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Likely Stories - The Long And Faraway Gone by Lou Berney

I wanted to bring a backlist selection that I only recently discovered. That is The Long And Faraway Gone by Lou Berney.

A few months ago, I was speaking with my Harper Collins rep while working on Fall book orders for Fabled. We were talking about Lou Berney books and he told me that The Long And Faraway Gone was one of the best thrillers he has read in the last few years. I had read and loved his other novels, November Road and Dark Ride so I was anxious to give it a try.

I downloaded it while we were talking and binge listened to it. Yes, I actually listened to it until 3am because I was so intrigued by the story! There are basically three story lines that dip in an out of each other throughout the novel. In the opening chapters, we are introduced to a mass shooting that occurs at a movie theatre in Oklahoma City in 1986 killing most of the teenage workers and the manager.

The second storyline is set during present time. The lone survivor of that mass shooting is now a private investigator in Las Vegas. He is content to live a quiet life with his long time girlfriend but takes a call from a man in his childhood home town who asks him to investigate a harassment case in Oklahoma City where a former dancer inherits a concert hall, but clearly someone doesn't want her to stay.

And finally, the third storyline deals with a case of a missing young woman who left her little sister for a few minutes at a state fair to score some drugs but was never seen again. This occurred just a few months after the mass shooting that rocked the community. Both old cases remained unsolved.

The little sister is now a grown up nurse who is still looking for answers on what happened to her beloved and beautiful older sister. Players in each of the storylines interact with each other until the very explosive and satisfying ending. Wow!

This has become a very favorite handsell for me at Fabled. I love how Lou Berney writes. There is a certain grittiness to his writing that is so pleasing and unique to my thriller loving heart. I would describe his style as literary thriller where character development is tantamount to the plot.

This was a 5 star home run for me. That is The Long and Faraway Gone by Lou Berney, who teaches writing at the University of Oklahoma. Berney has received high praise for his work from authors such as Stephen King, William Kent Kruger, Don Winslow, and SA Crosby, and now, of course, me!

The Long and Faraway Gone was also the Winner of the 2016 Edgar Award and also the, Anthony, Macavity, Barry, ALA and Oklahoma Book awards hope you carve out a few hours to devour this propulsive tale of loss and discovery. Until the next episode of Likely Stories, I wish you a pile of good books and a cozy reading spot.

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An over 30-year resident of Waco, Elizabeth Barnhill works as the adult book buyer at Waco’s independent bookshop, Fabled. She spends her days reading books, talking with publishers and authors, conducting personalized shopping appointments at Fabled, and curating books for all types of readers in the Waco community and beyond. She is also a regular contributor to the Wacoan’s Cover to Cover feature and book podcasts including the Currently Reading podcast. She has two degrees from Baylor University and is married with three grown children. Her book recommendations can be found @Wacoreads on Instagram.