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Long Bright River

4.06  ·  Rating details ·  77,172 ratings  ·  8,547 reviews
Two sisters travel the same streets, though their lives couldn't be more different. Then, one of them goes missing.

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
Hardcover, 482 pages
Published January 7th 2020 by Riverhead Books
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OMalleycat I think it’s to emphasize the story is told strictly from Mickey’s point of view. There’s no omniscient narrator reporting what was said word for word…moreI think it’s to emphasize the story is told strictly from Mickey’s point of view. There’s no omniscient narrator reporting what was said word for word; it’s just Mickey’s version. It also renders the dialogue distant, terse, and just-the-facts like a police report, which would be emotionally repressed Mickey’s style.(less)
Pat The main character in the book, the one whose point of view we are seeing, is not a drug user. This is not a book about how someone who uses drugs is …moreThe main character in the book, the one whose point of view we are seeing, is not a drug user. This is not a book about how someone who uses drugs is thinking, but the main character is surrounded, impacted by it.
This book gives the reader a lot to think about, but I do not consider it a downer. By creating a mystery for the main character to solve, the reader sees this world but is focused on finding the answers to the mystery.(less)

Community Reviews

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Average rating 4.06  · 
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 ·  77,172 ratings  ·  8,547 reviews

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Chelsea Humphrey
Oct 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Chelsea by: Jamie Rosenblit
BOTM pick for December 2019!

Long Bright River is a book that I almost passed on, thinking that I didn't want the responsibility of reviewing it. The author has a fiercely loyal fanbase, and literary fiction is a genre that is risky for me to dabble in at best. After circling the book's Goodreads page for months, the synopsis had a relentless grip on me, and something checked in my spirit telling me I needed to read this book. Perhaps it was the emotional investment in the opioid crisis, due to m
Nilufer Ozmekik
Jan 22, 2020 rated it really liked it

You know there are some books, you want to read slow to absorb each word, each sentence and visualize everything in your head, wait a little to sink their meanings while you’re sitting next to fire place, sipping your cognac (yes, as usual my imagination stole the remote control of my brain) and praying that book never ends. However this is a crime thriller, the writing was so unique and original. I didn’t expect to enjoy it
Dorie  - Cats&Books :)
Oct 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing

Changed my mind on this one and moved it into the 5 star category the more that I thought about it as I wrote this review.

This is not a comfortable or easy book to read. It highlights the opiod crisis and addiction of all forms. It talks about babies born to addicts and the withdrawal that they go through. It takes place in a neighborhood in Philadelphia, Kensington, which was once a neighborhood of working class families. As th
Dec 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: edelweiss
Long Bright River is a beautifully written and powerful story about two sisters and the destruction of addiction.

Mickey and Kacey, daughters of addicts, take two very different paths in life. As children, they were inseparable, as adults they are estranged. Mickey becomes a cop, Kacey an addict.

When young female addicts start being murdered, Mickey fears even more for Kacey's life. When Mickey discovers that Kacey is missing, she investigates putting her life, her son, and her job in danger.

I read this story twice within a six month span, I'm kind of obsessed with it. This story was so freaking good, and so heavy and so sad. I’m really surprised by how much I enjoyed this one, and I flew through this book in 3 days. I probably would’ve finished it faster if I had more time to read it because this book is really hard to put down once you get invested.

This story follows a cop named Mickey who has a sister who is a drug addict and they are no longer on speaking terms. Their parents we
Nov 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The talented Liz Moore writes a powerful, deeply affecting and harrowing account of the human cost of the out of control opoid crisis, gripping not only the Kensington neighbourhood of Philadelphia, but the country as a whole. It would be a mistake to go into this multilayered novel as a straightforward crime read, it is so much more, the crime aspects hang in the background, but at the forefront is a in depth character driven family drama, the relationship between two sisters, 32 year old singl ...more
Sep 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2020
Long Bright River by Liz Moore is a 2020 Riverhead publication.

Mesmerizing, chilling, and heartbreaking!

Sisters, Mickey, and Kacey, though close as children, grew apart as teens and now their lives could not be any more different. Mickey is a police officer and single- parent, while Kacey, is a drug addict and a sex-worker in the Kensington neighborhood of Philadelphia.

Although they never speak, Mickey keeps tabs on Kacey, making sure she's still okay, despite the circumstances. But then Kac
Apr 30, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Long Bright River by Liz Moore (Author), Allyson Ryan (Narrator)

This story broke my heart, not just for the main character and her family, but for all the people who struggle with addiction day in, day out. This story deals with the opioid crisis but it's also about other addictions, to work, to sexual vices, to violence, to choosing to run from help. The children always suffer and some of those children are addicted from the day they are conceived. How fair is that? Life isn't about being fair
Jul 31, 2020 rated it liked it
In Long Bright River, we follow two sisters, Mickey and Kacey, who lost their mother young to addiction and their father soon after to abandonment. They were then raised in the harsh unloving environment of their grandmother. Mickey eventually joined the police force, but Kacey could not resist the call of addiction. When Kacey goes missing and women starts turning up dead in their neighborhood, Mickey is compelled to uncover what really happened.

