With the compelling narrative tension and psychological complexity of the works of Laura Lippman, Dennis Lehane, Kate Atkinson, and Michael Connelly, Edgar Award-nominee Lou Berney’s The Long and Faraway Gone is a smart, fiercely compassionate crime story that explores the mysteries of memory and the impact of violence on survivors—and the lengths they will go to find the painful truth of the events that scarred their lives.
In the summer of 1986, two tragedies rocked Oklahoma City. Six movie-theater employees were killed in an armed robbery, while one inexplicably survived. Then, a teenage girl vanished from the annual State Fair. Neither crime was ever solved.
Twenty-five years later, the reverberations of those unsolved cases quietly echo through survivors’ lives. A private investigator in Vegas, Wyatt’s latest inquiry takes him back to a past he’s tried to escape—and drags him deeper into the harrowing mystery of the movie house robbery that left six of his friends dead.
Like Wyatt, Julianna struggles with the past—with the day her beautiful older sister Genevieve disappeared. When Julianna discovers that one of the original suspects has resurfaced, she’ll stop at nothing to find answers.
As fate brings these damaged souls together, their obsessive quests spark sexual currents neither can resist. But will their shared passion and obsession heal them, or push them closer to the edge? Even if they find the truth, will it help them understand what happened, that long and faraway gone summer? Will it set them free—or ultimately destroy them?
I wouldn’t buy this book based just on the cover, although the title is very intriguing. This book was really good! I didn’t actually expect much, because the books I have read outside of my young adult and memoir genre comfort zone haven’t been great. I loved this book though. It is about two terrible events that take place in Oklahoma in 1986. The first is an armed robbery of a movie theater where six employees (mostly teenagers) are killed. The other is a girl is kidnapped, and presumed dead, from a carnival. The book bounces back and forth between the past and the present. It also alternates points of view. I really enjoy books that do this. The first point of view is of Wyatt, a private investigator in Las Vegas. I loved this character. He was so personable and funny (and often accused of being a smart ass.) For a case he goes back to his hometown of Oklahoma City, and is drawn back into the world he is trying to forget. In addition to trying to solve the case he was hired for, he also tries to find answers about what happened that night at the movie theater all those years ago. The second perspective is of Julianna, who is a nurse in Oklahoma. She has never attempted to move past the disappearance of her sister, and still is in contact with the detective that were on the case. I didn’t ever feel connected to her character though. There lives become briefly connected in the story. I expected (and was dreading) them to meet and fall in love by bonding over each of them surviving the tragic events of the past, blah blah blah. Luckily this doesn’t happen. I was very relieved, because it made the story seem more realistic to me. I want to say so much more about this book, but I really don’t want to give anything away. Normally I don’t care about leaving a ton of spoilers in my reviews, but because this is a mystery novel, I won’t give anything else away. Thoroughly enjoyed the book, and would check out more of Lou Berney’s work in the future. Perhaps there is hope for me to actually like this genre. I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review.THE LONG AND FARAWAY GONE is on Goodreads, and available to buy on Amazon, IndieBound, and Barnes & Noble.
PS: Have you read any of his other books that I should check out? How many books outside of your normal genre do you read before you decide it’s not the right fit for you?