This book review of Long Bright River by Liz Moore discusses this unforgettable page-turner suspense novel about sisters in Philadelphia dealing with the opioid crisis from two very different perspectives: police officer and addict. It also gives you lifestyle pairings for more like the book.
Book Review of Long Bright River by Liz Moore
Long Bright River, a Good Morning America book club pick, refers to “a long bright river of departed souls” dealing with the growing opioid epidemic in Philadelphia (where I live), and more specifically, in the troubled neighborhood of Kensington. I have seen the effects of this epidemic grow especially over the last year or two and infiltrate the city as a whole, contributing to things like more homelessness and panhandling.
While Long Bright River is a thriller and a page-turner, it also has compassion and a social conscience. The thrills are not gratuitous, but they have a purpose. And the characters are not just good or evil, they are complex and multi-faceted.
The story centers around Mickey, a youthful female Philadelphia police officer and single mother, who is searching for her estranged and missing sister, a drug addict on the streets, after a string of similar women are found dead in the Kensington neighborhood.
These sisters also shoulder the weight of their pasts — they were raised by their grandmother after their own mother died of an overdose, and each sister subsequently endured her own share of hardships.
Mickey is dutiful and driven, albeit guarded, and it’s easy to root for her. As the mystery of her sister’s whereabouts unfolds, there are surprising twists as the reader gains a deeper understanding of the longstanding effects of the opioid epidemic on people, families and whole communities, as well as its intersection with the police.
For more like Long Bright River:
- Read Philadelphia Magazine’s insightful story about the local opioid epidemic.
- Watch this virtual book club with author Liz Moore.
- Take a look at Philadelphia photographer Jeffrey Stockbridge’s pictures, taken in the Kensington neighborhood where Long Bright River takes place.
- Watch Netflix’s binge-worthy docu-series The Pharmacist, about a Louisiana pharmacist who goes to extremes to expose the corruption behind the opioid addiction crisis after his son’s death.
- Watch Mare of Easttown, the hit HBO Max show starring Kate Winslet as a female detective and also takes place in Philadelphia and deals with addiction, crime, and other family drama.
- Check out my collaboration with Beyond the Bookends, in which we recommend 25+ books about addiction. It’s a powerful list, with so many books I absolutely loved.
- Read the very similar Winter Counts, which is on my list of best books about Native Americans.
- Check out my list of the best books set in Philadelphia.
I hope this book review of Long Bright River by Liz Moore with lifestyle pairings was helpful.
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