Cover Image: Lonely Hearts

Lonely Hearts

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Member Reviews

Lonely Hearts is about a PI - Jessica Shaw who's been hired to find a missing woman; Veronica Lowe. Fifteen years ago Veronica became a pen pal with an inmate on Death Row - part of the Lonely Hearts Club. Now she's gone missing, and that inmate's ex-wife has just been murdered. A friend of Veronica's - Christine - approaches Jessica to find her as she fears she might be in danger.

This was my first Jessica Shaw book and I was pleasantly surprised by how quickly I was sucked into it. I enjoyed the multiple POV's even though at the beginning it was a bit hard to see how they were all related and a bit hard to keep track of everyone.

But the mystery was thoroughly good, well plotted and I thought the twist at the end was well done and the author brought it all together in a satisfying way. I enjoyed this book so much and it's the 4th in a series so I'm definitely going to go back and read more about Jessica Shaw - she was a great, complex and gritty character.

Thank you Net Galley and the publisher for an ARC of this book.
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Jessica Shaw book 4.  Jessica is a PI and is hired to find a missing friend for a woman, that she hasn't seen in years.  A woman who was involved with a serial killer who was behind bars.  I enjoy this series, it has all the elements I require.  I like Jessica, she is tough, smart and fearless.  There is always a mystery and I enjoy a twist it is like a bonus.  Parallel is detective Pryce (friend of Jessica's) investigating a murder of an author who was married to the same serial killer.  And off we go...enjoyable read.  Thank you NetGalley, Thomas & Mercer and especially Lisa Gray for this ARC.  Looking forward to the next book!
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First time reading a novel by Lisa Gray and so pleased to have discovered her writing.  Gripping story from the first chapter nicely written in short 8-10 minute chapters each following a main character in the story.

The story follows Jessica a Private Investigator who has been asked to find a mother and daughter who went missing a number of years ago.....could this be linked to her relationship with a convicted murderer who she had a daughter with?  Could it be linked to the lonely hearts club online dating advice which organises writing to people in prison?

This is a story of true intrigue and originality intertwined with a view of truly not being able to guess how this will evolve, develop and conclude.  Addictive read whereby due to the 'need to know what happens next' feeling was read in 2 days as just could not put the book down.

Will definitely be reading the previous books in the series of Jessica 1, 2 & 3.  This book can easily be read  as a stand alone novel.

This was an (ARC) from Net Galley in return for a honest review
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Lonely Hearts is book 4 in a series, but truly can be read as a stand alone as I did :)
This series features Jessica Shaw, a private investigator working in Los Angeles, California and dealing with her own family and relationship demons. In book 4, she hired to locate a woman who has willfully gone missing. The client is the woman's friend and worried that a killer is stalking her.

Veronica  had joined the Lonely Hearts dating service - a program that matches interested women with current incarcerated men.  Veronica happened to be matched secretly with the infamous Travis Dean a killer of multiple women and nicknamed the "Valley Strangler." There is a flashback and forward sequencing to depict the start of the lonely hearts club program and Veronica's introduction to Travis Dean. Veronica promptly disappeared many years ago and no one is sure where she is or what happened.

I enjoyed the flashbacks and the multiple view points. The character of Jessica is a strong one and I will certainly be reading new and past entires of this series! If you like a strong female detective and murders in your mysteries this book is for you! Thank you to #NetGalley for the ARC in exchange for a fair review #LonelyHearts
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Lonely Hearts by  Lisa Gray. Jessica Shaw, #4.  Amazon Publishing UK. 

I read quite a bit of crime fiction, but steer clear of serial killers, prison settings and a few other invariably unpleasant areas.  And I prefer to read books with characters I like, respect, and easily understand.  This book falls outside almost every one of my reading choice parameters.  However,  this fast-moving and engaging story with unexpected twists kept me reading.

This, fourth in the series, was my introduction to both PI Jessica Shaw and author Lisa Gray, so I was missing Jessica’s back story, notably her history with her partner Matt Connor, sort of a subplot that would have been interesting to know but not integral to the story.  I’ll catch up now with the first three, and look forward to more.
Warmly recommended.

