Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Bad Memory (Jessica Shaw, #2)” as Want to Read:
Bad Memory (Jessica Shaw, #2)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Bad Memory

(Jessica Shaw #2)

4.21  ·  Rating details ·  10,982 ratings  ·  492 reviews

Private investigator Jessica Shaw is leading a quiet life in a Californian desert community, where she spends her days working low-level cases. But when a former resident asks Jessica to help her sister, Rue Hunter—a convicted murderer whose execution is days away—Jessica can’t resist the offer.

Rue doesn't remember what happened the night two high school students were kill

Kindle Edition, 311 pages
Published October 24th 2019 by Thomas & Mercer
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Bad Memory, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
T Balkovic I read them in order, but I think you could read them out of order without missing anything. The author references things from the first book but alwa…moreI read them in order, but I think you could read them out of order without missing anything. The author references things from the first book but always gives enough information for those who haven't read it.(less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.21  · 
Rating details
 ·  10,982 ratings  ·  492 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Bad Memory (Jessica Shaw, #2)
Louise Wilson
Oct 16, 2019 rated it liked it
Jessica Shaw #2

Rue Hunter is in prison for double murder. She is due to be executed in a weeks time. Her sister Rose hires Private Detective Jessica Shaw to investigate the crime that happened thirty years ago. Rue was charged with killing her est friend and her boyfriend. But Rue can't remember killing them.

I did not know that this was the second book in this series. I don't think you need to read the first book as this one reads well as a standalone. But I always recommend, if you can, to read
The Cats’ Mother
Bad Memory is the second book in the Jessica Shaw series about a prickly Private Investigator working cold cases in small towns in California. I had enjoyed Thin Air and this was another well-rounded and carefully plotted thriller. While you’ll understand Jessica’s character a lot better by reading them in order, this story stands alone.

Jessica has been working as a PI in Hundred Acres for six months when she is approached by the sister of a death row inmate, Rue Hunter, who is facing imminent e
Mar 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
Private Investigator Jessica Shaw has been approached by a woman whose sister is on death row. Rue Hunter confessed to the murder of her two best friends thirty years ago. With her execution only a week away, Rue's sister has asked Jessica to look into the case. Rue is questioning the accuracy of her memory and what happened that night. Jessica jumps at the chance to work the case. But when she mentions the case to her friend, Detective Jason Pryce, he becomes upset. Jason doesn't want Jessica s ...more
Damon Horak
Mar 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
It was interesting and a solid read, would recommend to any one who likes dramatic plots.
Kym Jones
Sep 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In trying to help a death row inmate with her last request, PI Jessica Shaw learns small towns are often the ones with the BIGGEST secrets! Is this death row inmate actually guilty? If not, who could want her to stay in jail, and why? Jessica Shaw is forced to do what she can to find out the truth as fast as she can since the clock is ticking, and there are some secrets some people are willing to kill to keep. In this pulse pounding thriller, Bad Memory, Lisa Gray will have your heart racing fro ...more
CD {Boulder Blvd}
Nov 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
I read book #1 in this series but my memory was a little vague. Luckily, it didn't impact my enjoyment of this book. It's helpful to read the first book in this series, but it's not necessary. The plot of this book is a stand alone read.

I was definitely impressed with this second book. I'm so glad I decided to continue this series. I liked Jessica's character and really liked the plot (see book description). I like cold case plots and thought this one was really good. It was fast paced and I lik
Q.J. Martin
Nov 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
An Improvement Over Book One

This novel is an improvement over book one for sure. The mystery itself is very well-developed and planned iout. My only issue is a continuation from the previous book, primarily that "people just don't talk like that," that just because you're in a small town, it doesn't mean everyone knows everyone, and I have never seen these numbers of hard liquor guzzling, freight train smoking, strip-club going people in real life.
Oct 23, 2019 rated it liked it
I loved the first book in this series Thin Air which I awarded five stars. Unfortunately I cannot say the same about this book. Don't get me wrong it is still a good read but I found it rather predictable and lack lustre. I am sure other readers will enjoy it more just not for me.
I would like to thank the author, publisher and Netgalley for the ARC.
Aug 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ebook-arc
Bad Memory was a really interesting 2nd book in the Jessica Shaw Series. In this one, Jessica is asked to try to solve a murder that occurred over thirty years earlier. She has only a few days to figure out what really happened, as the woman, Rue Hunter, who was convicted of the double murder when she was a teenager is due to be put to death in a few days. When Jessica visits Rue in prison, she finds that Rue doesn't remember what happened that night. It is up to Jessica to determine what really ...more
Aug 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
3.75 stars rounded up

