the first chapter and I was unable to put it down.  Interesting topic of convicted criminals pen paling with women on the outside.  Great character development.  Highly recommend
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Not all missing persons should be found…

This is the fourth book in the Jessica Shaw series that can be read as a stand-alone.

Based in Los Angeles, Private Investigator Jessica Shaw is known for solving cold missing persons cases and it’s that reputation that brings her a new client. An occurrence in the present has resurrected the past and worried a woman who seeks to track down a childhood friend she lost touch with 15 years ago. That friend was a woman who became involved with a serial killer of women, a death row inmate, while he was imprisoned and she had born him a child. With the death of the woman who married the inmate after her friend vanished it has become paramount for this woman to check on her friend’s wellness, and to deliver a warning. There is the possibility of a copycat or revenge killer out there.

Many don’t understand women who become involved with such prisoners even if they are handsome and charismatic. Through the Lonely Hearts Club, a pen pal service for inmates, connections were made. What was expected to be a simple case turns complicated quickly. Jessica knows the detectives investigating the current murder which could connect to the now-deceased serial killer. 

This was an intriguing and engaging fast-paced multi-layered story, there were multiple points of view, the story is told alternating between events in the past and the present and there was an unexpected twist near the end which seriously upped the danger factor and Jessica is investigating this case alone.

Having read the previous books this reader has followed the growth of Jessica’s character and the issues with her partner for whom she has feelings. I did not know what to make of their situation at the end of this book. This reader is still hoping the two will somehow find their path forward together.

An advanced reading copy was obtained from the publisher via NetGalley.
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