Thursday, January 14, 2021

Review: Long Bright River by Liz Moore (audio)

Title: Long Bright River
Author: Liz Moore
Narrator: Allyson Ryan
Published: January 2020, Penguin Audio
Length: 13 hours 19 minutes
Source: ALC via

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, 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.


My thoughts:  This is one of those books that I cannot believe I put off reading until now. Everyone was raving about it back when it came out and I had it...but I just kept putting it off. Well...believe me - the hype is totally deserved for this book and then some! If you haven't read it, or listened to it, get on it NOW!

I was completely mesmerized by this book. The writing pulled me in right from the start and it never really let up. This book is such a multilayered story that is gritty, emotional, unsettling and completely addicting. Once you start reading this you will be hard-pressed to walk away until you finish it. The characters are so well-developed and real that you can't help but get caught up in what is going on, their struggles and frustrations being completely relatable.

I loved how it is all told by one narrator, moving back and forth in time to tell the story. While at the heart of the story, we have a serial killer on the loose targeting sex workers, we also see first hand how the drug epidemic, especially the opioid crisis, affects a family. Unfortunately, I've seen how this can impact a family and can relate. It's not an easy road to navigate and I think the author clearly shows this struggle. 

I loved how the flashbacks really gave us an insight into the relationship between Mickey and her sister Kacey and why in the present Mickey was so conflicted. There is a strong bond between Mickey and Kacey, yet there is a long history that we slowly unpack with some interesting surprises that are eventually uncovered. 

This is the type of book that stays with you long after you finish it. It absolutely took me by surprise and definitely packed a few emotional punches. I cannot recommend this one enough and I know for sure I will be keeping an eye out for what this author writes next!

Audio thoughts: This audiobook was amazing. Allyson Ryan nails it with her narration and I found myself completely caught up in the story. She does such a great job bringing the story to life that I would walk just a little bit longer or clean just a little bit more, just so I could keep listening. Her pacing and intonation was spot on and she really nailed Mickey's voice. 


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