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Long Bright River Reader Reviews

Long Bright River

Rachel Hall

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.


Agnieszka Higney

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!


Book Information

ISBN: 9781786331625
Publication date: 9th January 2020
Author: Liz Moore
Publisher: Hutchinson an imprint of Cornerstone
Format: Hardback
Pagination: 464 pages
Genres: Books of the Month, Reader Reviewed Books, Crime / Mystery, Family Drama, Liz Robinson's Picks of the Month, Literary Fiction, Star Books, Thriller / Suspense,
Categories: Thriller / suspense, Crime & mystery,