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?
©2015 Lou Berney (P)2016 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
Don't know what I want to be when I grow up. Trip's cool though. Use Audible to make gym-training sane... And rip my imagination.
Lou Berney writes with gentle power here. I respect tight plotting, dimensional characters, and a story arc that's nimble and quick as a mechanical rabbit teasing runners on a dog track. There's just no down side to "The Long and Faraway Gone". Its ensemble's cut and pasted from different places in time and Berney uses them to create two whodunits that ride parallel tracks seamlessly and comfortably. Wyatt, a troubled PI and Julianna the traumatized nurse share a common neurosis - each triggered by mysterious tragedies that happened long ago and faraway from the moment where they live today.
Brian Hutchison and Amy McFadden share a note-perfect talent to deepen this complex story way farther than I'd have imagined if I merely read this novel. Look up there... I gave Bermey, McFadden and Hutchison 15 stars! And I only stopped 'cause I couldn't figure out how to sniggle more into the star-space.
You like mysteries that resonate literary as well? I do and I'll look for more Berney books... Right now!
I am a 67 year old psychologist. I have been married for 28 years, with two sons who are 27 and 24. I love listening to the books.
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.
Love a good mystery, but don't care much for pure thrillers.
It is seldom I don't finish listening to a book that is well read, but I'm making an exception after two hours' investment. The first couple of chapters are great, and captured my interest, but it was downhill from there. There are two primary threads to this story, both related to unrelated events that occurred 25 years earlier, and the chapters (and readers) alternate between them. I know from other reviewers that these threads don't come together and the resolution of one is deus ex machina and the other quite implausible. The female protagonist Julianna sounds very intelligent up to a point but acts so dumb at the same time. The male protagonist Wyatt is only a bit more believable. Berney's writing is good prose; as a result, it takes a while to figure out that it is going nowhere. While each paragraph makes good sense, the development of the story does not.
This is one of those books that makes me grateful for Audible's marvelous return policy. Although I'm not happy I spent my time listening to this book, I'd be even more bummed if I had wasted. a credit. 2 people with horrible tragedies in their past try to make sense of what happened to them. I almost quit listening several times because I didn't care much about either character. The story was unbelievable in places and the female lead acted in ways that I found too hard to swallow. I wish I had skipped this one.
Off the beaten path duo mysteries kept me interested, but the characters are what linger in my mind. The main characters of each mystery are well-written and narrated, but casting a woman from the upper Midwest as an Okie proved somewhat jarring and distracting. Otherwise, an appealing production.
When I used to play video games, I always thought it would be cool to have a FPS map of my office or neighborhood or a driving game based on OKC. The Long and Faraway Gone is like that. Deep characters and a plot that keeps you guessing. It's been a joy to listen to.
This book was a let down. It had the makings of a good story but there was so much inconsequential verbiage and lack of suspense that it got boring. Wyatt's character was better than Giuliana's but both had flaws: Would a 38 year old professional really be that obsessed after 26 years that she would give up virtually everything she has to find out what happened to her sister?
It appeared that the two characters would play a larger part in each others lives as the story intimated, but that was a let down too.
Actually, the third plot that involves two of the secondary characters is better than the 2 main plots.
On a positive note, the endings of all three plots are unexpected.
The two readers were okay but nothing special.
I ignore genre labels. Some of my favorite books are outside my genre comfort zone. Listening to audiobooks is still reading. Not theater.
This is two distinct, slow moving, gradually unfolding stories that kept my interest until the end. The two main characters are both the surviving victims of horrendous crimes and neither, although 20+ years have passed, ever moved on. As they both move towards closure you see just how deeply they were damaged by their history. It is a mystery. There is little suspense though, and the book takes its time getting to the conclusions. But the writer has an excellent style for this type of novel. Not too wordy, but crisp and to the point. He paints convincing pictures of both main characters. I thought Hutchison did a great job with the narration. McFadden was OK.
One very strange thing. The synopsis of this book suggests that the two main characters eventually hook up. It actually says "...their obsessive quest spark sexual currents neither can resist...will there shared passion and obsession heal them ..." But this never happened.
The two meet briefly on two different occasions, have short, largely inconsequential conversations (although random comments do result in a couple of clues) and never discuss their stories.
So as I read the book I kept waiting for the two to connect. I actually thought that if they did get together sexually, it wouldn't fit the mood and atmosphere of the book. So I am not disappointed that they didn't connect, but wish I had not read the incorrect synopsis before reading the book. Because a) I kept waiting for some event or situation to bring them together and tie the two mysteries together and b) because since I had it in my head that at some point the two divergent story lines would connect, after finishing the book I was struck by how it was actually two separate novels, with the only thing in common was location.
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