Long Bright River
Two sisters travel the same streets,though their lives couldn't be more different. Then one of them goes missing.In a Philadelphia neighborhood rocked by the opioid crisis, two once-inseparable sisters find themselves at odds. One, Kacey, lives on the streets in the vise of addiction. The other, Mickey, walks those same blocks on her police beat. They don't speak anymore, but Mickey never stops worrying about her sibling. Then Kacey disappears, suddenly, at the same time that a mysterious string of murders begins in Mickey's district, and Mickey becomes dangerously obsessed with finding the culprit--and her sister--before it's too late.Alternating its present-day mystery with the story of the sisters' childhood and adolescence, Long Bright River is at once heart-pounding and heart-wrenching: a gripping suspense novel that is also a moving story of sisters, addiction, and the formidable ties that persist between place, family, and fate.

Long Bright River Details

TitleLong Bright River
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseJan 7th, 2020
PublisherRiverhead Books
ISBN-139780525540670
Rating
GenreMystery, Thriller, Fiction, Mystery Thriller

Long Bright River Review

  • Chelsea Humphrey
    January 1, 1970
    Long Bright River is a book that I almost passed on, thinking that I didn't want the responsibility of reviewing it. The author has a fiercely loyal fanbase, and literary fiction is a genre that is risky for me to dabble in at best. After circling the book's Goodreads page for months, the synopsis had a relentless grip on me, and something checked in my spirit telling me I needed to read this book. Perhaps it was the emotional investment in the opioid crisis, due to multiple extended family Long Bright River is a book that I almost passed on, thinking that I didn't want the responsibility of reviewing it. The author has a fiercely loyal fanbase, and literary fiction is a genre that is risky for me to dabble in at best. After circling the book's Goodreads page for months, the synopsis had a relentless grip on me, and something checked in my spirit telling me I needed to read this book. Perhaps it was the emotional investment in the opioid crisis, due to multiple extended family members struggling with and succumbing to their addiction, or it could have been the promise of procedural suspense in the portrayed investigation, but either way I'm grateful to have listened to that inner voice, and even more grateful to the author for tackling such a weighty subject with tenderness and grace."I knew she was dead before I reached her. Her pose was familiar to me, after a childhood spent sleeping next to her in the same bed, but that day there was a different kind of limpness to her body. Her limbs looked too heavy."Kensington is one of the relatively newer neighborhoods in Philadelphia, and it's been hit hard by the growing opioid epidemic in the United States. Efforts towards gentrification are being made, as new businesses are breathing life back into a dying area, but the struggle in pushing back drug related criminal activity is an ongoing battle. As we follow Mickey, a police officer assigned to this particular area, we see things from the viewpoint of a longterm inhabitant who also has an emotional investment in fighting this crisis. Mickey's sister Kacey is in the grip of her addiction, and regularly disappears for weeks on end before turning back up, causing Mickey extreme anxiety and constant concern that her sister will be the next body she discovers. The story unfolds in two ways; we have flashbacks that give insight into the sisters' upbringing (an absent father, a mother who passes away which leaves the young girls to be raised by their grandmother), and the present day investigation into the mysterious string of murders that coincide with Kacey's latest disappearance. I'll be honest folks-this is an uncomfortable read. Emotions run deep as the author describes a pair of girls who, for their entire lives, have had to claw their way out of the drain before they drown, and there is an oppressive atmosphere from start to finish. At times, I felt like the air was being drawn out of my lungs by a heavy weight resting on my chest, and yet, I couldn't put this book down. These characters are so visceral, and I just wanted to reach inside the pages, hold Mickey, and tell her that she wasn't alone and would be ok. The people we meet during our stay in Kensington are all carrying inner demons that many people can relate to; whether you have been an addict or loved someone who is/was, you'll find a character here who seems familiar. For a book that is nearly 500 pages long, it's extremely fast paced with a gritty, uneasy narrative. An uncomfortable read, for sure, but an important and timely one. Please add this to your TBR if you enjoy dark, serious novels filled with emotional depth and suspense. I see now why Liz Moore has such a passionate following, and am thrilled to add myself to the club. *Many thanks to the publisher for providing my review copy.
