Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Long and Faraway Gone” as Want to Read:
The Long and Faraway Gone
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Long and Faraway Gone

3.97  ·  Rating details ·  9,062 ratings  ·  1,168 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 ...more
Paperback, 454 pages
Published February 10th 2015 by William Morrow/HarperCollins
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Long and Faraway Gone, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Pete Many of the novels written by R.J Ellory and John Hart might scratch your Lou Berney itch.. I thought the novel was great too by the way.

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.97  · 
Rating details
 ·  9,062 ratings  ·  1,168 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Long and Faraway Gone
Jennifer Masterson
Mar 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is a fantastic novel! I was hooked right from the beginning and just loved it. "The Long and Faraway Gone" should be on everyone's to read list!!! The novel is about two separate tragic crimes that take place in Oklahoma in 1986 and how the survivors are still searching for answers in the year 2012. The character development is fantastic! I loved the two main characters, especially Wyatt. I rarely say this about a book but this should be made into a movie! I actually could picture Wyatt bei ...more
James Thane
Feb 19, 2016 rated it really liked it
This is a very unique and beautifully written crime novel that examines the ways in which a single incident can alter the course of a life, the ways in which the past is always with us, and the power that our memories can hold over us.

Two separate tragedies occur in Oklahoma City in the summer of 1986. In the first, six young employees of a movie theater are shot to death in a robbery. One employee survives and is haunted by the memory of that night and by the question of why he alone was left
Sep 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The Long Ago and Far Away Gone by Lou Berney is a 2015 William Morrow/Harper Collins publication.

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma-

Wyatt is a private investigator who has been hired to check out the alleged harassment claims made by Candace Kilkenny, sister-in-law of another client. The case isn’t really all that worrisome on the surface, but the problem for Wyatt is that he’ll have to return to his home town of OKC, a place that holds dark memories for him- memories he’d rather not have floating to the f
Jul 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book may be the perfect example of a character driven crime story.

In 1986 two major crimes occur in Oklahoma City. A robbery of a movie theater turns into a massacre. A beautiful teenager goes missing while attending a fair. Both events are major news, but as with most things time passes and eventually they’re forgotten. But not by Wyatt and Julianna.
Wyatt was the sole survivor of the movie theater staff, and 25 years later he’s changed his name and moved to Las Vegas where he’s a private i
Kevin Kelsey
May 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2018, qbc
Posted at Heradas

“Sometimes the best lie was just the truth left to ripen on the branch too long."

I’m kind of a snob when it comes to physical books. There’s a very specific kind of trade paperback aesthetic that I just adore: A little shorter than a hardcover, thick ass pulpy paper, matte cover, very floppy. Think about the kind of book you can roll up a little while you’re reading, and when you set it down, it flops right back to flat. The lack of any sort of gloss coating on the covers and no
It is a quiet Saturday, home alone, and I wanted to spend the time reading. No telephones, no people. It was just my luck that I have chosen this book.

This was my first encounter with Lou Berney's books. He wrote a mystery crime that turned out to be three mysteries rolled into one tale with enough oomph behind it to let me skip breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It was snacks and coffee today. Then juice, then water, then some snacks again. I read everywhere I went. I noticed from my bedroom window
Susanne  Strong
Jul 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
4.75 Stars.

What does it mean to survive? For that matter, what does it mean to live?

In the Summer of 1986, two different violent crimes in Oklahoma City almost destroyed the lives of two people in their youths, yet both survived, if you could call it that. Now, twenty-five years later, both struggle to move on and to make sense of what they are left with.

Wyatt is now a Private Investigator living in Las Vegas. When asked by a friend to investigate a case in his former hometown, he jumps at the
Jan 18, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: All mystery fans
Recommended to Paula by: Margitte
You certainly get your money’s worth by reading The Long and Faraway Gone by Lou Berney! This is a mystery crime novel that has three plots in one book. Winner of the Edgar, Macavity, Anthony, and Barry awards, this book is a real winner.

Private Investigator Wyatt is asked to leave his current home in Vegas and travel to Oklahoma City to help a young woman, Candace, with harassment problems in the night club she just inherited. Low and behold this is Wyatt’s boyhood home that he hasn’t stepped b
Apr 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A note about my reviews: In an effort to focus on my novel writing, I’ll be keeping my reviews a little shorter than usual. Especially books that have been out for more than a year. If you have any questions about my review feel free to comment or send me a message. Thanks

This is the first Lou Berney book that I have read, and as an aspiring novelist, I’m amazed at his ability to write something from the noir/detective fiction genre that is fresh and interesting. Taking place in Oklahoma City, t
Larry H
Feb 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I'll be honest: the first thing that drew me to Lou Berney's The Long and Faraway Gone was the lettering of the title on its cover. (Admit it: it's happened to you before, too.) Because it looked similar to some other books I've enjoyed recently (particularly Marian Palaia's The Given World ), I was intrigued.

