Jessica Shaw, 4
by Lisa Gray
This title was previously available on NetGalley and is now archived.
Pub Date 9 Nov 2021 | Archive Date 23 Nov 2021
Amazon Publishing UK, Thomas & Mercer
She found love on Death Row with her prison pen pal. She’s been missing ever since. Can Jessica Shaw track her down?
A missing persons case should be pretty straightforward for private investigator Jessica Shaw. After all, it’s what she does best. But this latest case proves to be anything but straightforward.
Christine Ryan is desperate to find her childhood friend Veronica Lowe. Veronica disappeared more than fifteen years ago, not long after having a child with a Death Row inmate, notorious serial killer Travis Dean Ford. When Ford’s widow, Jordana, is murdered in the same way as his victims, Christine fears Veronica and her daughter will be next. If they’re even still alive…
Discovering that both Veronica and Jordana were members of the Lonely Hearts Club, a pen pal service for women who want to write to men in prison, Jessica realizes she needs to find Veronica before the killer does. But as Jessica follows the leads it begins to feel like someone is following her. Travis has been dead for years, so who is hunting the Lonely Hearts?
A Note From the Publisher
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 96 members
This was definitely an interesting story! This book had suspense, action, intrigue, and a great who done it! The storyline flowed nicely, it kept my attention and was a good read! It wasn't one of my all time favorite but definitely worth reading! Thank you Netgalley and the publisher for sharing this book with me!
I have read other books in this series and have liked them, though one could read this as a stand alone . the detective is flawed, smart and gutsy. She is trying to find a woman who has been missing a long time, a woman who had a child with a serial killer. It is told both in the past and present times and was an easy read, but an interesting one
I received an advanced copy of this book through NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Lonely Hearts is out 11/9/21, and I just received the ARC. Lonely Hearts is the 4th Jessica Shaw book anf I've been lucky to read all of her previous books through NetGalley. I've come to care for Jessica and interested in her cases as a P.I.
Jessica is avoiding Connor since she found out he is engaged to Rae-Lyn, an exotic dancer. She accepts what seems like a straight forward case, a woman named Christine looking for a long lost friend Veronica Lowe. Christine encouraged Veronica, back in the late 1990s to join the Lonely Hearts Club, a correspondence club with prisoners. She is initially resistant but is captivated by the looks and charisma of Travis Dean Ford, a man on death row convicted of killing 15 young women in the late 1980's to early 1990's. His type? Redheads, thin, pretty, sweet. We get a flashback of Devin Palmer accepting a ride in 1989 after her older sister ditches her for a date, then taking her to a different location and strangling her with her own pantyhose.
Jessica's search takes her to Arizona, and we also see Pryce and Medina investigating Jordana's murder, who was married to Ford a few years before he was put to death. So who killed Jordana? And are they after Veronica, who disappeared with the young daughter she had with Ford.
The book had some interesting and clever twists I didn't quite see coming. And that ending! ;) looking forward to more Jessica Shaw.
No mention of the current times other than Jessica using a disposable face mask a few times, for the work she was doing.
4/5☆ out 11/9/21
Jessica Shaw keeps getting better and better. She takes on what should be an easy missing persons case. The story goes back and forth in time and includes a storyline of women marrying prisoners. Quick enjoyable read.
I was given a copy from Netgalley in exchange for an unbiased review.
This was full of suspense. Kept me guessing. So many twists. Thanks for giving me a advanced copy. Was worth it can't wait for next one
This is an excellent suspense novel! This was the first book I read from this author but had no problem catching onto the various characters and their backstories. It’s written so well that you basically blow through the chapters wanting to read more. Lots of twists and turns made this a very satisfying read for me. 5 stars, highly recommend!!!
I received an advance copy of, Lonely Hearts, by Lisa Gray. This is a good thriller. Where did Veronica go? Is she and her daughter still alive?
Thanks to Netgalley and Amazon Publishing UK for providing this ARC in exchange for an honest review.
PI Jessica Shaw gets a visit from a new client, Christine, whose beat friend Veronica and her young daughter went missing almost 20 years ago. Christine is afraid that Veronica is in danger because of the recent murder of someone indirectly related to her.
I really love this series. It is one of the best ones going right now, in my opinion, and I was not at all disappointed in this latest entry. I like this author's writing style. It is just very easy to read and the stories are very engrossing. I never get bored, there are always twists and turns and new info being discovered. I like the Jessica character and Pryce and Connor and am interested in seeing where Jessica goes from here. I blew through this book in one day and can't wait for Jessica's next case. Excellent series.
Thank you to both #NetGalley and Amazon Publishing UK for providing me an advance copy of Lisa Gray’s fourth installment in the Jessica Shaw series, Lonely Hearts, in exchange for an honest review.
Jessica Shaw is a private investigator who handles missing persons cases in Los Angeles, California. She slugs Scotch whiskey, is unapologetic about her eating or smoking habits, and may or may not be in love with her partner, Matt Connor. This sums up all that a reader needs to know before diving into Lisa Gray’s fourth book in the series, #LonelyHearts.
The story begins in 1989 with a serial killer who is on the loose and strangling young, red-headed women with their own pantyhose. Just as the killer is about to claim his latest victim, the author switches timelines and brings us closer to the present; specifically, 2019. That is when Matt instructs Jessica to take a meeting with a prospective client: a woman looking for her childhood friend who also used to be the secret lover of the notorious, “Valley Strangler.”
Christine tells Jessica that her friend Veronica has been missing for over 15 years and is now worried after the Valley Strangler’s actual wife is murdered in what appears to be a copycat killing. She fears Veronica will meet the same fate if she has not already. Jessica begrudgingly accepts the case, which Matt had led her to initially believe would be a quick open and shut missing person’s case.
The story alternates between the past and the present, continuing through the nineties and early aughts all the way up to 2019. Unlike the previous three books, Jessica’s presence does not seem as strong as some of the other characters and storylines. There is Christine, young Veronica (pre-disappearance), Bibi, and various other women who were at one point or another connected through the pen pal service for women and inmates, the Lonely Heart Club.
At the same time Jessica is searching for Veronica on behalf of Christine, her friends from the LAPD, officers Pryce and Medina, are trying to solve the murder of the Valley Strangler’s wife, Jordana. Jordana was a former member of TLHC and rose to fame by marrying the Valley Strangler, championing his innocence, and becoming an author. Her latest novel was supposed to reap the most profits, but someone murdered Jordana in the exact same way her husband’s victims were killed in the past.
The novel continues at break-neck speed and keeps the reader engrossed the entire time. This one was definitely more plot than character-driven, with the exception of Dacre who was oddly intriguing. Although there is no shocking epilogue to wrap up this case like in the last book, there is a nice little twist at the end, which will hopefully be explored in the fifth installment and further develop Jessica Shaw’s character.
Overall, bravo once again to the author for keeping readers up all night and turning pages. If you are looking for a purely, entertaining mystery novel, this is it.
Jessica Shaw is a private investigator in CA. It’s 1989 and a killer is on the loose and he always kills thin, young women with red hair. Christine comes along and hires Jessica to find her long lost friend who she hasn’t seen in many years. Many twists and turns throughout the story. Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for this early release in exchange for my honest review.
His book was sent to me electronically by Netgalley for review…the protagonist, a PI, is an intriguing character who sometimes makes unwise decisions…. That being said, she is a likeable character who gets into difficult situations…murder and mayhem…intrigue…family dynamics…romance…all in this mystery novel with twists and turns…a quick read…I do not enjoy the different time periods, but that seems to be what authors are now doing…
Jessica Shaw is back in book #4. I have loved this series from the very first book and book #4 is just as thrilling! Jessica is on the hunt for a missing women and her child. What goes from a simple missing person case intertwines with a case Detective Pyrce is working on which involves a person seeking revenge.This book has many twists and turns and kept me reading into the night! LOVED!
