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March 27, 2017

The Long and Faraway Gone

The Long and Faraway Gone

By: Lou Berney

Two tragic events from over two decades ago intertwine in this gripping cold case thriller.

The Long and Faraway Gone by Lou Berney is a mystery with numerous accolades, including Edgar Allan Poe and Reading List awards.  It is intense and brilliantly written.  As cliché as it sounds, I could not put it down!

The novel is told through alternating perspectives of several characters, particularly Wyatt and Julianna.  Wyatt is the sole survivor of a shooting at the movie theatre where he worked as a teenager.  Julianna is the sister of a girl who went missing from the State Fair that same Oklahoma summer in 1986.  Both of these cases went unsolved for decades, almost forgotten by the Sooner State.

Over the years, Wyatt grew into a confident private investigator, albeit with commitment issues.  While Julianna is a nurse who cannot keep her focus on anything but the whereabouts of her beloved sister, Genevieve.  Both characters embrace their mysterious pasts on a hunt to find the truth about who was responsible for the tragedies that shaped their lives.  They put themselves, and others, in danger while taking the investigations into their own hands.

The story lines mingle slightly throughout the story, with several twists that truly surprised me.  The characters are flawed, sometimes making cringe-worthy decisions.  Berney invests the reader in finding out what happened in that dark movie theatre and at the Oklahoma State Fair.  His descriptions of the music, movies, and pop culture of the 80s had me reminiscing of my own childhood – and reaching for my favorite flavored lip balm.

I highly recommend this book for any mystery lover who likes compelling stories with thorough character development – and a touch of nostalgia.

Looking for more?  Check out these read-a-likes:   In the Woods by Tana French, All the Missing Girls by Megan Miranda, The Burning Room by Michael Connelly, and The Devil Wins by Robert B. Parker.

Review By:  Kirsten Edwards