Detective Annalisa Vega Book 2
August 9th, 2022
Long Gone by Joanna Schaffhausen once again intertwines family dynamics, bad cops, and long-held secrets with a riveting story. This second book in the series brings back police detective Annalisa Vega. But a word of warning: If book two is read first it will spoil book one. Although each book is a stand-alone and can be read on its own, if anyone wants to go back to the beginning of the series, read book one first because book two will spoil book one.
“Both books have a natural extension of her character. Annalisa did not intend to expose bad cops in the first book; she stumbled onto a solution she very much did not want but made the hard choice to pursue justice at the expense of her family and the “thin blue line.” Because of those actions, she now finds herself on the other side of the line and figures she has nothing left to lose by going after more bad cops. The question is whether she is right about the calculus, and if, in fact, she does have more left to lose.”
Vega and her ex-husband, Nick Carrelli, have a working relationship since they are police partners. They are sent to investigate the killing of detective Leo Hammond. His wife insists that the murderer is dressed in a black wetsuit and diving mask. Vega sets her sights on Moe Bocks, who resented Hammond after he accused him of killing his girlfriend twenty years ago but was never charged for lack of evidence. To complicate matters, Vega’s best friend and sister-in-law, Sassy, is dating Bocks. But there is also the problem that Vega in solving a cold case murder ruined her relationships with her family. As Annalisa and Nick investigate deeper into the past, they find that Hammond is part of the Fantastic Four, detectives with a high crime solve rate. Yet, it appears that these detectives might not be so fantastic after all and might be dirty.
“Vega and Sassy have a strained relationship with a lot of tension. They were best friends when Sassy married Annalisa’s brother, Alex, and Annalisa is a doting auntie to Sassy and Alex’s two young daughters. But Annalisa also did something to shatter Sassy’s family. Annalisa feels guilty for the fallout; Sassy is just trying to survive day-to-day and can’t take on Annalisa’s feelings too. They love each other but there is a wall between them now.”
Although Vega is a very gifted detective that is honest, upright, and hardworking she sometimes has tunnel vision. Keeping her on the right track is hard work for Nick. He respects her abilities but wants her to be less reckless as she attempts to follow leads on her own. These two have a personal history where he wants a second chance and she pushes him away, despite having unresolved feeling for him.
“Nick and Annalisa have a layered relationship. They have a playful sort of banter and a lingering attraction. They make good police partners as Nick’s grounded approach counters Annalisa’s rush to action. But Annalisa is not in an especially trusting place right now. He did play around on her when they were married briefly many years ago. Now he claims to be reformed and Annalisa must decide if she trusts him again. After the events of the first book, her real family and her cop family are angry with her and she with them, after the trust they broke. So, when Nick tries to convince Annalisa to give him another shot, she is wary of being burned yet again.”
Schaffhausen is a master of intrigue and suspense. She writes vivid characters who are multilayered and compelling. Her plots are intricate as she weaves in tension, suspense, with some action.