This book had me hooked from the very beginning and had me breathlessly turning the pages to the thrilling finish. Even though this is the fourth book in the series and the first I had read by the author it can easily be read as a stand-alone. The previous stories were hinted at in a tantalising way that had me buying book one as soon as I finished this one. This is an author I will be eagerly looking out for in the future.
PI Jessica Shaw sure keeps things moving along! Jessica was hired by Christine to help her find her long lost best friend, Veronica, who dropped off the face of the earth, or so it seems, after they both joined a pen pal club to correspond with prisoners. The Lonely Hearts Club was a very popular way to have a pen pal who may or may not ever get out of prison. Jessica does not seem to be afraid of anyone or anything and this story sure takes a lot of twists and turns. This book was fast-paced and kept me on the edge of my seat until the very end and I really enjoyed it. This was book 4 of the Jessica Shaw series but the first one that I have read. It works fine as a stand alone and I am going to go back and read the previous ones since I enjoyed this book so much.
Thank you NetGalley and Thomas & Mercer for the ARC of this every exciting page turner in exchange for an honest review.
So this was a first in this series for me and I really enjoyed it! I loved the main characters feisty and determined nature.
This story has two time lines between the past and the present, it's fast paced, engaging had me from the beginning to the end will defiantly be checking future books in this series.
This is the 4th book in a series about a private investigator. I had not read the previous 3, but i had no problems catching up - the author does a great job of giving you information you need.
This is a missing persons case. Someone wants to find an old friend, because she thinks she is in danger and so hires Jessica Shaw. But wait,,.. the missing person was pen pals with a notorious serial killer who was in prison. Oh wait - they were more than pen pals...
I loved the mystery, and the action. I thought the premise was great and loved how it gave us some insight into the women that write to men in prison. I found that part really interesting.
I kept the pages turning - I just had to keep reading. However, I do admit that i saw the ending coming from a mile away, which disappointed me.
I want to thank the author, the publisher and #netgalley for the ARC which did not impact my review. In fact, i am going back to read the first 3 books in this series.
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
Some time ago, I tried to read <a href="https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/3203400901">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.
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.
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**
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!
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.
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
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
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.
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!
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.
Disclosure: I received a review copy of Lonely Hearts for free via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. #LonelyHearts #NetGalley
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
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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 it...it 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 books....you are in for a treat! 5 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️@lisagraywriter
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.
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)
Writing to incarcerated prisoners is a novel concept. Not sure it would be my choice but proved to be an interesting backdrop for this story. I didn’t figure out the culprit until near the end. All in all it was good book
Lonely hearts by Lisa Gray.
Jessica Shaw book 4.
I enjoyed this book. This is my first book by Lisa and it wo t be the last. I liked the cover that is what drew me in. I liked Pryce and Jessica characters. I hope there is more to come. 5*.
Lonely Hearts is the fourth book in the Jessica Shaw series about a young private investigator in Southern California who solves cold cases and crimes against women. I have read and enjoyed all of the previous instalments but each of them does work on their own as you get enough backstory. These are well-written easy to read mysteries with a prickly and flawed but smart and likeable heroine.
Jessica has settled temporarily in LA and is still working for Connor. When a middle-aged woman asks her to find her childhood friend, Veronica, who has been missing for twenty years, Jessica thinks it'll be a quick easy job. Then she learns that her case connects to a recent murder - both women had been in prison pen-pal relationships with an infamous serial killer. How can the ‘’valley strangler” be back when he was executed a decade ago?
This was a well-plotted and paced mystery with enough red herrings to stop the outcome being too obvious. Jessica has her own problems - including a crush on her boss, and an alcohol problem, but she doesn't wallow in self-pity and gets on with the job. The exploration of the very real phenomenon of women who choose to fall in love with convicts was interesting - but didn't provide many answers.
I liked the different POV chapters, including Jessica's straight arrow cop friend Pryce and his comic-relief partner Medina, and the flashback scenes that show us how Veronica’s story unfolded.
