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Review: Long Bright River by Liz Moore

Title: Long Bright River
Author: Liz Moore
Year Published: 2020

Genre: Adult fiction
Pages: 480
Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Location (my 2019 Google Reading map)USA (PA)

FTC Disclosure: I bought this with my own money

Summary (from the inside flap of the book): 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.

Alternating its present-day mystery with the story of the sisters' childhood and adolescence, Long Bright River is at once heart-pounding and heart-wrenching: a gripping suspense novel that is also a moving story of sisters, addiction, and the formidable ties that persist between place, family, and fate.

Review: I chose this book from Book of the Month Club, finished it last night, and this morning see it as one of the NY Times (LA Times?) 10 books to look out for in 2020. Cool.

While I thought the book was a bit too long, I'm not sure what I would take out. And, in the end I thought it was really well done, interesting, and will capture people in the new year. The story is told in two timelines: the 1980s-'90s and now. And there are a couple different story lines going on that intersect. While at first I wasn't sure how important the "then" chapters were, about half way through I realized how necessary they are. Then helps us to understand now.

Mickey is not a character that I took to easily. She is defensive, untrusting (and yet trusting of the wrong people), and doesn't let anyone "in." But, the more I read the more I understood why she is this way. These traits get in the way of her finding her sister, mending relationships, and making the best life she can for her son. But, that's real. We aren't perfect, we don't act the way we "should," and we often are most detrimental to ourselves.

In the end, this book is a an interesting "who done it" as as well as a look at a family and a city in which things have gone horribly wrong. I recommend it for sure!

Challenges for which this counts: 

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