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  • Dorie - Cats&Books :)
    January 1, 1970
    Changed my mind on this one and moved it into the 5 star category the more that I thought about it as I wrote this review.This is not a comfortable or easy book to read. It highlights the opiod crisis and addiction of all forms. It talks about babies born to addicts and the withdrawal that they go through. It takes place in a neighborhood in Philadelphia, Kensington, which was once a neighborhood of working class families. As the jobs dried up, people chose or were forced to move and there are Changed my mind on this one and moved it into the 5 star category the more that I thought about it as I wrote this review.This is not a comfortable or easy book to read. It highlights the opiod crisis and addiction of all forms. It talks about babies born to addicts and the withdrawal that they go through. It takes place in a neighborhood in Philadelphia, Kensington, which was once a neighborhood of working class families. As the jobs dried up, people chose or were forced to move and there are many abandoned buildings which become homes for those shooting up heroin or dealing and using other drugs. I will post a link at the end of my review from an article just released today about the rise of methamphetamine.Back to the story. At the heart of the story there are two sisters, Mickey and Kacey orphaned when they were young, losing their mother to an overdose death. Their father has not been present in their lives. They have been raised by their grandmother, Gee, who barely was able to provide for their needs, shelter and food, while working several jobs. There wasn’t much love or personal attention shown to the girls and therefore they were extremely close while growing up.Things changed dramatically in high school as Kacey started using drugs. The sisters grew apart, Mickey choosing a career as a policewoman and Kacey working temporary jobs to fund her drug habit. Mickey has tried to keep an eye on her sister as she was usually in the area that she was patrolling in Kensington.There is a serial killer targeting young women. Mickey becomes desperate to find her sister, fearing that she will be the next target. She has vanished and no one seems to know where she is. She becomes desperate and risks the loss of her job and more as she digs deeper into Kacey’s life in the last few months and trying to find the killer.Mickey is an extremely interesting and complicated woman. She is raising a young son on her own. She joined the police force because she wanted to help change her neighborhood and make a difference in people’s lives. The department doesn’t always agree with Mickey’s methods and she is not sure who she can trust. She has complicated feelings about her grandmother and extended family.This is a multi-layered story, extremely well written, fast paced, heartbreaking and yet in the end hopeful. The characters are unique, well described and believable. I felt my heart breaking at times for people who live on the streets, tortured and controlled by their addictions.I won’t give any more of the plot away but I do recommend looking at this link from The Philadelphia Inquirer just posted online today. The numbers are staggering and will, no doubt, shock many readers as they did me.Here’s the link: https://www.inquirer.com/health/opioi...I highly recommend this book as it is extremely explanatory and pertinent to our times when the crisis of addiction is all around us. I wouldn’t call this a police procedural because it is much more than that. It is a story about humanity, families, sisters, people and cities in crisis, love, forgiveness and hope.This book is set to publish in January 2020.I received an ARC of this novel from publisher through Edelweiss.
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  • Paromjit
    January 1, 1970
    The talented Liz Moore writes a powerful, deeply affecting and harrowing account of the human cost of the out of control opoid crisis, gripping not only the Kensington neighbourhood of Philadelphia, but the country as a whole. It would be a mistake to go into this multilayered novel as a straightforward crime read, it is so much more, the crime aspects hang in the background, but at the forefront is a in depth character driven family drama, the relationship between two sisters, 32 year old The talented Liz Moore writes a powerful, deeply affecting and harrowing account of the human cost of the out of control opoid crisis, gripping not only the Kensington neighbourhood of Philadelphia, but the country as a whole. It would be a mistake to go into this multilayered novel as a straightforward crime read, it is so much more, the crime aspects hang in the background, but at the forefront is a in depth character driven family drama, the relationship between two sisters, 32 year old single mother and beat PPD police officer, Mickey Fitzgerald, and her younger sibling, Kacey, at the mercy of her drug addiction and a prostitute. In a bleak and melancholic narrative, we learn of the sisters troubled childhood and personal history, losing their mother early, being bought up by their grandmother, Gee, unable to give her attention to the girls. With only themselves to rely on, the sisters form a strong bond with each other, which comes to be tested in later years, as they forge separate paths from each other, becoming estranged in the process. However, Mickey continues to feel deeply connected to Kacey, trying to keep an eye out for her on her patrols, but when she fails to get any sighting of Kacey for some time, she becomes desperately worried, particularly as there is a serial killer targeting women and prostitutes in the area. Moore paints a unforgettable human and compassionate picture of economic deprivation, the urban decay with its drug addicts, dealers and drug culture with a thoughtful and pertinent social and political commentary on the scale of the opoid tragedy. This is a tough and challenging literary read, you cannot escape the harsh realities of drugs and life on the streets, and the inevitable repercussions on the people, families and communities caught up in it. This is a beautifully written, intricate, complex, and compelling novel, about family, sisters, love, corrupt police officers and despite the darkness, heartbreak and sorrow, with the much needed presence of hope. Many thanks to Random House Cornerstone for an ARC.
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  • Tammy
    January 1, 1970
    I would categorize this as literary suspense. It has the elements of a police procedural but the writing is so much better than that. Mickey is a beat cop walking the mean drug addicted streets of Philadelphia while her sister, Kacey, lives on those very streets as a strung out sex worker. The cop watches out for her sister despite their estrangement and becomes alarmed when a number of prostitutes are found murdered. Moving between the sisters’ adolescence and adulthood, this is about broken I would categorize this as literary suspense. It has the elements of a police procedural but the writing is so much better than that. Mickey is a beat cop walking the mean drug addicted streets of Philadelphia while her sister, Kacey, lives on those very streets as a strung out sex worker. The cop watches out for her sister despite their estrangement and becomes alarmed when a number of prostitutes are found murdered. Moving between the sisters’ adolescence and adulthood, this is about broken families, broken hearts and broken people. Intricately plotted with richly drawn characters and a vivid sense of place, don’t miss this novel reminiscent of Tana French.