I recommend this series to those who like a strong female main character, without too much swearing, sex or violence, without getting into cosy territory. I look forward to reading more of Jessica's adventures. Thanks to Netgalley and Thomas & Mercer for the ARC, I am posting this honest review voluntarily. Lonely Hearts is published today.
A thank you to Netgalley for sharing the ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Although I wasn't blown away by any of the previous novels in the series, I decided to give this one ago because the books got a little increasingly better and the description just sounded much more up my alley. (Of course, all the positive reviews didn't hurt!) It's honestly pretty good and does make for an entertaining before bedtime read with it's bit of a mystery and a story that centers around male serial killers and the women who love them. It's also not overly taxing nor what one would call an emotional heavy hitter, so it makes for a nice combo of light and dark reading.
I don’t get the appeal in getting in contact with someone imprisoned let alone a serial killer. But then….I’m a scaredy-cat. And just as Erica, I have to wonder if it’s possible to inherit the “evil” gene. The twist towards the end came unexpected and threw me for a loop. The ending though! Not sure I like where this is going.
I love Jessica, in the first book it was said she is woman Reacher (Lee Child series) couse she was traveling and had no home, solving mysteries, crimes.
She still colaborate with Matt her lover from first book. I wait that to happen. Well beside that the story in this book was great. Prison, love, missing women, present and past murders. It was a great mix and full of turns. True crime investigation.
I wait for the next one!
Thank you Netgalley.com and Amazon Publishingfor this arc copy.
Another amazing book by Lisa Gray. As per usual it had me guessing until the big reveal. Well done. I can’t wait until the next installment.
This was such a great murder mystery! Although it’s a sequel, which I didn’t realize when I got it, it definitely reads as a stand-alone. If you haven’t read the others you’re definitely going to want to after this one.
Jessica, a private detective, is trying to track down her client’s old best friend. It’s a bit tricky though since the friend, Veronica Lowe, dropped off the map ages ago. She’s been linked to a serial killer and the Lonely Hearts Club which writes to prison inmates. Besides that, there’s no information to go on.
As Jessica works on tracking Veronica down, her uncle is working a case with the LAPD about another woman’s murder.
This was written in a few different time lines and alternating perspectives which made for a very quick read. It’s a bit of a cross between a police procedural and a whodunnit murder mystery.
I have read and recommended the first three PI Jessica Shaw mysteries, and Lisa Gray’s current offering, Lonely Hearts, is another winner. Gray’s characterization of Jessica presents a skillful investigator with quirks and vulnerability adding interest and empathy for the reader. Like Jack Reacher, Shaw has attachment issues, choosing for housing a budget hotel on the Hollywood strip. Surviving on a diet of cheeseburgers, scotch, cigarettes, and vending machine snacks; Jessica meets with prospective clients at the motel diner. And there she encounters a woman urgently seeking Shaw’s assistance in locating a woman and her daughter who have been missing for nearly two decades, and who happen to be the ex-lover and child of a notorious serial killer. The union occurred through a prisoner pen pal program, Lonely Hearts, while the since-executed strangler of fifteen women waited on Death Row. Meanwhile new murders of women also associated with the inmate complicate the investigation. Shaw’s believable techniques, personal issues, and travels through Iconic California locations provide tense and satisfying reading.
I received an advance reading copy of this book from the publisher through Netgalley for review, and all thoughts and opinions are my own.
I picked up Lonely Hearts, not realising it’s the 4th book in the Jessica Shaw series. If I’m honest, I prefer to read a series from the beginning. But I loved the sound of this book and Lisa Gray is a new author to me, so I put my reservations to one side and dug in. A middle- aged woman wanting her to find her friend approaches Jessica. Veronica disappeared over fifteen years ago, not long after having a child with a Death Row inmate. When his widow is murdered in the same way as his victims. The case gets more complex and takes on a more sinister tone when Jessica unearths both women were members of The Lonely Hearts Club, a pen pal service for women who write to men in prison.