Disclosure: I received a review copy of Lonely Hearts for free via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.    #LonelyHearts #NetGalley
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Far From Straightforward…
The fourth in the Jessica Shaw series and the latest case for the private investigator, intent on tracking down a missing person, proves far from straightforward. With a solid writing style, an intriguing premise and a plot populated with a credible cast this is an engaging read from start to finish with some clever twists along the way. A worthy addition to the series.
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Jessica is a private investigator who has been hired to find a long, lost woman who was involved in a love affair with a handsome serial killer. Jessica sets out to find the woman and encounters many roadblocks. Then things begin to get deadly, and Jessica wonders if she can find the woman in time!  A good thriller!  Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for an advanced copy of this book!
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Women and Prisoner Pen Pals – What Could Go Wrong?

Jessica Shaw, an investigator for a Private Investigator agency, is approached by a woman who wants to find a friend who was her best friend, Veronica Lowe, since they were born. They drifted apart 20 years ago. The last contact was after they jointed The Lonely Hearts Club (TLHC) that facilitates women who want to be pen pals, and sometimes more, with men in prison including those on death row. Jessica begins with the woman who started TLHC. Jessica learns that Veronica when missing only six years ago. With extensive gaps missing knowledge of Veronica’s life, the story takes off from here.

Obviously, this is a very cold case. Jessica delves into what was happening with the TLHC over the past 20 years seeking for the reason that Veronica disappears with her daughter. The flow of the main storyline is not too fast and not too slow. It moves forward methodically as Jessica doggedly tries to discover and make sense of the events Veronica’s life. My attention was captured. Then, the tension markedly increases as the TLHC organizers seems not to be fully truthful. The hold onto my attention was strengthen. Then, the tension is cranked up even more when a significant event occurs, and it appears that Veronica’s life may be in danger. There was no escape for my attention. The author again created another excellent story.

This is the fourth novel in the Jessica Shaw series, but the B-storyline still provides new background about Jessica especially with her interactions with LA Detective Jason Pryce who is a father figure to Jessica. As Jessica is the voice in most of the chapters, her thoughts greatly contribute to the B-storyline and added a richness and enhanced my enjoyment in reading this novel.

For the aspects that commonly cause problems, the most significant is language. It is present but did not approach a red flag level for me. There were not any intimate scenes. The violence that mostly was implied vice described with some description after the fact was not an issue either. 

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this novel. I do read for a while before going to sleep, and with this novel the clock often strayed well into the AM before I turned off the lights. A revelation that I call literary earthquake changed the entire literary landscape and solidified my reading enjoyment. I am greatly anticipating the next novel in this series. I rate this novel with five stars. If the teasers of this novel interest you at all, I strongly recommend reading it even if this would be the first read in this series.

I received a free e-book version of this novel through NetGalley from Amazon Publishing UK. My review is based only by my own reading experience of this book. I wish to thank Amazon Publishing UK for the opportunity to read and review this novel early.
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An interesting premise with a good plot. The shifting of the narrative between too many POV could have been curtailed. The suspense and the conclusion are good. The personal life of Jessica is left in a cliffhanger probably to be continued in the next book.
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Lonely Hearts, is book 4 in the Jessica Shaw series. I highly recommend starting at the beginning, not because each book can not be read as a standalone but they are all equally as juicy! I absolutely love Lisa Gray and her writing style. 

The chapters flow into one another without interruption. The writing style is fluid and the character description is on point. 

Lonely Hearts, is original to say the least. Who finds love on Death Row? As we all know, prison pen pals is a "thing" and I for one have heard some pretty bizarre stories in real life but this book just takes things to a whole other level. 

Travis Dean Ford is a serial killer. Unfortunately, 15 years ago, Veronica fell in love with Travis Dean Ford after having a pen pal relationship with the serial killer. Veronica also had a daughter with Travis. Veronica and her daughter disappeared all those years ago. 

Travis had a wife, Jordana but now Jordana just turned up murdered the same way as Travis' victims. 

Jessica Shaw is a private investigator. If anyone can find Veronica, it will be Jessica. Christine Ryan has been searching for her childhood best friend for years and is afraid she will suffer the same fate as Jordana. Christine enlists the help of Jessica to help find Veronica and her daughter. 

It comes to light that both Jordana and Veronica were part of a club called The Lonely Hearts. The Lonely Hearts is a pen pal service for people who want to write to prisoners. 

As Jessica digs deeper, she feels like someone is watching her. But Who? Travis had died years ago. 

