Wednesday, February 25, 2015

TLC BLOG TOUR: The Long and Faraway Gone by Lou Berney

Title: The Long and Faraway Gone
Author: Lou Berney
Genre: Adult Mystery Fiction
Publisher: William Morrow
Release Date: February 10/2015
Acquired: Print copy sent by publisher
Goodreads: ADD

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 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—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?


 Witty dialogue won me over in The Long and Faraway Gone, though I could have done with the entire narrative being comprised of just dialogue. Berney had fantastic comedic timing, and cast of characters that truly knew who they were. I especially liked the two story lines that existed so closely together, yet so far apart in emotion. I was a more immersed in Julianna's tale, and her search for her sister, but it was Wyatt who had me completely smitten.

The year is 1986. Six movie theatre employees are brutally murdered. Across town, a 12-year-old is told to sit and wait patiently as her older sister walks away, and never returns. Both cases have remained opened, and frustratingly unsolved. The narrative follows the two people most effected by the incidents: Wyatt escaped death on that fateful day at the movie theatre, Julianna, the sister that watched her sibling walk away for good. Their separate stories eventually reach a collision point, as Wyatt and Julianna search for answers in the most likely of places, and the dark corners that were never touched.

Berney's writing was reminiscent of summer nights. Summer nights fraught with mystery, intrigue, and tension, but summer nights nonetheless. His writing generally had a tiring effect on me. It took me close to forever to complete this book: the meaty portions were a tad too meaty, and Wyatt's interaction with the world far too enjoyable to enjoy anything but the parts he spent speaking. The twists were held hostage until the very end of the narrative, and by then, I found that it didn't really matter who the killer was, where anyone's sister went, and how strong the bond was between any two characters. In fact, nothing of much value happened at ALL until the very end. The majority of The Long and Faraway Gone was spent shadowing the main characters as they crept around town, poking noses in uninvited places. Little time was spent on exposing deeper layers of the characters' psyche.

If I could give a star rating based on dialogue alone, The Long and Faraway Gone gets a solid 4 stars for wit. Unfortunately, the noise drowned out the voices in this case, and I was left wanting so much more from the narrative.

Recommended for Fans of: Third Rail by Rory Flynn, The Last Policeman by Ben H. Winters, Mystery, Intrigue, Thriller.


Lou Berney is the author of the novels The Long and Faraway Gone (2015), the Edgar-award nominated Whiplash River (2012), and Gutshot Straight (2010), named one of Booklist's Top 10 Debut Crime Novels. His short fiction has appeared in publications such as The New Yorker, Ploughshares, the New England Review, and the Pushcart Prize anthology. He has written feature screenplays and created TV pilots for, among others, Warner Brothers, Paramount, Focus Features, ABC, and Fox.

Contact Links:
Website - Twitter - Facebook


Thank-you to Trish from TLC Book Tours for hosting this tour, and to William Morrow for sending me a print copy to review! CLICK HERE to follow the rest of the tour.


  1. I love me some witty banter!

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts as part of the tour.

  2. I won this book, although I have not received it yet. So I'm glad to read your review. Thanks


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