BOOK REVIEW: Long Bright River by Liz Moore

Publication Date: June 15, 2021
Format: Paperback
Genre:  psychological Thriller

Publisher: Celadon          
352 pages
Buy:  Kindle Paperback 


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.


This was a rough one for me as I personally have a daughter who is addicted and living in Kensington (yes the photo above is a real photo of the area). Once a thriving factory district now one of the largest open air drug markets in the country, it is hard to contain, crime ridden and often the police have to pick their battles.  Walking the streets is like being on the set for the walking dead, as you step over baggies, feces, and used needles. Being there during the day is to see what heartache, despair and addiction really is.  At night the area comes alive as people come from all areas of the city and the suburbs to score, use, pay for sex, and die.  

Liz Moore has done extensive research and her book is such an accurate portrayal of addiction and the grief, anger and sorrow that loved ones of addicts face on a daily basis.  It also focuses on the despair and anguish of the addict.  Mickey is a cop on the streets of Kensington, keeping an eye on her sister hoping that she will one day get clean.  Kacey is an addict who has been living on the streets for years, she gets her money by prostitution.  When Kacey disappears Mickey is determined to find her, often breaking rules, and skirting the law.  

I loved that this book was broken up into then and now, from this we learn about the girls upbringing and what happened along the way.  How they both wound up where they are and hopefully how they can come together once again.  Once close, now their relationship is strained due to addiction, lies and not wanting to face some hard realities.  While this was a hard book for me its a quick read with a well done mystery that sheds light on the vulnerability of this population.  I applaud Moore for her accuracy and humanity in her portrayal of addiction and think that this should be on everyones reading list not only for the great mystery that it is but also for the insight into one of the countries worst issues.

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