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  • Nadia
    January 1, 1970
    Long Bright River is a slow-burn, suspense novel rather than a thriller. It is an emotional, heartbreaking story of sister love, drug addiction and forgiveness.The story is narrated by Michaela 'Mickey' who is the older 'better' sister. Mickey is a cop and worries about Kacey who is a drug addict and hasn't been seen for a few weeks. Whilst I normally like books told from only the main character's point of view, in this case I felt like the story would have benefited from another narrator. While Long Bright River is a slow-burn, suspense novel rather than a thriller. It is an emotional, heartbreaking story of sister love, drug addiction and forgiveness. The story is narrated by Michaela 'Mickey' who is the older 'better' sister. Mickey is a cop and worries about Kacey who is a drug addict and hasn't been seen for a few weeks. Whilst I normally like books told from only the main character's point of view, in this case I felt like the story would have benefited from another narrator. While I enjoyed getting to know Mickey and learning about her relationship with Kacey, I wished in some places the story moved at a faster pace. What I appreciated was the riveting portrayal of Philadelphia's drug culture which felt very realistic to me.The story involves a murder mystery as a secondary plotline which makes the read more exciting. However, I found the mystery hastily solved at the end of the book with some holes in the plot. Certain things just didn't make sense to me, but that might just be me liking to have everything ironed out when it comes to solving murders.I'd recommend the book to readers who enjoy suspense novels with richly drawn characters and complex family relationships. Many thanks to Cornerstone for my review copy in exchange for an honest review. 
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  • Roman Clodia
    January 1, 1970
    What I really like about this is the depth of detail about Mikey and her troubled family life, especially her push/pull bond with her sister: what appears, at first, to be a good girl (cop)/bad girl (opioid addict/street girl) dichotomy becomes more complicated, and Moore's empathy for society's underdogs is bright and angry.That said, there are some flaws in the plotting: this gestures towards a police investigation into the killing of street girls but then that kind of fizzles out - only for What I really like about this is the depth of detail about Mikey and her troubled family life, especially her push/pull bond with her sister: what appears, at first, to be a good girl (cop)/bad girl (opioid addict/street girl) dichotomy becomes more complicated, and Moore's empathy for society's underdogs is bright and angry.That said, there are some flaws in the plotting: this gestures towards a police investigation into the killing of street girls but then that kind of fizzles out - only for the plot to re-emerge at the end with a rush of suspects (view spoiler)[ all of whom are intimately connected to Mikey (hide spoiler)] and a quick wrap-up of the mystery. So if you're looking for a crime/thriller this is underpowered with too many convenient happenings - but for something more socially-engaged, with attention to character and an unforgettable portrait of Philadelphia which won't make the tourist brochures, this stands up well. Think of it more as a story which happens to be set against a crime/police background, pulled together by Moore's engaging, precise, emotive writing. And which in social terms doesn't tie everything up neatly by the end. Many thanks to Penguin Random House for an ARC via NetGalley.
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  • Liz Barnsley
    January 1, 1970
    I loved this book so much for all the things I expected it to be from the blurb but also because it was so much more than surface appearance would lead you to believe- a literary crime novel where the setting is just as much a character as the people you’ll meet there, a road trip through sisterhood that is beautifully written and hugely emotional.There is a real noir feel to the prose as the tale unfolds, Mickey patrolling the streets, one eye out always for her wayward sister, one eye towards I loved this book so much for all the things I expected it to be from the blurb but also because it was so much more than surface appearance would lead you to believe- a literary crime novel where the setting is just as much a character as the people you’ll meet there, a road trip through sisterhood that is beautifully written and hugely emotional.There is a real noir feel to the prose as the tale unfolds, Mickey patrolling the streets, one eye out always for her wayward sister, one eye towards home and her beloved son. When it becomes clear a killer is working those same streets, Mickey’s two worlds will dangerously collide.Long Bright River has multiple layers that slowly peel away as you read, revealing truths as the history of the relationship between Mickey and Kacey unfolds in unexpectedly emotive ways. Underneath that the mystery element simmers away quietly until coming to boiling point in a highly charged and pitch perfect resolution.This novel is melancholy and gorgeous, the twists of personality informing the whole, the Kensington Avenue backdrop always there behind every small nuanced event. Philadelphia comes to life, the politics and the realities of life on the streets, it is thought provoking, intensely involving and never once misses a beat.A powerful, provocative and authentic tale that will stay with you long after you are done. I’m not ashamed to say I shed a tear at the end, so caught up had I been in this. A really excellent read.Highly Recommended.
