Long Bright River by Liz Moore hit the shelves on January 7th of 2020! It hasn’t been out that long but it has definitely made a splash in the book world.
In Kensington, Philadelphia, Kacey walks the streets addicted to drugs while her sister Mickey patrols them in her squad car.
They interact as little as possible, estranged since their adolescence by addiction and life choices, and only come together when Mickey is arresting and booking Kacey in jail. But, after a woman turns up dead, followed by other women Kacey used to hang around, Mickey realizes that she hasn’t seen her sister in quite a while – and neither has anybody else.
Mickey sets out on a mission to find her sister and the murderer; held up and scrutinized at every turn. As the roadblocks pile up, she tries to reconnect with people around her and focus on her son in order to ground herself. But the work and fear that the murderer will find Kacey first causes Mickey to break promises and break the law.
Review: Long Bright River is a heart-wrenching and thought provoking story that brings together the dilemma of addiction, love, and family ties. My initial draw to this title came from my own personal experiences with family and addiction. I was curious how Liz Moore would portray this complicated and sensitive topic in a way that also kept the readers engaged. I felt like she handled this job with tact and was careful in the way she approached the epidemic. She pointed out the corruption of people, the desire to help in others, and the crippling side affects of drugs on the users and their loved ones.
I enjoyed how the novel went back and forth between the current mystery back to the childhood memories that the sisters shared. As the reader you really get to learn about their love and commitment to each other and feel equally as heartbroken when that love is betrayed.
I knew going in that the dialogue didn’t have quotation marks (much in the same style as Cormac McCarthy) so that wasn’t a shock to me. It did cause me to reread a few lines here and there to dissect whether it was someone speaking, thinking, or part of the text. As I got deeper into the book, it hardly phased me. This was a unique style move by Liz Moore and it fit the curt, police style voice of her narrator.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book. It was about what I had expected in terms of suspense and mystery so I was not left unsatisfied. If you are expecting jumpy and scary scenes, this book is really not for you. Leave a comment and let me know what you thought of the book!
Amazon Link: Long Bright River