Tuesday, February 24, 2015

The Long and Faraway Gone - Lou Berney

I listened to Lou Berney's second book, Whiplash River a few years ago. (my review) I remember I really enjoyed the characters, the plot and the dialogue - well, yes - everything!

I was eager to read his newly released third book, The Long and Faraway Gone .

Summer of 1968. Oklahoma City. Six employees of a small movie theatre are brutally executed. Inexplicably, the seventh staff member is spared. That same summer, a teenage girl disappears from the state fair - her body is never found.

Twenty five years later, Genevieve's sister Julianna is still pursuing the case and looking for her sister on her own. The lone survivor of the movie theatre killings is now a private investigator who has renamed himself Wyatt.

Initially, it was the mysteries in the The Long and Faraway Gone that intrigued me - why was Wyatt spared? Did Genevieve leave town on her own or was she taken? Yes, those questions are the basis of Berney's plot, but it is the exploration of the past and the search for those answers that was the standout for this reader.

I mentioned that the characters and dialogue captured me in a previous book of Berneys. The same is true in The Long and Faraway Gone. From the opening pages, I was drawn in to Berney's story. His prose are easy,engaging and definitely entertaining. Berney has a quirky sense of humour, but is just as adept in bringing the poignant moments to the page as well. Loss on many levels for almost every character is a theme running throughout the book. There are many supporting characters that were fully fleshed out. I really enjoyed Candace - a woman who inherits a bar in Oklahoma City that ties into the past as well. I almost wish I knew what life held for her 'after'.

Berney himself lives and works in Oklahoma City. His first hand knowledge shows in the descriptions of time and place.

The final whodunit reveals are really good, but the journey there is even better. I'll be watching for Berney's next book.  Read an excerpt of The Long and Faraway Gone.  (and one last note - I really liked this cover!)

"Lou Berney is an accomplished writer, teacher, and liar who has written feature screenplays and created TV pilots for Warner Brothers, Paramount, Focus Features, ABC, and Fox, among others. His short fiction has appeared in the New Yorker, Ploughshares, the Pushcart Prize anthology, and other publications. His first novel, Gutshot Straight, was named one of the ten best debut crime novels of the year by Booklist and nominated for a Barry Award. Find out more about Lou at his website, and follow him on Facebook and Twitter."

See what others on the TLC book tour thought. Full schedule can be found here.


bermudaonion said...

This sounds like a page turner!

Kay said...

When you said Oklahoma City, the first thing I thought of was a bomb. Anyway, I think I need to put this author on my list. Especially if he's a resident of the state to my north. I've been there many times. Thanks for the review, Luanne!

traveler said...

An enthralling novel. Many thanks. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

petite said...

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Unknown said...

Thanks for sharing and it sounds like a really cool read! I hope to see you around my blog


Heather J @ TLC Book Tours said...

I appreciate that Berney took the time to develop even the minor characters so that they feel real to the reader. Not every author does that, and it's a real treat when it happens.

Thanks for being a part of the tour!

trish said...

He sounds like a really skilled author. With his quirky sense of humor, he seems like he'd be fun to hang out with!

The Many Thoughts of a Reader said...

I really enjoyed this book too. I am going to have to check out his other stuff soon. I feel for Wyatt too and the haunting feeling of why was he saved?