Saturday 23 July 2022

Book ~ "Long Bright River" (2020) Liz Moore

From Goodreads ~ 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, but Mickey never stops worrying about her sibling.

Then Kacey disappears suddenly at the same time that a mysterious string of murders begins in Mickey's district, and Mickey becomes dangerously obsessed with finding the culprit - and her sister - before it's too late.

Alternating its present-day mystery with the story of the sisters' childhood and adolescence, "Long Bright River" is at once heart-pounding and heart-wrenching: a gripping suspense novel that is also a moving story of sisters, addiction, and the formidable ties that persist between place, family, and fate.

Sisters Mickey and Kacey were raised by Gee, their maternal grandmother ... their mother had passed away (ODed) when they were young and their father disappeared and was later presumed to be dead.  Gee was all they had and she was cold and struggled to support the three of them ... and never let them forget it.  Mickey was the "good" sister ... she was quiet, did well in school and eventually became a police officer.  Younger sister, Kacey, was friendly but rebellious, eventually developed a drug addiction and became a prostitute to support herself.

Fast forward to present day and young women are found murdered.  Though Mickey and Kacey don't speak anymore, Mickey becomes concerned when she hasn't seen Kacey around for a while and no one knows where she is.  She starts to investigate because she thinks the same thing may happened to her sister.

I thought this story was okay, though depressing.  The author incorporated anything and everything traumatic and sad into it ... prostitution, drugs, police corruption, death of mother at an early age, abandonment of father at an early age, abusive childhood, single mother, murdered young women, poverty, lack of babysitting resources, etc.  Mickey has no support system (and I didn't feel bad for her) ... she doesn't have a relationship with Gee or Kacey and avoids what little family she does have, she has no friends, she's dodging her ex-boyfriend and the father of her young son, she thinks her boss hates her, her long time partner is off on disability because of an injury and more.

I thought the writing style was okay, though a bit slow (it's almost 400 pages).  The chapters tended to be long but they were chunked up, which made it easier to read.  I hated there were no quotation marks when people were speaking.  For example:

- Fitzpatrick, he said. Welcome to the party. You're with Lafferty today in 1613.
- Who's Lafferty, I said, before I thought better of this.

As a head's up, there is swearing.

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