Book Club – ‘The Long And Faraway Gone’ – Lou Berney

We read this one a while ago. I had mixed feelings. Again this wasn’t a book I would have usually picked myself but that is the good thing about book clubs, they encourage you to read new things and discover new authors. I did enjoy it and I do like reading something different every now and then.

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 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. 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?

The book follows two unsolved cases, one of a missing sister and the other a fatal robbery. I found it took me a while to get into this one, it seemed to drag in places. Whilst I did like the two cases being explored alternately, I wish they had interconnected more. It felt a bit disjointed at times.

I like the character of Wyatt and found his chapters more interesting. I felt Julianna’s story took a while to really get started. Both of their lives have been shaped by these events in their past and they are struggling to move forward without looking back. I felt one of the conclusions was rushed and not very satisfying. That being said there is plenty to discuss in this book such as theories, suspects, motives, etc, which make it a great pick for a book club.

Overall I am glad I read this, it was an interesting read and something different for me.


Amber’s Thoughts: –

It was an enjoyable mystery, although I lost interest somewhere in the middle because I felt there was a lack of focus. The ending and reveal to one mystery was interesting, but the other wasn’t wrapped up very well and fell flat.

See Amber’s post here.

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