Long Gone by Joanna Schaffhausen #BookReview #Thriller #PoliceProcedural

Long Gone, the next installment of Joanna Schaffhausen’s critically acclaimed Detective Annalisa Vega series.

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

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

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

What’s it about (in a nutshell):

Long Gone by Joanna Schaffhausen is the second book in the Detective Annalisa Vega series. It is about Annalisa’s investigation into the murder of a fellow cop.

Initial Expectations (before beginning the book):

I love the cover with simply an open window and the curtain blowing in the breeze. I don’t know what it means for the story, but it is definitely intriguing. The blurb sounds thrilling, with Annalisa investigating a cop killer. The case is mixed up with her family once again. I loved book one in this series, so I am again expecting a thrill ride that I cannot help but love.

Actual Reading Experience:

What sets this series apart for me is the complex family story that is threaded through the police procedural. It plays a prominent role, allowing the characters to come to life in a way I rarely see in the sub-genre. The second book starts where the first book leaves off, and many family issues still need working through. It’s always fascinating as the two main threads of the story wrap around each other, part, and then wrap around each other again in a new way.

I also love the banter between Annalisa and her ex-husband/partner, Nick. There is so much wit and chemistry between them. I can definitely see why they tried marriage. It’s a shame that it didn’t work out but fun that they can still work together regardless.

The mystery was the thrill ride I hoped for and took so many twists and turns. A couple of those twists were absolutely jaw-dropping. I never in a million years would have guessed the conclusion, which was quite poignant, as was the conclusion in the first book of the series. That is another attribute that sets this series apart from the others. The endings are not just a satisfying “justice served” ending, but it pulls at the heartstrings for one reason or another.


Rating: 4 out of 5.

Writing Quality:

Rating: 5 out of 5.


Annalisa Vega is a detective with the Chicago PD. She lives and works with a strict moral code dictating her choices. Annalisa’s mentally and physically tough, as she proves time and time again. So tough that she manages to partner with her ex-husband without letting any baggage get in the way of the job, and that can’t be easy.

Character Development:

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Narration & Pacing:

The third-person narration focuses primarily on Annalisa, the main character, and the pacing is incredibly fast. Plenty of action throughout keeps the suspense high and the pages flipping. And when someone important to the series becomes a suspect, the tension is ramped up even more.


‘Couldn’t Put It Down’-ness:

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Rating: 5 out of 5.


The story is set in Chicago – mainly within the city, but it also ventures a little way out to the suburbs.

What It Reminds Me Of:

It was reminiscent of book one in this series.

To Read or Not to Read:

If you love thrilling procedurals with a compelling and complex family plot line, you will absolutely adore this series by Joanna Schaffhausen. This series should be started with the first book, Gone for Good.

Overall Rating:

Rating: 5 out of 5.

21 Replies to “Long Gone by Joanna Schaffhausen #BookReview #Thriller #PoliceProcedural”

  1. Wonderful review, Tessa. I also love when there is a personal story that is intermingled with the crime and investigation. Annalisa’s family is so dysfunctional and I am looking forward to getting to this one. It sounds like one I will race through.

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