Review – Long Bright River

Long Bright River – Liz Moore

I really enjoyed this one.  For a decent sized novel it held my attention the entire way through, I just couldn’t put it down.

I’m a huge fan of thrillers and mysteries but sometimes ones revolving around police and detective plots I struggle with a little, definitely not this one.

Mickey has been a police officer with the Philadelphia Police Department for 13 years, working the streets in one of the rougher areas of the city.  Having had a pretty tough childhood growing up there was just Mickey and her sister Kacey to look out for each other.  As they got older Mickey was the studious sister, striving to do her best, while Kacey slid further and further away and eventually into a life of drugs, petty crime and prostitution, working the very streets that Mickey would be patrolling.

Mickey hasn’t seen or spoken to her sister in years, just hoping every day that the next overdose she is called out to is not Kacey.  “The first time I found my sister dead, she was sixteen.”

Suddenly there is a spate of murdered sex workers in Mickey’s district that no one on the force really seems to care about.  Having not seen Kacey around the streets for some time, Mickey becomes fixated on finding her sister before she too becomes a victim and in the process hopefully find the killer.

Narrated from Mickey’s point of view and alternating between Then and Now the story of Mickey and Kacey’s lives was interwoven perfectly.  I felt every one of Mickey’s emotions as she tried desperately to find her sister and make sure she was safe.

The character development was spot on and with just the right amount of twists and turns the storyline flowed along as if I was on Mickey’s journey.  So many times I thought I had worked out who the killer was and every single time I was wrong.  I loved that.  I hate it when thrillers are predictable.

I was struck by the terrifying realness of the opioid addictions and how drugs can tear families apart, destroying them at the core.  The storyline of drug addiction was both fascinating and heart breaking and the author covered this area with such insight and detail I honestly felt I was right there witnessing the pain, it was just so terrifyingly real.

The only tiny thing that stuck out for me was that for some reason I couldn’t get a clear image in my head of what I thought Mickey looked like, and I honestly don’t know why that was.  Again, the characters were so intense and full of depth I really can’t rationalise why I couldn’t picture her.

This was a solid 4.5 stars for me and I will definitely be grabbing more books by Liz Moore to jump into.

*****