Synopses & Reviews
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 hes 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, shell 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?
“Berney takes you places you're not sure you want to go and brings you out again with a sure hand. It's a satisfyingly complete deep-dive into a complicated history, with not only suspense but a compelling resolution.” Carrie La Seur, author of The Home Place
“With sharp wit and prose that brings the 80s to life in all its stone-washed glory, Lou Berney tells a complex story of characters struggling to make sense of life....Affecting, funny, and unfailingly honest, The Long and Faraway Gone is an extraordinary book.” M.P. Cooley, author of Ice Shear
“Multi-faceted, layered, intense, alive — if you read only one crime novel this year, this should be the one.” Sara J. Henry, Anthony Award-winning author of A Cold and Lonely Place
“Berney's novel is most truly a thoughtful exploration of memory and what it means to be a survivor. Elegiac and wistful, it is a lyrical mystery...with a deep, wounded heart. Read it.” Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“Focused, very insightfully, on love, loss, and memory...fully realized creations that readers wont soon forget. A genuinely memorable novel of ideas.” Booklist (starred review)
In the summer of 1986, two tragedies rocked Oklahoma City. Six movie-theater employees were brutally killed in an armed robbery. 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 continue to echo through the lives of those devastated by the crimes. Wyatt, the one teenage employee who inexplicably survived the movie-theater massacre, is now a private investigator in Las Vegas. A case unexpectedly brings him back to a hometown and 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 — specifically the day her beautiful older sister, Genevieve, disappeared at the fair. When Julianna discovers that one of the original suspects has resurfaced, she'll stop at nothing to find answers.
As Wyatt's case becomes more complicated and dangerous, and Julianna seeks answers from a ghost, their obsessive quests not only stir memories of youth and first love, but also begin to illuminate dark secrets of the past. Even if they find the truth, will it help them understand what happened and why they were left behind that long and faraway gone summer? Will it set them free — or ultimately destroy them?
About the Author
Lou Berney is the author of two previous novels — Whiplash River, nominated for an Edgar Award, and Gutshot Straight, nominated for a Barry Award-as well as the collection The Road to Bobby Joe and Other Stories. A television and film screenwriter, he also teaches writing at the University of Oklahoma and Oklahoma City University.