Jessica Shaw is a PI, which makes a refreshing change from a detective as they can focus heavily on police procedures. I always think these types of characters can push the boundaries, take more risks when they aren’t governed by rules and regulations. I enjoyed getting to know Jessica. She’s a tough, headstrong, and a likeable protagonist. Although I may have missed some aspects of her back story, the author provides enough detail so that the reader doesn’t feel like they're missing out.
I liked the fact the book is based around women writing to serial killers in prison. It’s a subject that’s always fascinated me. Why you would want to write to someone who has committed the most terrible acts is beyond me. Is it a case of morbid fascination? Or a need to rescue damaged individuals? Who knows! But Veronica’s POV gives the reader an intriguing insight into this phenomenon.
The story alternates between the past and the present, moving swiftly between the two. As the two timelines interweave, the tension builds. The unraveling of the mystery of Veronica’s disappearance drives the reader onwards to the conclusion. I really enjoyed my first outing with Lisa Gray and would definitely go back and rest of the series.
My review will be left on my Instagram account, goodreads, Amazon etc
Every time I see a new book publishing in this series I know I have to pick it up immediately! This one did not disappoint and I binge read this book as fast as I could.
Told in multiple POVs, Lonely Hearts follows Jessica as she investigates a missing person case. As she digs deeper into the case she uncovers a tangled web of lies. I was hooked from the first pages and while I did figure out most of the twists I still found the book enjoyable. While this book could be read as a standalone, reading the whole series gives you a better picture of the main characters. I highly recommend this one to anyone who is looking for a quick thriller.
This is a unique book where the villain is someone who you would not expect. I don't want to ruin the book, so I will simply say, if you are looking for a thriller with a unique bent, then you should definitely pick this one up!
When I requested this book I did not realise that it was number 4 in a book series, nonetheless you do not really need to have read the previous 3 books to enjoy this novel.
I am a new reader to Lisa Gray and I love her style of fast paced, edgy writing.
The year is 1989 and Jessica Shaw is an investigator living in California. Jessica Shaw is asked to find Veronica, a woman who went missing after having a relationship with an inmate, Veronica and her daughter went missing and her best friend Christine wants answers.
Jessica's investigation is interesting and held my attention greatly and with force. I loved Jessica Shaw, she is an unapologetic woman who is feisty and wants justice. I can not wait to backtrack and start on novel 1.
Thanks to NetGalley, Lisa Grey and the publishers for an ARC in exchange for my honest review.
Jessica Shaw is a private investigator in CA. It’s 1989 and a killer is on the loose and he always kills thin, young women with red hair. Christine comes along and hires Jessica to find her long lost friend who she hasn’t seen in many years. Many twists and turns throughout the story.
I’m so glad that I discovered this series when the first book came out. It is one of the series that I auto buy without even reading the synopsis. This book is my favorite yet! Jessica is hired by a woman looking to locate a friend that she lost touch with 17 years earlier. But this isn’t your typical long lost friend search. Veronica and her daughter Mia disappeared after it was publicized that her daughter’s father was a convicted serial killer... and now that man’s wife is dead. Are Veronica and Mia in danger? Or are they already dead?
I received an advance e-book version of this novel through Netgalley. My review is based only on my own reading. Thank you again for this book!
I had absolutely no expectations going into this book seeing this was the first book from this author I’ve ever read, and let me tell you…
It was brilliant. I engulfed this book in one sitting because the characters in this book is so intriguing and the plot absolutely consuming.
Following Private investigator Jessica Shaw as she unravels the mystery of a woman named Veronica who 15 years and counting is still missing after having a love child with a brutal serial killer on death row. Veronica met the notorious serial killer Travis Dean Ford via the Lonely Hearts prison pen pal group, and fell deadly in-love. As reality set in of the situation Veronica got herself in, she starts retracting herself, and hasn’t been seen ever since…
With Ford’s widow recently being killed the way he killed his victims, an old friend of Veronica hires Jessica Shaw to track Veronica and her daughter, before they share the same fate as anyone tied to Travis Ford. With both his former lovers being part of the Lonely hearts club, there seems to be a connection with the killings, but with Travis Ford executed for his crimes years back, the investigation might not seem as straight-forward as planned. As Jessica diggs deeper into this mystery, she can feel herself being watched. But by who?
