Long Bright River

Paperback edition released 21/02/2020

by Liz Moore

Modern and Contemporary Fiction Crime and Mystery Books of the Month Books with reviews by our Reader Review Panel Family Drama Star Books Thriller and Suspense Literary Fiction

LoveReading Expert Review of Long Bright River

A stunning, intelligent, powerful crime novel that aches with poignant, vivid intensity. A LoveReading Star Book.

This intelligent, beautifully eloquent and powerful crime novel thoroughly provoked my feelings, and still remains in my thoughts. Mickey Fitzpatrick is a police officer patrolling the area she grew up in. Kensington in Philadelphia is known for drugs and sex workers, when a killer arrives on the streets, Mickey prays that her little sister doesn’t become a victim. The author Liz Moore has an intimate knowledge of the real Kensington, she has interviewed the people drawn there by drugs, written non fiction, and completed community work, she obviously cares a great deal for this neighbourhood and its people. Her novel set in Kensington has been a long time in the coming, she wanted to: “do this world justice”, to: “fairly represent”. As I started to read, the ‘list’ stopped me in my tracks, I read it again, pondered, and then moved on to the first two pages which hit my mind with a wallop and gave it a good shake. Mickey narrates her story, she is so clear, sharp, on point,  and I could see, feel, taste her words. Kensington, Mickey and her family flooded my mind in short, fierce, expressive chapters of ‘then’ and ‘now’. I felt a connection to emotions, to this story, it truly spoke to me. I feel this novel will be one that I regularly return to, and I’ll take away something a little different each time. Long Bright River is a stunning read, it aches with poignant, vivid intensity and I absolutely loved it. There is no other option for me, than to choose it as a LoveReading Star Book, and a Liz Robinson Pick of the Month.

Liz Robinson

Long Bright River Synopsis

Long Bright River by Liz Moore

About This Edition

ISBN: 9780593152249
Publication date: 21st February 2020
Author: Liz Moore
Publisher: Random House Large Print an imprint of Diversified Publishing
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 656 pages
Primary Genre Crime and Mystery
Other Genres:
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Long Bright River Reader Reviews

In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review this title.

Uncompromising portrait of a neighbourhood devastated by the opioid crisis and an intimate look at two emotionally damaged sisters divided by an addiction.

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.

Rachel Hall

A gritty, engaging police procedural, full of twists and a fantastic sense of American underworld.

Fantastic, gritty and engaging crime mystery steeped deep in the world of addiction. A police procedural novel about drug addiction, the criminal underworld, bribery and abuse set in Kensington, Philadelphia. It was all of this and much more. Very intelligently written and very sensitively put. Alongside the darker themes, this book also explored Siblings bond, family interaction, the need to protect and need to help shine brightly in Long Bright River. The author sets an example for a crime thriller but with a heart and with complex characters, where no one is what they seem - no one is a saint, not even the main character, Mickey.

I have really enjoyed the sense of mystery, looking for a lost sister in a world where you choose the danger, you choose your way and how to deal with life's injustices. This book is really dark and gruesome at times but I must highlight that it shows strong bonds, strong female protagonist and a strong sense of place, albeit dingy and full of shadows.

I liked how Liz Moore twisted her plot a few times, they added pace and kept you interested. I'm definitely looking forward to reading more of her books and going to research the setting thanks to a few links and websites she recommends in the afterword. Would highly recommend!

Agnieszka Higney

This story is a crime thriller like no other, tender, thought provoking, engaging and sadly all too realistic and raw but I was riveted from the very first page to the last and although not an easy read, it was informative and entertaining in equal parts.

I’m so pleased to have finished 2020 with a book that I connected with so strongly. When you feel so bereft after a story has finished and you continue thinking about the characters long after you’ve closed the last page, you know that book will stay with you a very long time.
Long Bright River written by Liz Moore, best selling author of Heft, has created a heartbreaking, at times harrowing but compassionate story involving the pressure opioid addiction places on families and the effects on newborn children to addicted mothers. Full of empathy, this story deeply affected me, as a mother, as a human being, I was utterly engrossed and astounded at just how the opioid crisis has a knock on effect to all involved.
This intensely moving character study, set in Philadelphia is told in the first person by Mickey (Michaela) a beat officer with the PPD, whose sister Kacey, an addict and sex worker has gone missing. The story is told in both the present and with chapters interspersed from their childhood and the events leading up to Kacey’s addiction. After their mother’s death, the girls were brought up by their grandmother Gee, who couldn’t give them the attention and love they so needed. Forming a strong bond as sisters looking out for each other, Kaceey becomes involved in the wrong crowd, leading to them to go their separate ways.
This story is a crime thriller like no other, tender, thought provoking, engaging and sadly all too realistic and raw but I was riveted from the very first page to the last and although not an easy read, it was informative and entertaining in equal parts. Thoroughly enjoyed.

Miriam Smith

Other editions of this book

ISBN: 9781786090614
Publication date: 31/12/2020
Format: Paperback

ISBN: 9780593152249
Publication date: 21/02/2020
Format: Paperback

ISBN: 9781786331625
Publication date: 09/01/2020
Format: Hardback

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