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  • Dennis
    January 1, 1970
    Taking place in the Kensington neighborhood of Philadelphia, Mickey (Michaela) is an officer patrolling the city where she grew up. So many people in her life have been affected or killed by drug addiction, and her main role as police officer nowadays has been monitoring those affected by drugs. It's an all too real visual of our society now—this opioid crisis is NO JOKE, seriously. We all know someone who is struggling with it. As Mickey navigates through her day-to-day making sure the streets Taking place in the Kensington neighborhood of Philadelphia, Mickey (Michaela) is an officer patrolling the city where she grew up. So many people in her life have been affected or killed by drug addiction, and her main role as police officer nowadays has been monitoring those affected by drugs. It's an all too real visual of our society now—this opioid crisis is NO JOKE, seriously. We all know someone who is struggling with it. As Mickey navigates through her day-to-day making sure the streets of Kensington are clean under her watch, she comes across a homicide victim. After she uncovers this victim, questions arise about her own sister, Kacey. Kacey has had a troubled life since she was a teenager—drugs, solicitation, prostitution, you name it. Mickey and her family, mainly her sister, are estranged. After questions arise about Kacey, Mickey discovers that her sister has been missing. As the novel alternates between the past and the present, we start to see the unravel of Mickey and Kacey's lives, and those who were surrounded by them. What has happened to Kacey and will Mickey be able to find her before it's too late?I wouldn't call Long Bright River a mystery/thriller necessarily—it's more of a character study and literary fiction novel, but still has the darkness that you'd expect from a thriller. This book is an eye-opening experience, to say the least. I really felt for Mickey while I was reading because this could literally be many people in my life that I love. I have many friends whom have family members riddled by opioids and they just want answers. I've known friends who've cut out family members, just like Mickey did with Kacey, because the addiction is too strong to handle for them. It's such a battle, and it's sad to watch and read. But it's real. I really enjoyed how Liz Moore developed this story and I felt that she definitely had done her research while crafting this fiction novel. It felt like I was reading the diary of a woman who really went through this journey—I couldn't put it down!
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  • Aga Durka
    January 1, 1970
    I am so excited for this book . “The Unseen World” was one of my favorites in 2017. I hope this one is as good I am so excited for this book 😍😍. “The Unseen World” was one of my favorites in 2017. I hope this one is as good 📚
  • Julie Ehlers
    January 1, 1970
    Five stars?!? The thing is, this novel takes place in Philadelphia and I live in Philadelphia, so I was predisposed to enthusiasm for Long Bright River. Nevertheless, it actually exceeded my (high) expectations: As I mentioned in one of my status updates, it's like Tana French before she got all ponderous. Long Bright River does take a bit of time to get going, but it's time well spent, building a world of vivid place and character, and by the time the plot picked up I was fully invested. There Five stars?!? The thing is, this novel takes place in Philadelphia and I live in Philadelphia, so I was predisposed to enthusiasm for Long Bright River. Nevertheless, it actually exceeded my (high) expectations: As I mentioned in one of my status updates, it's like Tana French before she got all ponderous. Long Bright River does take a bit of time to get going, but it's time well spent, building a world of vivid place and character, and by the time the plot picked up I was fully invested. There are a couple twists along the way but nothing cheap, and this novel manages to say a few things about the state of the world while never sacrificing story. If you're not as interested in Philadelphia as I am, you may not see your way clear to five whole stars, but if you're looking for a distinctive, page-turning police thriller with characters worth rooting for, you can stop looking and just head toward the river.I won this book in a Goodreads giveaway; thank you to the publisher. My opinions, as always, are my own.
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  • Sarah
    January 1, 1970
    Set in Philadelphia, a city at the heart of the opiate epidemic, Long Bright River follows Mickey, a cop caught up in this world through her work and personal life who becomes involved in trying to solve the mystery of young sex workers who are being found dead across the city. Billed as a thriller - or at least that was the impression I had going in - I think this novel has been slightly mis-marketed. Ok, yes, it is a mystery, but is more on the slow burn end of the mystery/thriller genre. Set in Philadelphia, a city at the heart of the opiate epidemic, Long Bright River follows Mickey, a cop caught up in this world through her work and personal life who becomes involved in trying to solve the mystery of young sex workers who are being found dead across the city. Billed as a thriller - or at least that was the impression I had going in - I think this novel has been slightly mis-marketed. Ok, yes, it is a mystery, but is more on the slow burn end of the mystery/thriller genre. Others have labelled it as "literary suspense" which is fair, but it's also a police procedural and a story of a family torn apart by drugs.While I found the plot engaging the writing wasn't standout (for me), hence my rating of 3 instead of 4 stars.Thank you Netgalley and Penguin Random House UK for the advance copy, which was provided in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Mary Beth Keane
    January 1, 1970
    The perfect literary crime novel. I couldn’t put it down.
  • Lori
    January 1, 1970
    This excellent book is hard to classify - it has elements of thriller, police procedural, family drama, literary fiction. Mickey Fitzpatrick, Philly police officer and single mother, is obsessed with finding her addict sister, Kacey, before a serial murderer does. What sets this story apart is the excellent writing and crafting of characters, along with plot twists that I did not see coming. Moore also paints a vivid picture of the Kensington neighborhood of Philadelphia and the addicts who This excellent book is hard to classify - it has elements of thriller, police procedural, family drama, literary fiction. Mickey Fitzpatrick, Philly police officer and single mother, is obsessed with finding her addict sister, Kacey, before a serial murderer does. What sets this story apart is the excellent writing and crafting of characters, along with plot twists that I did not see coming. Moore also paints a vivid picture of the Kensington neighborhood of Philadelphia and the addicts who populate it. Highly recommend.
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  • Rachel Hall
    January 1, 1970
    Uncompromising portrait of a neighbourhood devastated by the opioid crisis and an intimate look at two emotionally damaged sisters divided by an addiction.Hard-hitting and emotionally charged, Liz Moore’s timely novel is part police procedural but in the main a riveting literary family drama of the complicated and emotionally fraught relationship between two sisters in the beleaguered neighbourhood of Kensington, Philadelphia. Thirty-two-year-old PPD patrol officer, single mother and narrator, Uncompromising portrait of a neighbourhood devastated by the opioid crisis and an intimate look at two emotionally damaged sisters divided by an addiction.Hard-hitting and emotionally charged, Liz Moore’s timely novel is part police procedural but in the main a riveting literary family drama of the complicated and emotionally fraught relationship between two sisters in the beleaguered neighbourhood of Kensington, Philadelphia. Thirty-two-year-old PPD patrol officer, single mother and narrator, Michaela “Mickey” Fitzpatrick, grew up in the neighbourhood and tersely tells her new partner that most of the crimes revolve around someone seeking a fix or in the aftermath of one, with an overdose in progress a regular occurrence. Tight-lipped Mickey also uses her job to keep an eye on the corner of the street that her addicted and estranged sister, Kacey, frequents as she walks the street in order to fund her habit.With Kacey having been noticeably absent for a month and her absence coinciding with a series of local sex workers and addicts being murdered it adds impetus to Mickey’s fervent personal search to ensure the safety of her sister, alongside her quest to make her superiors in the PPD sit up and take notice. Although the investigation into the murdered street women gives the story a wider focus, it very definitely plays second fiddle to narrator and older sister, Mickey’s searingly honest and fiercely passionate personal journey. As “Then” and “Now” sections lay bare the history of the Fitzpatrick sisters, dragged up by their bitter grandmother after her own daughter overdosed and their father disappeared, the novel builds into a unforgettable character study of watchful and self-contained Mickey and gregarious, confident Kacey. The unhurried narrative serves the novel well as Mickey juggles work and childcare whilst trying to make sense of her multifaceted relationship with Kacey and an unbreakable attachment.An intensely moving and socially-conscious look at the ravages that the opioid crisis has wreaked on a community and family with the battle to remain clean a never-ending one.With thanks to Love Reading who provided me with a free copy of this novel in exchange for my honest and unbiased opinion.
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  • Candace
    January 1, 1970
    Like other reviewers, I'm unsure how to classify this novel except to call it terrific and impossible to put down. It's a completely satisfying reading experience, and how often does that happen? Not often enough. Don't miss it.~~Candace Siegle, Greedy Reader
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  • Cassidy
    January 1, 1970
    Damn, this literary mystery was fantastic. A Philadelphia town overwhelmed by the opioid crisis, a sister in the police force, another struggling with addiction living on the streets, a murderer on the loose, dirty cops, family drama, past and present dialogue!!! Everything I didn’t know I needed! This book is almost 500 pages but I breezed through it immersed in the story of Mickey and Kacey and was even surprised by the twist. Bravo.
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  • Sharon Huether
    January 1, 1970
    Two sisters growing up without their mother and an absent father.Kacey lives on the streets where addiction is rampant.Mickey is a cop in the same district as her sister.Mickey is always on the lookout for her sister to make sure she is ok.A story of the ties that binds family and the heart wrenching mystery of not knowing.I won this book from Goodreads First reads.
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  • Creager
    January 1, 1970
    The Opioid Epidemic has touched every part of Mickey’s life; she becomes a Philadelphia cop thinking she will make a difference. With daily patrols taking her past her sister’s corner and a new partner talking trash, Mickey finds herself alone on the force and in her personal life. When her sister is a no-show for a month and with her extended family shutting her out due to her uppity cop-ways, Mickey can only move forward. Equally heartfelt literature as well as a thriller, Long Bright River The Opioid Epidemic has touched every part of Mickey’s life; she becomes a Philadelphia cop thinking she will make a difference. With daily patrols taking her past her sister’s corner and a new partner talking trash, Mickey finds herself alone on the force and in her personal life. When her sister is a no-show for a month and with her extended family shutting her out due to her uppity cop-ways, Mickey can only move forward. Equally heartfelt literature as well as a thriller, Long Bright River has everything.
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  • Jillian Doherty
    January 1, 1970
    If you enjoy police procedurals, then you'll eagerly follow Michaela (Mickey) Fitzpatrick's story too. It's a winding path strewn across a narcotics filled city; the murder spree Mickey’s investigating has blurred lines as she dives deeper into the city’s underbelly, contending with family worries, and looking for her missing sister Kacey. If you like the show The Wire, think of this story as its new season - set in Philly. Or a more commercial/approachable John Le Carré broken detective story! If you enjoy police procedurals, then you'll eagerly follow Michaela (Mickey) Fitzpatrick's story too. It's a winding path strewn across a narcotics filled city; the murder spree Mickey’s investigating has blurred lines as she dives deeper into the city’s underbelly, contending with family worries, and looking for her missing sister Kacey. If you like the show The Wire, think of this story as its new season - set in Philly. Or a more commercial/approachable John Le Carré broken detective story! Galley borrowed from the publisher.
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  • switterbug (Betsey)
    January 1, 1970
    I thought I’d died and gone to literary heaven after I read Liz Moore’s epic, highly imaginative, and riveting mixed genre drama, THE UNSEEN WORLD, in 2016. So I was thrilled to find a copy of her newest one ahead of the publishing date. Moore excels in narrative voice, the sincerity of the storyteller. As far as plot and characters, I remained engaged, but was occasionally disappointed in her tendency toward boilerplate formula TV. And yet, there were moments that Moore rose above her own I thought I’d died and gone to literary heaven after I read Liz Moore’s epic, highly imaginative, and riveting mixed genre drama, THE UNSEEN WORLD, in 2016. So I was thrilled to find a copy of her newest one ahead of the publishing date. Moore excels in narrative voice, the sincerity of the storyteller. As far as plot and characters, I remained engaged, but was occasionally disappointed in her tendency toward boilerplate formula TV. And yet, there were moments that Moore rose above her own limitations. LONG BRIGHT RIVER is a family drama where addiction triggers tragedy. And tragedy triggers addiction. Additionally, it's a murder mystery--killer of prostitutes on the loose (now where have we heard that plot before. Everywhere?). The serial killer was a bit of a lazy frame over the foundation; Mickey's relationship with her family and the community at large was more intimate and unsettling, as it was explored with more depth.The plot concerns Mickey, a police officer patrolling the seamier side of Philadelphia, her troubled, opiate-addicted sister, Kacey, and Kacey’s sudden disappearance. Sisters raised in the same family—to anyone interested in the study of environment on siblings—had dissimilar outcomes.Mickey keeps an eye on Kacey by frequently patrolling the area her sister hangs out and walks the streets as a hooker to keep up her habit. I was expecting the same enigmatic, mysterious, and unique plot as in Unseen World. This story is ripped from the headlines, but doesn’t go too much deeper, although Moore does absorb us into problematic family relations, addictive minds, and the nexus of trust. The elegiac tone set the undulating pace, and I felt comfortable just leaning into it and letting the prose and Liz Moore’s humanity seep through me.I kept expecting a valve to open up into another astonishing unseen world—that is, a fresh exploration of the human condition. It was a good story, and it simmered, but never quite boiled over for me. Elements of surprise were restricted and often familiar, and I predicted several plot points before actually getting there. So I focused more on the large swathes of inner dialogue and conflicts that compelled me, and was captivated by the familial bonds and why Mickey was periodically paranoid about the safety of her four-year-old son, Thomas. She senses danger surrounding her, and is also afraid for her missing sister and what may have happened to her.I give four stars instead of five because of what I felt was lacking, especially compared to THE UNSEEN WORLD. I don’t expect every book to change my perception of the world I live in (although some have!), but I want it to open a previously undiscovered window in my mind. Moore’s writing here is delicate and sensuous, and flowed lyrically. However, I didn’t learn anything exceptionally distinct or original. Yet, I do appreciate LONG BRIGHT RIVER and I recommend it as an addition to your reading shelf. And I look forward to what she writes next.Caveat: I am a psychiatric nurse who has worked with children, teens and adults, including chemical dependency and its effect on families. Those are the hazards of reading a book that ties in closely to what I already understand. But for many other book lovers, this may be a most edifying reading experience.
