Saturday, November 20, 2021

Lisa Gray's "Lonely Hearts"

Lisa Gray is an Amazon #1, Washington Post, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author. She previously worked as the Chief Scottish Football Writer at the Press Association and books columnist at the Daily Record Saturday Magazine. Her novels include: Thin Air, a Washington Post and Wall Street Journal bestseller and’s third-bestselling Kindle eBook of 2019; Bad Memory, a Wall Street Journal bestseller and longlisted for the McIlvanney Prize; and Dark Highway.

Here Gray dreamcasts an adaptation of her new novel, Lonely Hearts:
I often receive emails from readers—or see reviews on Amazon—saying they think the Jessica Shaw series would be perfect for the big screen or as a TV series. And, when Bad Memory was longlisted for the McIlvanney Prize, one of the judges described it as the one most likely to be adapted by Netflix. I couldn’t agree more!

Jessica Shaw is a private investigator who specializes in finding missing people. In Lonely Hearts, she’s hired by Christine Ryan to find her one-time best friend, Veronica Lowe. Veronica was a member of the Lonely Hearts Club, a pen pal service for women who want to write to men in prison. She vanished years earlier after having a child with Death Row inmate and notorious serial killer, Travis Dean Ford. Ford’s widow, Jordana—who was also a member of the Lonely Hearts Club—has been found murdered in the same way as his victims. Christine fears Veronica and her daughter could be next, leading to a race against time for Jessica to find them before the killer does.

Jessica Shaw: I've always had one actress in mind who I think would be perfect as my private eye main character—Kristen Stewart. I don’t mean the brunette high school student of the Twilight movies; I mean Kristen as she is now. With her short, peroxide blonde hair and cool, punky style, she’s exactly how I imagine Jessica would look. I think Kristen would capture Jessica’s personality pretty well too. Her performances in the likes of Twilight and Spencer show that she’s great at portraying that mixture of toughness and vulnerability that would be required for the role of Jessica.

Jason Pryce: Pryce is a veteran LAPD detective, friend of Jessica’s, and series regular. In Lonely Hearts, he heads up the investigation into Jordana Ford’s murder. He’s a devoted family man and a dedicated cop. He looks after himself and he likes his designer labels. So…someone who’d be convincing as a detective and who also has bags of style? Two words: Jamie Foxx.

Matt Connor: Another recurring series character, Connor is Jessica’s boss at the private detective agency and they also have a will-they-won’t-they, on-off thing going on. A bit like the ‘80s TV show Moonlighting. Connor is in his forties, attractive, charming and a big hit with the ladies. Bradley Cooper has the looks and charisma to make a great Matt Connor.

Veronica Lowe: Veronica attracted the attention of Travis Dean Ford because she was exactly like his victims—a slim, pretty redhead. Her flashback chapters show her as a young woman in her twenties who’s just beginning a relationship with her prison pen pal. What/If actress Jane Levy has the right look for sure, and she could also pull off Veronica’s girl next door persona.
Visit Lisa Gray's website.

The Page 69 Test: Lonely Hearts.

--Marshal Zeringue