And then I started reading the book...and was instantly hooked. Holy wow, this book is fantastic.

"The past had power. The past was a riptide. That's why, if you had a brain in your h
Cathrine ☯️
Jul 21, 2015 rated it it was ok

I was underwhelmed with this one. Two tragic events in two different lives that have haunted and twisted the years that follow. Both of the victims still searching for answers. Throw in a new PI case for one of the protagonists and we have a constant going back and forth between then and now, sometimes from one paragraph or sentence to another which I found annoying. Two case histories and three present day searches for answers which have nothing in common and barely intersect. Julianna's i
Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede
Feb 24, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2015
I will start with saying that this was a really good book with a very interesting story or stories since it is actually two stories that parallel each other even though they take place in the same town.

Wyatt returns twenty-fives later to Oklahoma City. He has changed his name so we do not know among the people in the movie theater he was. If it weren't for his latest case would he probably have stayed as far away from Oklahoma City that could, but he owned a friend a favor so he is in the city
Jan 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
4.5 Stars, rounded up.
My first read of 2019 was a near perfect book. It ticked all the right boxes: engaged me right away; never sagged in the middle; excellent writing and totally unputdownable. This is a mystery/crime novel and if that is a genre you enjoy reading, this is definitely one of the best I've read in a long time.
The story begins in the present- we meet Wyatt, a PI in Las Vegas, who goes back to Oklahoma City as a favor to a friend. Wyatt was the lone survivor of a massacre that too
Oct 28, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a terrific mystery, but it is also the story of two people unable to move on from past tragedies until they get some resolution. It's not surprising that this author also writes screenplays, because this book would make a wonderful movie. In fact there is enough going on in this book for an entire television mini-series. There are three intricately plotted mysteries here, linked primarily by their setting in Oklahoma City and tangentially by the involvement of a Las Vegas private detecti ...more
Jul 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This was such a hauntingly fantastic book, I read it a while ago and I still think about it. I can't believe it didn't get more attention! It's the tale of two different crimes and how it affects the future of the survivors. I think it would be particularly enjoyable for someone who is familiar with OKC as it's almost a central character in the story. ...more
Jun 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
The Hook - I picked this up on the recommendation of my GR friend JenniferM. In addition to her 5 star endorsement, she also mentioned that she could picture Edward Norton playing the main character, Wyatt in the movie. Ed Norton. You got me!

The Line

Woven into the story this gravestone marker of Edward O’Kelley sent me on a quest to read more about him. This wikipedia site should provide enough information.
Edward Cap
Apr 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Why me? Why did I survive when they are "all gone". Why? Why?

This novel is so specifically focused on six different unique and precise characterizations, that I could not go with my first 4 star rating instinct, but had to cave to a complete five by the end. It's nearly perfect. 4.5 star at least, with possibly a 1/2 star lost only in a minor degree to over length.

Rarely, rarely do crossover, but still basically mystery genre fare, those novels which include action or modern character studies i
aPriL does feral sometimes
'The Long and FarAway Gone' by Lou Berney is engrossing as a character study as much as it is about a mystery. Both are sometimes unsolvable, yes?

The book follows several characters in alternating chapters, switching between 1986 and 2012. We meet:

-Wyatt Rivers, one of two main characters, private detective. His original name was Michael Oliver.
-Julianna Rosales, main character, nurse and grieving sister of the missing Genevieve.
-Bingham, manager of the Pheasant Run Twin Theater in 1986.
3.5 stars

I enjoyed November Road so much, I was extremely keen to read something else by Berney. Luckily, my library had the ebook.

No matter what genre book I read, what I care most about is the characters. Although this is a mystery/crime novel, it's very character driven.

Two different stories are presented to us - one is that of Wyatt Rivers, a private investigator from Las Vegas and the other one is about Julianna Rosales - a nurse in Oklahoma City. They both had past experiences that were tr
Mar 12, 2015 rated it liked it
I had so much hope for this book based on the reviews from Goodreads, but it just fell short for me overall. If only the main characters would have "collided" a little more or had their pasts intersected, then this could have been a better book.
I hate mysteries that have conclusions that come outta left field, like it was almost a stretch... Well at least that is how I felt with this one.
Ugh....the basis of the book was so intriguing and I wanted a "blow your mind" ending, but it just didn't hap
Jun 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is my book of the year. I’ve tried half a dozen different times to write out the reason why, and I may have to stop trying. I’ll just say: it’s been the right book at the right time. I don’t think I’ve stopped reading it since I got my hands on it. A year ago, something happened to me and my friends that is eerily similar to the opening chapter— obviously with a much better outcome. But my year took a shift, one I had to accommodate, into a world that I had to learn, and re-learn, and am st ...more
Jan 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: award-winners
In the summer of 1986, two tragedies rocked Oklahoma City: Six movie-theater employees were brutally killed in an armed robbery. A teenage girl vanished from the annual state fair. Neither crime was ever solved. We meet the sole survivor of these separate tragedies: Wyatt and Julianna, who both want answers to help them move beyond their horrific memories. Well written, but meandering at times. Original plot lines with unique and memorable characters. Parallel stories with some tangential overla ...more
May 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
In the summer of 1986 a small movie theatre in Oklahoma City becomes a deadly crime scene following a botched armed robbery. All but one of the employees are murdered by masked gunmen. Flash-forward to present day and the lone survivor - Wyatt Rivers - is working in Las Vegas as a private investigator. Now, Wyatt travels back to OKC, the town he left all those years ago, to look into claims of harassment by the niece of a frequent client.