After solving the case of her own mother's murder -- Thin Air -- Jessica Shaw decides to stay in California so she can appeal in getting her California PI license. She settles in Hundred Acres, a desert community, sixty miles north LA, and working on cases for a small detective agency. Then a sister of a death-row inmate, Rue Hunter, comes to Jessica, asking Jessica to investigate Rue's case. Thirty years ago Rue confessed to a double murder. Rue is set to death sentence and
Donna Hines
Nov 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc, netgalley
One question - Why did she ever wait so long?
We may never know the answer but the plea to find the truth may have needed plenty of time to sort out fact from fiction especially in this small town.
Guilt v Innocence - What ever happened to the idea of 'based on the preponderance of evidence' and 'everyone deserves a chance to defend themselves in a court of law?'
It seems more and more these days we are seeing innocent people being locked up on death row for crimes they never committed and worse st
Nov 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This was a fast paced who-done-it. I never figured out the murder mystery until the very end!
Loved it! Looking forward to reading more in this series. Great characters, zigs and zags, lots of excitement! Wonderfully written! Thanks for my win in its giveaway.
Mar 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2020
Pretty good thriller mystery, didn't want to put it down lol I liked that it didn't have any sex scenes too. couldn't stop thinking about pooh-bear everytime they said the town name tho lmfao
Jessica Guht
Aug 19, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this book without having read the first book in the series, but about halfway through this book I decided that I wanted to read the first book, and any subsequent ones. I also feel that even though I didn’t read the first book I was confused about very little in the story, and nothing relating to the main plot.

The main character, Jessica Shaw, is obviously flawed which makes her that much more relatable. I really liked seeing not only her character flaws but also her weaknesses, it was re
Phoebe Jeziel
Mar 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟

This second installment continues to be a solid 4 starts for me! I’m really enjoying the characters and stories. I like Jessica quite a bit, and the plot continues to be intriguing.

I think I’ll continue to stick around this series to see what Jessica gets herself up to in the future books!
Mary Picken
Oct 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
I was a big fan of Thin Air, the first Jessica Shaw book and so jumped at the chance to review the second in the series. Easily read as a stand-alone, I really loved the follow up, Bad Memory.

Jessica is drifting as she moves around California, stopping in the desert community of Hundred Acres to work for a while in a PI’s office in order to secure her California Investigator’s licence. She has hooked up with the local diner owner and son of the local Sheriff, Dylan, which at least ensures she is
Aug 28, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery, crime
Bad Memory is book two of Jessica Shaw series by Lisa Gray. One night leaving her office Jessica Shaw was asked to investigate a murder case before Rue Hunter execution. Jessica could not resist investigating this case. However, more she explores this case, the more community secrets Jessica finds. Will Jessica Shaw's investigation into the thirty-year-old murder investigation get her killed. The readers of Bad Memory will continue to follow Jessica Shaw investigation into the murder conviction ...more
Sep 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Thanks to Netgally and Amazon Publishing UK for providing this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Private investigator, Jessica Shaw is approached by Rose, a woman whose sister, Rue, is on death row and going to be executed for a double murder she supposedly committed over 30 years ago when she was 17. Rose wants Jessica to take one last look at the case and see if there is any way to clear Rue before her execution.

I love a good detective story with an investigation that keeps turning up new
Feb 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is the second book in the Jessica Shaw series. The first book, Thin Air, was fantastic and I knew I wanted more of PI Jessica Shaw. She formerly was a PI in New York, but after the death of her father she left NY and headed west, settling in California. She’s a very smart investigator, definitely knows how to get things done, and will not take any bull from anyone.
In this book she is hired by a woman who has a sister, Rue, on death row. The tricky thing is Rue has been in prison for 30 yea
Feb 20, 2020 rated it liked it
Rating: 3.5 stars

The plot of Bad Memory was not as confusing as Thin Air, but it still seemed a bit contrived. I think that there will be a 3rd book (although I haven't seen proof). I like the idea that she would be working as a PI in Los Angeles and have a less random (more mature) relationship with someone (no spoilers).
Esther Firkins
Jan 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
Hard to put down

I liked the way this moved along quickly. The main character Jessica is like able and the story kept you guessing.
Jun 09, 2020 rated it liked it
would have been 5 stars but for the dreaded hateful "back & forth" in time, would have been 4 stars if not for the very, very improbable killer... ...more
Nov 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
Entertaining read... Jessica works to find the real killer just in time to free Rue from the death penalty.
Adrian Lawrence
Nov 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book ticked all the boxes for me. I love a mystery/thriller and this one shows how it's done. Set in Small Town USA, it took very little time to get up to speed and we're presented with Jessica's new investigation. The plot is full of intrigue, secrets, deceit and a town full of people who might be lying. All set against the backdrop of an impending death row execution that might need to be stopped. I never encountered a dull moment and genuinely couldn't pull myself away from it. I enjoyed ...more
Jul 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars

Very, very well written. I enjoyed the twists and turns in the story and the characters were well crafted. The author is very talented and I will read the other books in this series. The only reason I didn't give 5 stars is because I'm sensitive to sentence fragments, and while I think they can be effectively used from time to time, I felt they were overused in this book. Ms. Gray does excel at her use of simile, though -- there were a number I marked but one that stood out for me was:
Aug 24, 2020 rated it liked it
Lisa Gray's Glasgow home is a long way from Jessica Shaw’s California, but Gray has done her research and I can feel the desert heat and see the glint of light as the sun catches the Airstream trailer Jessica calls home. Gray’s journalism background is also evident from the start; there’s not a wasted word, yet there’s description enough that we hear the echo of the screams as Rue Hunter experiences her recurring nightmare and feel the concrete floor of her prison cell.
Rue has been in jail for 3
Elite Group
Oct 02, 2019 rated it liked it
California has not executed a prisoner since 2006, and a woman has not met her end in the death chamber since 1964. But this is about to change – after more than 20 years on death row Rue Hunter must pay for a brutal double murder.

Still, after all these years, her dream is the same. After confessing to the double murder, she has lived with her deed in the confines of her six-by-eleven-foot cell. Now though, at the point of facing the finality of her death sentence, she wishes she could rememb
Sep 14, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What an incredible story! Murder mystery novels are my absolutely favourite of all book genres, if they are done right! Recently, I have been disappointed with the novels I have read in this genre that have been recommended to me, but when I accepted this ARC on NetGalley, I had no idea that I would be reading a book that would keep me on the edge of my (car)seat until the very last page. I read this book whilst on a journey to Birmingham, and I didn’t even notice the time passing, as my nose wa ...more
Oct 03, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“There’s always something interesting happening in small towns. You just need to know where to look.”

The quote is utterly suitable with the book. Hundred Acres all of a sudden become an interesting small town for Jessica Shaw, the Private Investigator in the local agency. Rose Hunter paid her to investigate the old murder case which involved her only sister, Rue Hunter. The case, ladies and gentleman, happened thirty years ago.

I didn't know this is series. I happened to suspect it when in the mi
Stanley McShane
Oct 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
My first in the series of two and I can see why Book 1 (Thin Air) has garnered over 2K reviews on Amazon. The storyline revolves around a death row inmate due for execution, the sudden questioning of her own confession, and her sister's desire to get at the truth--either way. I loved the way the author built a slow-burn, gleaning a small clue that somehow festers into an actual useable gem--something to build on.

Each chapter names one of the many characters and captures their view of the circum
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • A Talent for Killing
  • A Cold Trail (Tracy Crosswhite, #7)
  • The Girl That Vanished (Emma Griffin FBI Mystery, #2)
  • Save Your Breath (Morgan Dane #6)
  • The 7th Victim (Karen Vail, #1)
  • The Girl in Cabin 13 (Emma Griffin FBI Mystery, #1)
  • Hide Away (Rachel Marin Thriller #1)
  • The Sound of Rain (Nicole Foster Thriller #1)
  • A Killer's Wife (Desert Plains, #1)
  • The Sleep Experiment
  • Hillary's Back! (DI Hillary Greene, #18)
  • The Last Sister (Columbia River #1)
  • Cross Her Heart (Bree Taggert, #1)
  • I Know Everything
  • Vanished (Callahan & McLane, #1)
  • Bred in the Bone (Widow's Island #4)
  • See Her Die (Bree Taggert, #2)
  • Whisper of Bones (Widow's Island #3)
See similar books…
Lisa Gray is a writer and journalist, and the author of the PI Jessica Shaw thriller series.

She decided at a young age that she wanted to write features for magazines and somehow ended up working as a football journalist for 14 years instead.

After too many winters spent freezing at matches and worrying about dodgy wi-fi connections, Lisa gave up football to work as a content writer at a national n

Other books in the series

Jessica Shaw (3 books)
  • Thin Air (Jessica Shaw, #1)
  • Dark Highway (Jessica Shaw, #3)

News & Interviews

As dedicated readers already know, some of the best and most innovative stories on the shelves come from the constantly evolving realm of...
37 likes · 10 comments