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Long Bright River

By: Liz Moore
Narrated by: Allyson Ryan
Length: 13 hrs and 20 mins
4 out of 5 stars (18 ratings)

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Summary

Kensington Ave, Philadelphia:

The first place you go for drugs or sex.

The last place you want to look for your sister.

Mickey Fitzpatrick has been patrolling the 24th District for years. She knows most of the working women by name. She knows what desperation looks like and what people will do when they need a fix. She’s become used to finding overdose victims: their numbers are growing every year. But every time she sees someone sprawled out, slumped over, cold to the touch, she has to pray it’s not her sister, Kacey. 

When the bodies of murdered sex workers start turning up on the Ave, the Chief of Police is keen to bury the news. They’re not the kind of victims that generate a whole lot of press anyway. But Mickey is obsessed, dangerously so, with finding the perpetrator - before Kacey becomes the next victim. 

©2020 Liz Moore (P)2020 Penguin Audio

Critic reviews

"An outstanding crime novel." (Paula Hawkins)

"A remarkable, profoundly moving novel about the ties that bind and the irrevocable wounds of childhood. It’s also a riveting mystery, perfectly paced. I loved every page of it." (Dennis Lehane)

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  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Another potentially good book wrecked by a terrible reading

I got this as a hard-bitten detective tale based on reportage. And the central character was indeed a tough, taciturn female detective with deep secrets and conflict. But she was read as if she were a fairy spirit in a book for children. The effect is nauseating. Could not take it for more than an hour.

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Don't understand the hype

This is a book about the effect of illegal opioids on a community in inner-city Philadelphia and the dysfunctional families that result. It's not really a thriller, it's not really a crime novel – those elements are bolted on to give the story a shape. It's a long, slow, sad, mundane exploration of a not-very-nice family, told by a first person narrator who isn't a particularly attractive or interesting personality. Basically a long, angsty misery memoir. There is an awful lot of everyday detail particularly around childcare and domestic duties – the kind of thing that some of us want to escape from when we read...

I'm not sure there's anyone who isn't aware of the opioid epidemic in the US and its tragic consequences. I'm not sure there can be many people who are unaware of corruption and exploitation in the police, although the narrator (who's a police officer) seems to be shocked by it.

I don't understand why this novel is so highly rated. The writing is staccato and detached and matter-of-fact. It's long-winded, endlessly introspective and deeply depressing in its outlook. Some people seem to think this gives the book profundity. I don't share that view. The reading is flat, monotonous and machine-like which I suppose is quite appropriate but doesn't make the book any more interesting.

Sorry: I'd hoped for some real depth.

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Powerful story of family and the opioid crises

This is a novel that is very unflinching in its portrayal of the effects of the USA opioid crises through the eyes of a Philadelphia police officer whose mother was and sister are addicts. There is also a murder inquiry.