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 the 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 theater 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?
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It's all together here
Mr. Berney deserves a larger audience.
I haven't read the print version. I always prefer the audiobook, as a good one gives you the gift of the narrators' performance, which, when it's excellent, is like a twelve hour movie in which you can cast the actors.
Yes. It's very clever. Alternating characters between Giuliana and Wyatt turns out to be an excellent device, as both are very talented readers, and the material which Mr. Berney has given them to read is just great. Sometimes I had to stifle my own laughter, because I didn't want to miss the next joke. Seriously, or, srsly, as my 23 yr old son would text that word. The disappearance of Genevieve Morales and the brutal murders/robbery at the movie theater are woven together masterfully. Some might feel that it goes on a bit long, and that Giuliana's pursuit of her sister's fate is obsessive, but those are quibbles. Mr. Berney's first book, Gutshot Straight (I believe) was great. The second book was not so good, but this third book is Mr. Berney's best work, and I hope it garners a larger audience for him. Like Tim Hallinan, who recommended this author to me, Mr. Berney is a very entertaining writer. He is so inventive and humorous and creative that he is irresistible. Have fun.
I think that both of the main characters are just excellent. The secondary characters also come alive (even those who are no longer with us) and the plot twists are interwoven so cleverly that you wonder: why aren't there more authors who can write like this?
The confrontation between Giuliana and the thug Crowley at the lake is amazing. You just cannot believe that she is giving this sleazebag ("he lies like he breathes," according to one cop) $20K in cash to tell her utterly useless information that might well be a pack of lies. Crowley is a perfectly drawn psychopath. He could be training material for a course in Psychopathology.
Nope. Buy this book right now. You will LYAO (laugh your a-- off) for many pleasureable hours. I guarantee it, as some clothing salesman once said. What a hustle.
- Richard Delman