Although this book is part of a series, it works perfect as a stand-alone. I haven’t read any of Gray’s books before this one but will definitely pick up one in the future! Her writing is fast paced, to the point, witty and with unexpected plot twists.
I mean this plot is to die for. Who finds love on death row? I’ve seen so many documentaries about these pen pal stories and I must say this book takes the cake! It was so gripping and kept me up all night. I would highly recommend this to anyone who loves thriller mystery novels.
As a first time Gray reader, I am beyond impressed. Not only was this about a missing person case, it also delved in pop culture and how there is a phenomena of serial killers having fans, families and all the drama that come with it. How it affects those left behind and the spiraling the victims families have to go through. How love can be found in prison cells.
Extremely gripping, bone-chilling and one hell of a ride. Not at all predictable, and will have you biting your nails and covering your mouth in shock. A must read.
This mystery is the fourth book in Lisa Gray's Jessica Shaw series. Jessica is private investigator who is drawn into a missing persons case -- Veronica Lowe disappeared around 20 years ago with her three year old Mia. Her best friend of many years, Christina, wants to find her out of concern that Veronica's life could be at risk. As a young woman,Veronica joined a Lonely Hearts Club for women who wished to correspond with prisoners. She quickly becomes entangled with Travis Ford, a death row inmate convicted of strangling slim, red headed women. Veronica is his type. They have a child together. Someone leaks a photo of their family group together in San Quentin and Veronica disappears, apparently to avoid threats and publicity. Shortly after this Travis married another Lonely Heart Club member, Jordana. Since Travis's execution, Jordana has been writing about him and now-about their relationship. Somehow, this has stirred the pot. Someone is closing in and Jordana is murdered, but who is the killer and what motivated the killing. Gray leads us through Jessica's investigations with wrong turns and solid investigation that ultimately resolves the mystery. A pleasurable read.
This book was fantastic, it was well written and kept me entertained and wanting to know more. I didn’t want to put it down. The story line focuses on several main characters telling the story from their perspective and the eventual interconnection between them. The story goes from present day to horrific events of the past and how it leads up to a current murder. Can’t wait to read another book from this author.
Lonely Hearts by Lisa Gray
A Jessica Heart Thriller #4
Able to standalone as a story but I do wonder what I missed not having read the first three books. I read through the book descriptions of the previous books to find out a bit more about Jessica but not till I had finished this book. That did help flesh Jessica out a bit, but I still had trouble warming to her and wonder if that might have to do with coming in on book four rather than book one.
What I liked:
* The premise, plotting, and story telling
* The look into how a PI would search for a missing person
* Jessica’s persistence and dedication to the job
* The mystery of who the murderer in present time was
* Wondering about how Jessica knew Pryce and how/why they shared information on this case
* Wondering about Jessica’s social life
* Jessica seemed independent and capable…kind of a loner
* Wondering if Jessica will end up in a relationship in future books
* The setting – it was familiar to me having lived in Southern California
* The twist – although I had a good idea what it would be since I usually read the end of books soon after starting them.
* Thinking about what would cause any woman to become the pen pal/girlfriend/wife/baby-mama to a man on death row – that did kind of creep me out, though
* That all of the threads related to the cases were tied up by the end of the story
What I didn’t like:
* Thinking about the evil that people do…and how that evil can warp “good” people, too.
* It was hard for me to warm up to Jessica and I am not sure that I really did even by the end of the story
* Mixed feelings on moving from past to present in the story telling. It can generate momentum or it can detract from the forward momentum of this type of books – and it did both from time to time.
Did I enjoy this book? I think so
Would I read more in this series? I might give one more a try to see if Jessica grows on me
Thank you to NetGalley and Thomas & Mercer for the ARC – This is my honest review.