This book starts out amazingly. The story of the
Didn’t live up to the hype!

This book about a cop (Mickey) searching for her missing junkie sister was a decent mystery but no great shakes. I hate it when I don’t love a book that everyone else does, but there I was, getting lukewarm when I wanted hot. For me, a case of overhype.

Joy Jar

-Surprisingly, this long book was a fast read, which hardly ever happens when there’s a hefty page count.

-Realistically portrayed addiction and its brutality.

-The relationship between the sisters was complex a
Nov 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
4.9 ⭐ for being so touching and relevant.

I definitely wouldn't call this a thriller. It sorta has a small mystery but mostly it's an emotional story about a family's struggles with addiction.

Told entirely from Mickey's point if view.
She's a cop in Kensington, Philadelphia.
Estranged from her sister - a heroin addict - but she is able to keep an eye on her since she patrols the area (streets) that her sister frequents (works)
Then her sister mysteriously goes missing, while at the same time th
Lindsay - Traveling Sisters Book Reviews
4.5 stars!

An extremely well-written, gut-wrenching, powerful story about addiction and the bond of sisters.

Raised by their less than interested grandmother, Mickey and Kacey grew up looking after one another. They were as close as sisters could be. As a teenager, Kacey mixes with the wrong crowd and becomes a drug addict leading to a life on the streets. The sisters become strangers to one another. Mickey joins the local police force but can’t ignore the constant tension of worry that one day sh
Jan 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
What a page turner!
Riveting story of two sisters living in the Philadelphia area that is being rocked by the opioid crisis! Mickey,is a cop and her younger sister Kacey is an addict who is living and working on the street. Kacey has been missing as a string of mysterious murders start taking place so as Mickey walks the street on her police beat she’s on the search for her sister.
This story goes back and forth from Now and Then, as we are also taken back to their childhood.
Story of sisters,
Brenda ~Traveling Sister Book Reviews
Lindsay, I decided to download Long Bright River at the last minute, and we are so glad we did not miss this one. It is a thoroughly worthwhile reading experience that will stay with us for a while.

Long Bright River is a love story between two very different sisters who are bonded together by their toxic childhood. The story centres around the opioid crisis in a Philadelphia neighbourhood. Their childhood shapes them differently, with Kacey now lost in the streets and Mickey, a police officer o
Elyse  Walters
Jan 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
....narrated by Allyson Ryan
13 hours and 9 minutes.
I pre-ordered this book 3 months before it was released with excited anticipation.

After having read two other engrossing - thought-provoking-long lasting memorable novels by Liz Moore.... I jumped with urgency to get my hands on “Long Bright River”.
After a long-impatient-restless wait, finally my turn arrived.

“Heft”, was incredible: an incredible ‘standout’ in audiobook format.
“Unseen World” - was phenomenal: phenomenal in ebook
Richard (on hiatus)
Feb 12, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thrillers-us
4.5 Stars:
It’s hard to categorise Long Bright River by Liz Moore.
Firstly, it’s a realistic and frightening look at the opioid epidemic in Philadelphia (or America …. or the world, I guess). Secondly, it’s a very human story of a single woman trying to bring up a four year old in harsh surroundings and thirdly it’s a story that involves crime (often fuelled by the drug problem) - crime that’s ugly and sad, and has laid waste to parts the city.
Michaela (Mickey) Fitzpatrick, as well as being a sin
4.5 stars
This book proves the fact that timing is everything. Apparently I am more of a mood reader than I thought, and Christmas week with a very ill dog (now recovered) was the wrong timing. I normally love a slow burn but I set it aside. I recently picked it up again, and this time I was totally engaged and captivated. I flew through it in one day and ended up loving it, confirming that the author remains one of my favorites.

I'm still not a fan of the lack of quotation marks, and for
Susanne  Strong
Review also posted on: https://books-are-a-girls-best-friend...

Disturbing, Heartbreaking, Honest.

When it comes to literary fiction, if I’m being frank, the dirtier it is, the better it is. By that I mean, I like it complicated, messy and at times, really difficult, because in my opinion, that is real life.

Lucky for me, “Long Bright River” by Liz Moore certainly fit that bill and then some.

Long Bright River is a novel about dysfunction, layered on top of even more dysfunction - just how I like
This book is a suspense mystery/thriller. I could not put this book down. This book has some hard hitting things so I would look into those if you get bother by reading things (like drug use). I do not want to give away to much about this book, but it is at the heart of it is about two sister that grown up in there Grandma house. One sister is a cop and the other is a drug user that is missing. The characters are easy to want to keep follow, and this book is well-written. This book also has some ...more
Mar 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audio
This book is a wonderful mix of family drama and mystery. Mickey is a beat cop in Philadelphia. Her sister is a drug addict, who has gone missing. When bodies of young women start turning up strangled, Kasey’s disappearance becomes even more concerning.
The book alternates between the present day and the sisters’ youth. We get to see the background and the influences that turned each girl into the woman she is in the present.
Moore captures the feel of Kensington, a rough, down on its heels part
Liz Moore’s literary thriller is a realistic look at the drug culture, particularly the opiod crisis, that abounds in many cities and towns in America and around the world. It’s gritty and brutal and pulls no punches when it shows the devastating effect of addiction not only in destroying the lives and potential of so many young people but also in pulling apart families.

Kensington was once a respectable working class neighbourhood in Philadelphia, but as jobs became scarce, houses have been aba
Aug 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I would categorize this as literary suspense. It has the elements of a police procedural but the writing is so much better than that. Mickey is a beat cop walking the mean drug addicted streets of Philadelphia while her sister, Kacey, lives on those very streets as a strung out sex worker. The cop watches out for her sister despite their estrangement and becomes alarmed when a number of prostitutes are found murdered. Moving between the sisters’ adolescence and adulthood, this is about broken fa ...more
Liz Moore continues her literary genius with her latest novel and it is such a relief to have my high expectations confirmed and exceeded. I think one of the things I love most about Liz Moore is that her stories are multi-layered and written in such a way that you become that character so fully. You live the holistic experience of her main characters - you see through their eyes, feel their emotions and learn with their minds - everything that transpires in her books. I come away a different pe ...more
Michael David
DNF for now at page 86 (19%).

I am in the minority here, but there is nothing that compels me to continue with this one at this time. It could very well be my current frame of mind, but it has taken me 3 evenings to read 86 pages‼️

I am thinking I will go back and give this one another try at some point, but for now I can’t imagine reading almost 400 more pages when I am just not very interested.

Also, quotation marks aren’t used when characters speak, so that’s interesting.

My sincere thank you
Dec 17, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Long Bright River has been sitting quietly and lonely on my shelf for well, let’s just say too long! Not sure why. Just never felt like the right time to read it. Once the audio version became available I knew it was the perfect opportunity to dive in and enjoy both the written and listening experience.

Mickey grew up in Philadelphia where she now serves as a police officer. Having lost several many family members to drugs, Mickey is now fearful of losing her younger sister Kacey to the same demo
Jan 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
This book did NOT disappoint. It is engrossing and heartbreaking and moving and beautiful and I want to read it again.

You can watch my full review here:
Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Find all of my reviews at:

I knew zero about Long Bright River before attempting to get my hands on a copy. All I knew was I loved Heft and when I recognized the author’s name I wanted to give her new release a shot. When I found out it was a dope story, wellllllll . . . . .

Grit lit is most certainly my bag.

The story here is of two sisters. Mickey works on the right side of the law as a beat cop in Philly, her sister Kacey is a drug addicted prostitute. At
Sumit RK
May 15, 2021 rated it really liked it
Long Bright River is a compelling story of family, sisterhood, and relations, full of suspense and drama. Set In a Philadelphia neighborhood, rocked by the drug crisis, in a city where addiction and crime are now rampant. The story focuses on two sisters, Mickey, a police officer, and her sister, Kacey; an addict and prostitute, who has now drifted far away from Mickey’s life. Then Kacey disappears and at the same time that a mysterious string of murders begins in Mickey's district, and Mickey i ...more
Jan 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2020
One of my Top Ten Books of 2020!
And also a Goodreads Choice Finalist in Mystery/Thriller

One of my most anticipated books of the year has also claimed a spot as one of my favorites. I wasn’t familiar with Liz Moore before Long Bright River, so much so that I incorrectly thought this was a debut. Which is all the more embarrassing considering I’ve been wanting to read it for about half a year.

As much as this is falls into the Mystery/Thriller genre, it’s just as much about familial dysfunction,
Dec 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ew
By the end, Long Bright River was definitely a 5 star read...

It starts off like a mystery, but it isn’t really. Mickey and Kacey are two sisters living in Philadelphia. Their mother died of a drug overdose. Mickey is a police officer. Kacey is a drug addict. The book moves back and forth from the sisters’ childhood to present day. We see everything through Mickey’s eyes. How she tried to steer her sister away from drugs and their nasty consequences. How she now can’t find Kacey. But by the end,
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Liz Moore is the author of the novels THE WORDS OF EVERY SONG (Broadway Books, 2007), HEFT (W.W. Norton, 2012), THE UNSEEN WORLD (W.W. Norton, 2016), and the New York Times-bestselling Long Bright River (Riverhead, 2019). A winner of the Rome Prize in Literature, she lives in Philadelphia with her family, and teaches in the M.F.A. program in Creative Writing at Temple University.

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Paula Hawkins considers a story well told to be the marker of success for her mystery novels.    “I’ve got about six characters in this story,...
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“This was the secret I learned that day: none of them want to be saved. They all want to sink backward toward the earth again, to be swallowed by the ground, to keep sleeping. There is hatred on their faces when they are roused from the dead.” 9 likes
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