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  • Britt Kinsella
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you to Riverhead Books and Astoria Bookshop for an Advanced Readers E-Copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.From the very first page, this was one of the most profound, moving, and intricate thrillers I have read in a long, long time. I had never read anything of Liz Moore’s prior to this, but I can easily say she is now one of my favorite authors. Her fluid writing and powerful characters captivated me from start to finish. Long Bright River effortlessly weaved together a Thank you to Riverhead Books and Astoria Bookshop for an Advanced Readers E-Copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.From the very first page, this was one of the most profound, moving, and intricate thrillers I have read in a long, long time. I had never read anything of Liz Moore’s prior to this, but I can easily say she is now one of my favorite authors. Her fluid writing and powerful characters captivated me from start to finish. Long Bright River effortlessly weaved together a family love story, the opioid crisis in Philadelphia, and a continuous string of murders into an emotional tale bound to tear at both your heart and mind.Mickey Fitzpatrick, a Philadelphia cop estranged from her drug addicted sister Kacey, is called upon another ordinary overdose in town. But when it’s determined that the body found on the train is not just drug related, but an apparent homicide, Mickey is even more concerned that she hasn’t seen her sister walking the street lately. As more and more murdered women turn up, Mickey becomes obsessed with finding the culprit and, hopefully, her sister alive and well. Told between their turbulent childhood and the present day, Long Bright River, tackles the ideas of sisterhood, addiction, crime, and loyalty.When a book can take several concepts that I am personally unfamiliar with, and still pull me in as easily as this one did, that’s my first good sign. I do not have a sister, I’ve never been around heroin, I was raised by both of my parents, and I have never even seen the outskirts of Philadelphia. But Moore’s pure talent in storytelling – both raw and poetic – had me feeling like I could relate to every situation at hand. She builds complex characters with an ease like no other. Mickey was an excellent protagonist and fully rounded in terms of character development. The flashback sections to her childhood were thorough and enlightening, an excellent in-depth analysis of why she is the way she is, and why finding her sister is so important to her. Kacey’s character, though portrayed as a bit of an antagonist, still elicited sympathy and compassion from me. I saw her more as a victim, rather than a drug addict/prostitute. Following her troubled history, while she was still missing in present time, was addicting and heartbreaking.Following the murder investigations was just as thrilling. I didn’t have a single clue who the culprit was and every time I thought I had it, I was completely wrong. The reveal was a shock to me, as were a few other twists that I did not see coming. I was on the edge of my seat until the last page. Moore never lost my attention. Any fan of Karin Slaughter, especially Pretty Girls, is going to fall in love with this one, as it parallels her deep characters, heavy flashbacks, and family turmoil mixed with horrific crime. I can’t say enough about Long Bright River and I’m so happy that Liz Moore is now on my radar. Five stars across the board!https://iseereadpeoplereviews.wordpre...
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  • Sid Nuncius
    January 1, 1970
    I’m sorry to say that I didn’t get on well with Long Bright River. I like Liz Moore’s work and thought that Heft in particular was excellent. This one didn’t do it for me, I’m afraid.The story is narrated by Michaela (“Mickey”) who is a police officer in a tough, drug-riddled part of Philadelphia. Mickey’s sister Kacey is a drug addict and is missing, it emerges that there is a killer preying on such women and we get her search for Kacey intercut with Mickey’s history, while the police I’m sorry to say that I didn’t get on well with Long Bright River. I like Liz Moore’s work and thought that Heft in particular was excellent. This one didn’t do it for me, I’m afraid.The story is narrated by Michaela (“Mickey”) who is a police officer in a tough, drug-riddled part of Philadelphia. Mickey’s sister Kacey is a drug addict and is missing, it emerges that there is a killer preying on such women and we get her search for Kacey intercut with Mickey’s history, while the police investigation feels rather like a minor side-issue. Liz Moore’s books aim for deep, insightful character studies and this is a study of Mickey and a picture of the drug culture in some parts of the USA. It’s pretty good at both, but I didn’t find it all that original this time and it is extremely slow to the point of turgidity in places as we also get pictures of lots and lots of other characters including Mickey’s extended family - which seems to extend forever at times – while the crime story is a bit thin and unsatisafctory. I’m afraid I got pretty fed up and began to skim.I’m genuinely sorry to be critical of an author whom I like and who is writing about important matters, but the truth is that I didn’t like this one much. If you haven’t read Heft I’d strongly recommend it, but although others have enjoyed it more than me, I can only give Long Bright River a very qualified recommendation.(My thanks to Penguin for an ARC via NetGalley.)
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  • B.