Lonely Hearts is a real nail biter, I was up all night reading and then almost afraid to fall asleep. This is one of those thrillers that will stay with you long after concluding the book. 

I highly recommend Lonely Hearts to all my fellow thriller lovers ! Due out November 9, 2021!
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Thank you Netgalley and Author Lisa Gray for this ARC.

I was intially drawn to this book due to it's blurb and I didn't notice that it's a part of series but luckily you don't need much of the background story to understand the story. 

Story follows Jessica Shaw who is looking for a person who appears to not want to be found but may have to be before it's too late. During the search, we're introduced to many charachters which bring to the story, my favourite being Pryce. 

I very much enjoyed this fast-paced thriller and would highly recommend it!
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I have read all of the Jessica Shaw series and I think this is the best one yet. Thoroughly enjoyable read. Kept guessing till the end. Cant wait for the next installament
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Thank you Netgalley and Author Lisa Gray for this ARC. 

This was my first Gray and my first in the Jessica Shaw series. Luckily I didn't need backstory for any of it to make sense. 

A handsome serial killer with a 'type,' said killer's wife turns up dead, his girlfriend is missing, and it seems there's either a copycat killer or . . . the man in prison is innocent. 

Well-developed characters. Clever stories and plots that intertwine and tangle. This was fast-paced and deliciously mysterious. True crime lovers will gobble this up. Well done, Gray.
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Another enjoyable Jessica Shaw PI installment from Lisa Gray!  I’ve read Bad Memory an earlier installment and have liked them both. 

Jessica is an LA based PI, transplanted from NY. She seems to have her own troubled history, but that doesn’t stop her from digging into other people’s. Lonely Hearts not withstanding. In her search for the wife and child of a notorious serial killer Jessica travels to Arizona coming across a dust storm of monumental proportion. That aside, Jessica arrives in time to save the woman and her daughter from an unlikely killer. 

Gray kept the “big reveal” well-hidden until nearly the end of the book pulling off a well-constructed climax. Maybe a bit too nicely tied up, but still a good story.

Thank you NetGalley and Thomas & Mercer.
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There are aspects of this series that I like—particularly Jessica’s relationship with Matt—but I’m not a fan of  the constantly changing POVs, and the ending was telegraphed very early in the book, so there was very little suspense. I doubt I’ll continue with this series, but I am appreciative of NetGalley and the publisher for this ARC. Thank you.
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Thank you Netgalley and Amazon Publishing UK for the arc! I loved the beginning of the book and sped through the first half. I took a break, then when I went back could not get back into it.There were so many characters it kept taking me a second to remember who was who. (this was my first book in the series.) I kept reading and eventually got interested again. I think I would have found it easier going if I had read the whole series, The end made it worth plugging on through, though. I plan to read the whole series (in order) now!
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This is book 4 of the series and while it’s not essential to have read the previous books in the series they do help with background to the characters and establishment of relationships.
Jessica Shaw is still working her required hours to get her California private investigator license when she agrees to look into an old missing persons case. Nearly twenty years ago a young mother Veronica Lowe goes missing with her toddler Mia. The interesting thing about Veronica though is that she is girlfriend of infamous serial killer Travis Dean Ford. A man on death row for the murders of at least 16 young women. Veronica met Travis through the prison pen pal service the ‘Lonely Hearts Club’. 
At the same time, Jessica’s friend LAPD Detective Jason Pryce is assigned a suspected home invasion homicide of a woman who turns out to be Jordana Ford, Travis Dean Ford’s wife.
As Jessica delves into Veronica’s life before she disappeared and Detective Pryce works on the current homicide, the past and present collide in a thrilling conclusion.
The story is told from three different perspectives- Detective Pryce, Jessica and Veronica. It was really interesting to read Veronica’s perspective in the lead up to her last known appearance. And seeing how the current timeline melds into the old timeline was good.
I enjoyed reading ‘Lonely Hearts’. This was a great mystery/suspense book that I read quite quickly. I enjoyed catching up with Jessica and her merry gang of friends, looking forward to more books. 4 stars from me. 
** I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own. ARC provided by NetGalley and the publisher**
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Some time ago, I tried to read <a href="">Thin Air</a>, by this same author. I gave up on it because it had one of my most hated things - a road atlas-worthy description of someone driving, for no good reason (i.e., it added nothing to the story) - and because there were a multitude of UK Englishisms that threw one out of the story (hand brake, "that lot", etc.). 