That same summer in that same city, a young woman vanishes
JoAnne Pulcino

Lou Berney

I maybe should have made it a five!

THE LONG AND FARAWAY GONE is a book written by an extremely talented author. He teaches writing at the University of Oklahoma, the Oklahoma City University and is a successful television and film screen writer. This is one of the best crime fiction books I have read in a long time. I call it crime fiction, but it is in a category all its own with an intricate plot, original characters and fascinating story line.

Two tragedies
Kasa Cotugno
Purportedly, this novel is a crime novel, but a sentence somewhere in its middle describes it to a T: "....she had the same dense weave to her -- layers and layers." There are two story threads stemming from cold cases that originated in Oklahoma City in 1986, severely traumatizing Wyatt and Julianna, two people who were very young at that time. Shoot ahead 26 years. Wyatt, sole survivor of a robbery and massacre at his movie theater job, has changed his name, his identity, and moved on not only ...more
Feb 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A great double mystery that changes the life of the private investigator. Little did he know what he had gotten himself into when he agreed to do an old friend a favor. Fast paced story with good characters.
Paul Falk
Mar 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery-crime
Have I ever thought about any unfinished business in the past? Sure a million times. That's what we do. Lou Berney explored just that. He delivered an intriguing novel about two people that couldn't let go of a special time in their past. It kind of hits home. Doesn't it?

Two people took it upon themselves to revisit the ghosts of their past. Twenty-six years had gone by, yet, the painful memories seemed as fresh today, as they had then. All they wanted was answers. Closure, if such a thing was
Kirk Smith
Sep 02, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: top-noire, oklahoma
There should be a word, a very nuanced word perhaps French,for how one feels when an author has written about your home,your city,with absolute clarity,deep understanding,and detailed exposure. One word where you feel: uncomfortable, intrigued, exposed, and proud all at the same time.***It is said that authors do well to "write what they know",and Berney does just that in accurately depicting Oklahoma City. All streets and locales are actual names and locations. This book could be used as a tou ...more
Nov 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Mystery Fans
Recommended to Still by: Too many Goodreads friends to name.

Lou Berney is an amazing writer.
This novel was brilliantly conceived and character rich.
It's a story of two haunted people.
Their paths never cross but they both have ghosts.
Five -count 'em- five stars!

Jan 23, 2018 marked it as nook-tbr
nestled in my quarterly literary fiction box from pagehabit, still to be read, because i am the worst human ever. ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Blacktop Wasteland
  • Baltic Approach (Reim #4)
  • This Side of Night
  • The Far Empty
  • Desperation Road
  • Broken
  • Lost River
  • House Standoff (Joe DeMarco #15)
  • The Unwilling
  • Bluebird, Bluebird (Highway 59, #1)
  • Even If We Break
  • We Begin at the End
  • The Daughters of Yalta: The Churchills, Roosevelts, and Harrimans: A Story of Love and War
  • Heaven, My Home (Highway 59 #2)
  • Long Bright River
  • Prince of Spies (Richard Prince Thrillers, #1)
  • Little Odessa
  • Dutch Uncle (Hard Case Crime #12)
See similar books…
See top shelves…
Lou Berney is the Edgar Award-winning author of November Road (2018), The Long and Faraway Gone (2015), Whiplash River (2012), and Gutshot Straight (2010), all from William Morrow. His short fiction has appeared in publications such as The New Yorker, Ploughshares, the New England Review, and the Pushcart Prize anthology.

Related Articles

If you ask us, it's always the perfect time to lose yourself in a page-turning mystery. To help you sleuth out a new read, we asked the...
171 likes · 101 comments
“The past had power. The past was a riptide. That's why, if you had a brain in your head, you didn't go in the water.” 5 likes
“That’s the problem with the world,” he said. “You save it today, and tomorrow it’s gone and gotten itself into trouble all over again. It’s like a Kardashian.” 5 likes
More quotes…