    January 1, 1970
    I won this book in a Goodreads giveaway.I wouldn't classify this book as suspense, and it's not really a police procedural or a crime novel. The closest that I could come would be to say that it's a family drama or a literary fiction. If you've never been to Philly or McKeesport in PA, reading this book will make you feel as though you have. It's that dreary and that depressing. The sociodemographic divide is *that* clearly marked and *that* clearly visible. The author did a great job of I won this book in a Goodreads giveaway.I wouldn't classify this book as suspense, and it's not really a police procedural or a crime novel. The closest that I could come would be to say that it's a family drama or a literary fiction. If you've never been to Philly or McKeesport in PA, reading this book will make you feel as though you have. It's that dreary and that depressing. The sociodemographic divide is *that* clearly marked and *that* clearly visible. The author did a great job of conveying the feel of the place, and I say that not having been back in more than six years because the six months I spent in that area were just so gloomy. There's a pall over everything that Moore manages to convey without excessive descriptions of scenery. It's a satisfying reading experience, true, but it reminds me why I was ever so happy to get back to Texas and never go back there again. So, y'know, I doubt the tourism board would be particularly pleased with this one! Still, it's worth reading once, and it's a portrayal of American society that not many people in the U.S. ever see in their daily lives (most of those living anywhere not in New England). It's a very melancholy tale.
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  • Tracy
    January 1, 1970
    A police officer searches for her missing sister, fearful that her sister may fall prey to a killer who seems to be targeting sex workers in a drug-stricken neighborhood. I really enjoyed this novel and although I was a little daunted by the length it breezed by because of the suspenseful twists and turns in the plot. This book is more character-focused than something I typically read, but all the character building made the plot that much richer and more intriguing. This could easily be made A police officer searches for her missing sister, fearful that her sister may fall prey to a killer who seems to be targeting sex workers in a drug-stricken neighborhood. I really enjoyed this novel and although I was a little daunted by the length it breezed by because of the suspenseful twists and turns in the plot. This book is more character-focused than something I typically read, but all the character building made the plot that much richer and more intriguing. This could easily be made into an excellent film - a lot of the characters and situations felt very cinematic. Would suggest for anyone looking for a rich thriller with enough thematic heft for a book club.
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  • Nandi
    January 1, 1970
    I LOVED this book. I've recently been reading more thriller and horror books like this one This thriller had me on edge the whole time and had such an unexpected ending. I will definitely be reading more books by Liz Moore in the future. I LOVED this book. I've recently been reading more thriller and horror books like this one This thriller had me on edge the whole time and had such an unexpected ending. I will definitely be reading more books by Liz Moore in the future. 😊
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  • Anmiryam
    January 1, 1970
    Philadelphia has long been overshadowed by other large cities in fiction. Unlike Boston and New York, the city's clannish, divided neighborhoods haven't often made it to the page with the kind of vibrant energy they deserve. Liz Moore's fourth book, and her first to be set in her adoptive city, bucks the trend by bringing to life Kensington, a beleaguered neighborhood notorious for it's entrenched opioid problem -- there were 160 overdose deaths there in 2018, down from 209 in 2017. Given the Philadelphia has long been overshadowed by other large cities in fiction. Unlike Boston and New York, the city's clannish, divided neighborhoods haven't often made it to the page with the kind of vibrant energy they deserve. Liz Moore's fourth book, and her first to be set in her adoptive city, bucks the trend by bringing to life Kensington, a beleaguered neighborhood notorious for it's entrenched opioid problem -- there were 160 overdose deaths there in 2018, down from 209 in 2017. Given the toll ofthe epidemic, its past and present as a working class community with strong families has been lost behind the headlines. Moore's novel of two sisters, one a policewoman, the other an addict, gives outsiders a more nuanced portrait of this troubled, but still evolving neighborhood. Ever responsible Mickey has been pushed to the limit by her sister's decades long dance with drugs, but when Kacey vanishes, just as it's clear a serial killer is preying on women in the community, she feels compelled to find her. Yes, the book wears the clothing of a thriller, but underneath it's the story of a woman who doesn't understand herself, or those around her, as she fumbles towards greater self-awareness and the true meaning of family.
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  • Brenda
    January 1, 1970
    This book had surprising twists throughout the entire book. It kept my attention throughout the entire story and made me want to keep reading to the end to find out who committed the murders. I was shocked at who the killer was, as I didn't see that coming.
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  • Ellen
    January 1, 1970
    Well written page turner about two sisters, different in almost every way. Mickey is quiet, serious and a cop, searching for her sister Kasey, who was the outgoing,popular sister, now an addict and missing. A series of murders in the Kensington section of Philadelphia, riddled with drugs,is the site of the search, as Mickey fears each murdered woman could be Kasey. This book was totally out of my usual, genres, but I highly recommend it
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  • Mike
    January 1, 1970
    When a cop suspects a serial killer is murdering prostitutes, she must face her family’s tumultuous past as she tries to save her estranged younger sister.Moore captures human emotion to perfection, weaving a powerful tale of family bonds and the gut-wrenching pain of addiction, while at the same time delivering a gritty, pulse-pounding story about murder, drugs, and crooked cops. An absolutely phenomenal book.
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  • Chris Pavone
    January 1, 1970
    A tense, gripping, remarkable novel about the opioid crisis's devastation of family--of parents and children, siblings and cousins, and the extended family of a police force--that bares the intimate, heartbreaking costs of a mass epidemic.
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