3 stars for being an average read to me
4/5 stars for being worth reading and probably a good addition to the series
It's the first book I read in this series and I enjoyed it.
Good characters, a fast paced and twisty plot, an interesting MC
The mystery is solid and the well developed plot kept me hooked.
Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine
I have always been curious as to what allows an intelligent person to marry an inmate who seriously has no future based upon a long or permanent jail. Sentence. Now, I sort of know.
The characters are quirky, a bit strange, lonely interesting. Jessica, the main character is pretty realistic but not always likeable.
This can be read as a stand alone book but I feel you might like the characters a bit more if read in order.
From when I first opened "Lonely Hearts," I was hooked. It's not often I stay up late, especially on a Sunday night, to read a novel in one sitting. In the newest offering in the Jessica Shaw series, we ride along the private investigator's newest case: a missing persons case that is anything but simple. The woman hiring her, Christine Ryan, is seeking an old friend from nearly two decades ago. The problem? The old friend is the former girlfriend of infamous serial killer, Travis Dean Ford, and if still alive, likely doesn't want to be found. Still. A job is a job is a job. As she follows the leads, she realizes perhaps Veronica isn't the only member of the Lonely Hearts Club being hunted.
There is a lot to enjoy about this novel, from the writing to our characters. I didn't even mind the alternating timelines and point-of-views, which you know I despise. I was never confused; I thought it was really well-done. This is the fourth novel in the series but par for course with me, I haven't read the others in the series. It was not an issue, however. You could figure out the killer early on - my antennas were up! - but there were enough red herrings and twists and turns to keep the momentum. There were also flaws when it came to some plot holes and what happens in the romance subplot, but overall, a great page-turner.
Thank you to NetGalley and Amazon Publishing UK for an e-ARC, available everywhere now.
I really struggled getting into this book and then I realised it was part of a series so I’ve stopped reading it until I’m up to date!
PI Jessica is searching for a missing girl that soon puts us on edge. A pen pal service for some of these women is proving deadly. What a Name too-Lonely Hearts Club. As we go along looking for answers we will be turning those pages for the discovery of who the killer is.
I got an ARC of this book from NetGalley and it was after I'd requested the book that I realized that it is part of a series and that this is the 4th installment. But I don't think that caused a problem. The book can be easily read as a standalone because you can still connect with the characters.
Jessica Shaw is a PI who is hired by a Christine Ryan to find a long lost friend. What looks like a simple missing persons case quickly becomes a lot more complicated, because the lost friend was at some point of time the lover of a serial killer, whose wife has recently been killed. I was engulfed in this gripping story from the beginning. The writing is fast paced, which makes the book unputdownable. What makes it even better is that the story is not predictable. It takes time for the little doubts to creep in and theories to start formulating.
This was also the first book I've ever read from Lisa Gray and loved how she focused on the fact that the victims of serial killers are often forgotten. We've heard and read a lot about Ted Bundy, BTK or Jack the Ripper, but not much about their victims. These notorious men end up as celebrities. This is the sad part of true crime, where the killers get a lot more attention than the victims.
I would love to pick up more books from the author and I would like to thank NetGalley for the ARC.
I received an ARC of this novel from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
A private investigator tracks a woman who gave birth to the daughter of a notorious serial killer. There are lots of twists and turns in this mystery novel.
I love the strong female characters. It was a very fun read.
A clever mystery book with plenty of twists and turns. What a great series - can't wait for the next book!!
Jessica Shaw a PI is hired to find a long lost friend of Christine's, Veronica Lowe who had disappeared after a photo was published of her and her daughter with the child father, a prisoner in death row.
Jessica starts diggng and putting together the pieces as to where Veronica may have gone.
All is not as it seems though and Jessica seems to be uncovering more mysteries as she is investigating.
Good read and the story flows well.
Thanks to Netgalley for a copy of this book for an honest review.
Another new book that I hadn't realised was 4th in a series. Made little difference to me as there was enough background covered that this can be read as a standalone book.