I am very happy I took another chance on Lisa Gray, because Lonely Hearts has none of that: it's a taut, well-told story about a serial killer, a missing woman, a dead wife, and relatives rightly pissed off at several books that seem to only be written to line the pockets of the author at their expense.

We start off in 1989, with underaged Devin Palmer waiting for her sister Erika. The plan: to have a couple of drinks, and then for Devin to stay the night at Erika's. Alas, Erika ghosts her sister and spends the night with her boyfriend. Also, alas, Devin - a slightly built redhead with fair skin - is offered a ride home with Travis Dean Ford, AKA the Valley Strangler, so named because he strangles slight, redheaded women who have fair skin with their own pantyhose.

We then go to Christine and Veronica, looking at a pamphlet for the Lonely Hearts Club, a way for people outside to write to people locked up in prison. Veronica writes to Travis Dean Ford, and eventually winds up in a "relationship", or as much as one can have with someone on death row.

Flash forward, and we're with Jessica, trawling through trash bags, hoping to find evidence of a man's infidelity. While she's doing this, Christen Ryan walks up to her, asking her to find an old friend, Veronica Lowe,  and her daughter Mia  - Travis Dean Ford's daughter, that he had with Veronica somehow.

Jessica takes the case, working it alone without much contact with Connor. It seems somewhere between book one, which I did not finish, and the end of book three, they apparently hooked up. But he's now seeing an exotic dancer, and Jessica is avoiding him.

It isn't easy to track down someone who willfully vanishes. But Christine gives Jessica quite a lot of information, including a couple of photos. Christine says it's very important to track Veronica down, because Ford's wife has been murdered in her own home. Struck on the head, then strangled with pantyhose. Interestingly, Detectives Pryce and Medina find they are not Jordana's: they were brought to the scene by the killer, deliberately. Copycat?

As we go along, bouncing between timelines and POVs, the mystery becomes ever deeper. Jessica continues to track Veronica, talks to the owner of TLHC business, her husband (who tells Jessica to stop looking for Veronica), several witnesses, trawls through newspaper archives and signs up for TLHC so she can get into the forum and research there, as well.

By now it's fairly clear that Veronica doesn't want to be found. We then get several chapters from Jordana interspersed, plugging her book at a bookstore, and feeling as if someone has been following her. 

Meanwhile, Jessica helps out Pryce by providing what she's found, and she's now on the scent, which leads to another location entirely. It's just before the end that we get Jordana's last POV chapter, and then the end is rushing at us.

Although I figured out the killer fairly early, it was still a very good read, capturing not just the characters of Jessica and the people immediately around her, but also the families who suffered at the hand of Travis Dean Ford. One character - the father of one of the victims - complains bitterly to Pryce and Medina that they don't know the names of the 15 girls and women Ford killed. They only know Ford's name. I thought that an astute observation.

There are no laggy parts, and there isn't anything that rips the reader out of the world Gray has built. The plot is sensible, and no one does anything that is out of character. I'm glad I took the chance on the series again.

A five star read.

Thanks to Amazon UK and NetGalley for the reading copy.
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What a great suspense/thriller - kept me turning the pages and guessing throughout.
Jessica is a PI hired to find a missing childhood friend who is believed to be in danger.  The friend, Veronica, is the ex of a convicted killer whom she has a daughter with.  When the current wife of said convicted killer is found murdered, things start to slowly get pieced together.  
Loved the characters, the sub plot about women writing to men in prison was interesting, and the suspense was great.  While part of a series, it was easily read as a stand alone book.
I received an advance copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
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I love a good thriller/mystery and this did not disappoint.
For me, a sign of a good mystery is one that I struggle to solve the crime.  I’ve read so many books and I find many far too predictable.
  I was pleasantly surprised when I had only guessed the “who” but not the why.  This is one to get the brain working!
I struggled slightly at the beginning with so many different characters but then realised that this was not Private Investigator Jessica’s first novel, it didn’t affect the storyline but I may have known some characters better if I’d have read the first in the series.
I will now look into reading any previous and future books featuring the PI Jessica as she’s no ordinary PI.  
A great read with a little humour thrown in, I will certainly be on the look out for this author in the future #NetGalley #LonelyHearts
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