Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Gut-Wrenching Murder Mystery a Hard But Heartfelt Read

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

Police officer Michaela "Mickey" Fitzpatrick is well-acquainted with the toll opioid addiction takes on not just its victims but also on their families and communities.  Abandoned by their junkie parents, she and her sister, Kacey, were left to be raised by their cruel, resentful grandmother.  Now 33, Mickey works a high crime beat in Kensington, one of the worst neighborhoods in Philadelphia.  Not only is she on the lookout for dangerous behavior, but she keeps her eyes constantly peeled for Kacey.  An addict who pays for her habit by turning tricks, Kacey no longer keeps in touch with her sister.  Which doesn't stop Mickey from worrying about her every day.

Mickey's used to not seeing her sister for weeks on end, but when a spate of murders are committed against street women in Kensington and Kacey is nowhere to be found, Mickey starts to fear the worst.  Mickey's frantic search for both the killer and her sister becomes a dangerous obsession that puts her right in the path of a vicious murderer.  No matter the cost, Mickey refuses to back down.  She knows all too well how dispensable street junkies are—she won't let her sister and others like her slip through the cracks.  Even if it means risking everything to save Kacey.

As you can imagine, Long Bright River by Liz Moore is not an easy read.  Not at all.  It's raw and disturbing, heartbreaking and gut-wrenching.  It's also important and impactful.  Moore has spent a lot of time in Kensington and it shows.  The story rings with authenticity.  While it tells a difficult tale, the novel is a heartfelt one, woven through with sensitivity and sympathy.  Anyone who's dealt with a family member in the throes of addiction will identify with Mickey's plight.  Told in chapters alternating between the past and present, Long Bright River is not just a gripping thriller, but also an engrossing family drama, which gives the story a layered depth that makes it more than just a murder mystery.  Relevant and riveting, it's a hard but unforgettable read.

(Readalikes:  Reminds me of Before I Let You Go by Kelly Rimmer, Heroine by Mindy McGinnis, and the Bell Elkins series by Julia Keller)

Grade:


If this were a movie, it would be rated:


for language, violence, blood/gore, disturbing subject matter, and depictions of illegal drug use

To the FTC, with love:  Another library fine find

2 comments:

  1. I liked this one, too, even though it isn't an easy read. Glad you liked it.

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  2. I thought this was an excellent read :)

    ReplyDelete

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