A good book about a private investigator employed to find a friend who's been missing for over a decade. Lots of intrigue and different points of view throughout the story. Would recommend for crime/whodunit lovers!
Another one that I could not get into.
I thought this sounded really promising but I could not get into the story
(Jessica Shaw #4)
by Lisa Gray
Finding love through the want ads is nothing new. But finding love with a death row inmate is a different way to well find it. How would you date? Communication is done by mail, so pen pal love is the way to go.
PI Jessica Shaw is hired by Christine to find her friend Veronica who wrote to inmates 20 some years ago.
Travis Dean Ford is interesting, he must have been very charismatic and charming, but he also had a secret. He was a serial killer. But he got caught.
So on death row he recieved many letters and love offers from women. Surprisingly he met, married and fathered a child with Veronica.
Behind bars no less.
Then Veronica and her daughter vanished.
So Jessica is hired to find them.
Are they still alive?
The story switched back and forth through time and is told by different people.
Even though this is the fourth book in the series and the first I had read by the author it can easily be read as a stand-alone.
The plot was interesting, most of the characters were nice, and the killer well he was a mixture of things but nothing I would like or love.
The switching of who was telling what in different chapters kept the story moving and gave it more depth.
The suspense and mystery were very good.
The fast paced plot and the short chapters kept me reading. I needed to know how things would turn out.
So I enjoyed the twists and turns and would recommend this book to people who like thrillers and mysteries.
Thank you Netgalley for the complimentary arc in exchange for an honest review.
Number four in the series about a private investigator Jessica Shaw. This time she is hired to find someone who has been missing for over fifteen years.. I am really enjoying this series, Jessica is a strong and interesting character and I’m looking forward to the next instalment.
I really love this series. It is one of the best ones going right now, in my opinion, and I was not at all disappointed in this latest entry. I like this author's writing style. It is just very easy to read and the stories are very engrossing. I never get bored, there are always twists and turns and new info being discovered. I like the Jessica character and Pryce and Connor and am interested in seeing where Jessica goes from here. I blew through this book in one day and can't wait for Jessica's next case
A suspenseful, twisty story that kept me gripped to the last page. Really enjoyed reading this one and look forward to more from this talented author. 5 stars
Fourth in the series about private investigator Jessica Shaw. An intriguing storyline which goes back and forth and has lots of twists and turns. A good read.
This is the first book I’ve read from this series but I loved Jessica so I will definitely be going back to read the rest. A private investigator makes a change from all the police procedural books l I read. This book is full of twists and turns with lots of drama. I kicked myself for not working something out sooner. I’m also so intrigued by people that are obsessed with death row prisoners so that was an interesting plot point. The quick pace and short chapters made it an easy read that I devoured in 2 sittings.
I received a copy of the ebook via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review
This was a cleverly plotted mystery with some twists that kept me guessing. Jessica has spunk and is a likeable character. Great series.
Many thanks to Amazon Publishing UK and to NetGalley for providing me with a galley in exchange for my honest opinion.
This is the fourth book in a series. I knew that going in and took a chance that it wouldn't be hard to catch up and I was right. There were lots of little twists in this tale involving Jessica Shaw, PI, as she delved into a "finding love on death row" situation causing deaths outside the prison. As she gets to the heart of the situation, Jessica finds herself being watched closely as well. I read this book quickly and absolutely loved it! Great thriller and thankful for the ARC
I love police procedurals and PI books. This was an interesting take on the search of a missing woman who was a pen pal with a prisoner convicted of murder. The mystery spans over dual timelines with PI Jessica searching for Veronica using tips from Veronica’s best friend. The trail leads Jessica in several directions and then she discovers the clue that changes everything. This is book #4 in the Jessica Shaw Series and my first.
sprry it has taken so long too review this i got out of reading for a while i havent read a lisa gray book before but i just couldnt put this one down was gripped from beginning too end and really liked Jessica will be keeping an eye put for the next one