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Publisher's Summary

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.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Ted
  • Lancaster, PA, United States
  • 08-25-16

It's all together here

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!

62 of 63 people found this review helpful

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Mr. Berney deserves a larger audience.

Would you consider the audio edition of The Long and Faraway Gone to be better than the print version?

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.

Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

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.

Which character – as performed by Brian Hutchison and Amy McFadden – was your favorite?

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?

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

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.

Any additional comments?

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.

58 of 61 people found this review helpful

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Sorry I listened to this one-

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.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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Good concept poorly executed. DNF.

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.

45 of 52 people found this review helpful

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excellent

I loved the 2 narrators and their unique way of telling their parts. The book was great and had me guessing the whole way. Great experience.

16 of 19 people found this review helpful

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Good story. Couldn't stop listening.

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.

20 of 25 people found this review helpful

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A good one

Boy, I liked this book! At first I wonderred if I could sit through the whole thing - then - I was hooked on its slow unfolding, sprightly characters and cold case method.

19 of 24 people found this review helpful

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  • Matt
  • Oklahoma City, OK, United States
  • 08-08-16

Love letter to my hometown

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.

19 of 24 people found this review helpful

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Emotional tale, well narrated

Subtle is how I’d characterize this book. It’s billed as two mysteries coming together, but it really doesn’t. Wyatt’s and Juliana’s situations connect in the lightest, most tangential way. As individual stories they are quite different and Juliana’s is the most exasperating. She tells herself she’s being stupid (monumentally so), but doesn’t stop and the urge to shake her is great. Wyatt, on the other hand, is trying to be smart, but is blind to certain things that I picked up on, although not totally. Both stories are tales of fate and circumstance and how just one small thing can make a life spin out of control, or end it all together. There are some surprises along the way and both mysteries are resolved in a satisfactory way.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • DWR
  • Minnesota, USA
  • 02-08-17

Shallow and boring

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.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful