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Long Bright River

4.36  ·  Rating details ·  3,468 ratings  ·  744 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,
Kindle Edition, 492 pages
Published January 7th 2020 by Riverhead Books
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Matthew There are no sex scenes if that's what you are worried about. But romantic relationships, and sex work/prostitution, are certainly plot points, as is…moreThere are no sex scenes if that's what you are worried about. But romantic relationships, and sex work/prostitution, are certainly plot points, as is drug use, pregnant drug users, etc. (less)
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Average rating 4.36  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,468 ratings  ·  744 reviews

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Chelsea Humphrey
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
Dorie  - Cats&Books :)

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 the jobs dried up, people chose or were forced to
Dec 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.

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 ...more
4.5 stars
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 were addicts and they were raised by their abusive grandmother. A string
Brenda -Traveling Sister
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
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
Aga Durka
5 Emotional Stars!

When requesting an ARC copy of this book I didn’t even read the synopsis, all I needed to know was that the author is Liz Moore. The Unseen World was one of my favorite books in 2017 and I just knew that Long Bright River would be as good of a read, if not better. And I was right!

Once again, Liz Moore wrote a powerful and suspenseful story with unique and relatable characters. She explores the very difficult and dark reality of the opioid addiction crisis by following the lives
Aug 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
Jan 03, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars

I chose Liz Moore’s Long Bright River as my very first read of 2020 and I am happy to say that it was an excellent choice! This story, about two sisters who were extremely close during their childhood but ended up on grossly divergent paths, reads like a thriller at first, but as the events in the story unfold and the characters evolve, it becomes apparent that this is no ordinary suspense novel. In fact, I would actually classify this more as literary fiction than suspense /
Dec 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
Long Bright River is a heartbreaking story of two sisters that both struggle to survive living in a crisis of opioids.

Mickey and Kasey are both sisters that live in completely opposite worlds. Kasey is struggling with her own addiction and Mickey is police officer for the city of Kensington where the Opioid crisis runs high. Mickey patrols the streets and often runs into her sister during her binges and criminal activity is at an ultimate high in the neighborhoods that Mickey patrols. Mickey
Dec 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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,
Julie Ehlers
Five stars?!? The thing is, this novel takes place in Philadelphia and I live in Philadelphia, so I was predisposed to enthusiasm for Long Bright River. Nevertheless, it actually exceeded my (high) expectations: As I mentioned in one of my status updates, it's like Tana French before she got all ponderous. Long Bright River does take a bit of time to get going, but it's time well spent, building a world of vivid place and character, and by the time the plot picked up I was fully invested. There ...more
Jan 05, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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:
Dec 15, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
[4+] Long Bright River is about a struggling single mother who is trying to juggle her demanding roles as a mother and police officer with a search for her missing sister. It is also about opioid addiction and police corruption. Moore navigates all these issues beautifully. Some might label this a crime novel, but the characters are why I kept turning the pages. She peels away layers of Mickey's past, cracks open a scary world and leaves the reader hoping...
Nov 05, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: suspense, fiction
Long Bright River is a slow-burn, suspense novel rather than a thriller. It is an emotional, heartbreaking story of sister love, drug addiction and forgiveness.The story is narrated by Michaela 'Mickey' who is the older 'better' sister. Mickey is a cop and worries about Kacey who is a drug addict and hasn't been seen for a few weeks. Whilst I normally like books told from only the main character's point of view, in this case I felt like the story would have benefited from another narrator. While ...more
Jan 17, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What a page turner!
Riveting story of two sisters living in a Philadelphia city 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,
Nov 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow. I loved this dark, gritty story from start to finish. I will now be in a book slump for days. Ugh, SO good and SO relevant.

Triggers: addiction
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
Denise Reed
Dec 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Giveaway winner!

I was so excited to win an ARC of this book, as I had been contemplating making it my BOTM for December when I received the email that I had won a copy. The book is nearly 500 pages long, but I devoured it in two days. I thought the way Liz Moore wove the seemingly separate threads of police procedural/murder and family drama was mesmerizing. The protagonist, Mickey, is a single mother, as well as an officer for the Philadelphia PD. She is assigned to patrol Kensington, a
Anna Luce
3.5 stars

Set against the opioid crisis in Philadelphia Liz Moore's thought-provoking novel portrays the long-lasting and devastating effects of addiction (on an individual, on a family, and on an entire neighbourhood).

“These girls, he says. He looks at me and puts one finger to his right temple, taps it twice. Stupid, is what he means. No sense.”

In Long Bright River Moore focuses her narrative on the fraught relationship between two sisters, showing the circumstances that can lead to
Lindsay - Traveling Sister
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
3.5 stars

I was truly hoping to have liked this book more than I did. At the start of the story, I felt I had come upon another five star story, but as the book continued my enthusiasm started to wan, and did eventually fall off into that "oh no, bleak zone" we sometimes find ourselves. Granted this time of the year was certainly not the right time to read a book such as this. It was desolate and so often seemed to lack any hope. I also found it a bit repetitious but did like that close sisterly
Jan 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
See my full review with personal stories and photographs at

I had no patience. I had to read Long Bright River NOW. I picked it up on Friday. Saturday it rained all day long and I spent it reading. I finished the novel before I turned out the light to sleep.

I had read Liz Moore's novel The Unknown World and loved it. But my interest in this new novel was it's setting--Kensington, a Philadelphia neighborhood where we lived for just under two years, leaving
Elyse  Walters
Jan 11, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
....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
Janelle | She Reads with Cats
Thank you so much Riverhead Books for my free copy.

I had no idea what to expect when I picked up Liz Moore’s LONG BRIGHT RIVER but once I did, I could not let it go. It’s gritty, dark, suspenseful, emotional, and unsettling. In a word, phenomenal.

Philadelphia’s Kensington neighborhood is greatly affected by the country’s ever growing opioid epidemic and people are regularly found dead of an overdose. The neighborhood is afflicted with drug related crime so it’s an uphill battle law enforcement
Jan 09, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4 - 5 stars

This is a powerful and well written story which focuses on the destruction wreaked by drug addiction via the story of two very different sisters. It is set principally in the Kensington district of Philadelphia. Mickey (Michaela) Fitzpatrick is a single mum of Thomas and is a police officer in the PPD and is partnered for a while with Eddie Lafferty. They are called to a suspicious death of a female on the tracks. Mickey is terrified it will prove to be her sister Kacey with whom she
Jan 02, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book found me through some reviews from GR friends. When I saw my BOTM December picks included it there was no question as to my choice. I enjoy books about sisters. Mickey is a cop and Kacey works the bad streets of Philadelphia. She will do whatever’s necessary to get her next fix. This is a powerful, suspenseful story. The characters are easy to relate to. Liz Moore does an excellent job with the subject of addiction which is pertinent to the world we live in. We all know of someone ...more
Oct 24, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Dennis by: Chelsea Humphrey
Taking place in the Kensington neighborhood of Philadelphia, Mickey (Michaela) is an officer patrolling the city where she grew up. So many people in her life have been affected or killed by drug addiction, and her main role as police officer nowadays has been monitoring those affected by drugs. It's an all too real visual of our society now—this opioid crisis is NO JOKE, seriously. We all know someone who is struggling with it. As Mickey navigates through her day-to-day making sure the streets ...more
Katie B
This one got off to a slow start for me but I will freely admit I'm having a hard time concentrating these days as life is a bit stressful right now. However, maybe about 100 pages or so into it, everything just seemed to click and at that point I became fully engrossed in the story.

Sisters Kacey and Mickey no longer speak to one another. They grew up in Philadelphia and were raised by their grandmother. As teenagers their lives started heading down two different paths. Mickey worked hard and
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Book Dragons: January pick! 2 8 Jan 07, 2020 08:25PM  

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Liz Moore is a writer of fiction and creative nonfiction.

Her first novel, The Words of Every Song (Broadway Books, 2007), centers on a fictional record company in New York City just after the turn of the millennium. It draws partly on Liz's own experiences as a musician. It was selected for Borders' Original Voices program and was given a starred review by Kirkus. Roddy Doyle wrote of it, "This
“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.” 1 likes
“Some people do have trouble with Kensington, but to me the neighborhood itself has become like a relative, slightly problematic but dear in the old-fashioned way that that word is sometimes used, treasured, valuable to me.” 0 likes
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