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Long Bright River
Cover of Long Bright River
Long Bright River
A Novel
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ONE OF BARACK OBAMA'S FAVORITE BOOKS OF THE YEARNAMED A BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR BY NPR, Parade, Real Simple, and BuzzfeedAN INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLERA GOOD MORNING AMERICA BOOK CLUB...
ONE OF BARACK OBAMA'S FAVORITE BOOKS OF THE YEARNAMED A BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR BY NPR, Parade, Real Simple, and BuzzfeedAN INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLERA GOOD MORNING AMERICA BOOK CLUB...
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  • ONE OF BARACK OBAMA'S FAVORITE BOOKS OF THE YEAR
    NAMED A BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR BY NPR, Parade, Real Simple, and Buzzfeed

    AN INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
    A GOOD MORNING AMERICA BOOK CLUB PICK


    "[Moore’s] careful balance of the hard-bitten with the heartfelt is what elevates Long Bright River from entertaining page-turner to a book that makes you want to call someone you love.” – The New York Times Book Review
     
    "This is police procedural and a thriller par excellence, one in which the city of Philadelphia itself is a character (think Boston and Mystic River). But it’s also a literary tale narrated by a strong woman with a richly drawn personal life – powerful and genre-defying.” – People
     
    "A thoughtful, powerful novel by a writer who displays enormous compassion for her characters. Long Bright River is an outstanding crime novel… I absolutely loved it."
    —Paula Hawkins, #1 New York Times-bestselling author of The Girl on the Train
    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.

Excerpts-

  • From the cover There's a body on the Gurney Street tracks. Female, age unclear, probable overdose, says the dispatcher.

    Kacey, I think. This is a twitch, a reflex, something sharp and subconscious that lives inside me and sends the same message racing to the same base part of my brain every time a female is reported. Then the more rational part of me comes plodding along, lethargic, uninspired, a dutiful dull soldier here to remind me about odds and statistics: nine hundred overdose victims in Kensington last year. Not one of them Kacey. Furthermore, this sentry reproves me, you seem to have forgotten the importance of being a professional. Straighten your shoulders. Smile a little. Keep your face relaxed, your eyebrows unfurrowed, your chin untucked. Do your job.

    All day, I've been having Lafferty respond to calls for us for further practice. Now, I nod to him, and he clears his throat and wipes his mouth. Nervous.

    -2613, he says.

    Our vehicle number. Correct.

    Dispatch continues. The RP is anonymous. The call came in from a payphone, one of several that still line Kensington Avenue and, as far as I know, the only one of those that still works.

    Lafferty looks at me. I look at him. I gesture to him. More. Ask for more.

    -Got it, says Lafferty into his radio. Over.

    Incorrect. I raise mine to my mouth. I speak clearly.

    -Any further information on location? I say.

    After I end the call, I give Lafferty a few pointers, reminding him not to be afraid to speak plainly to Dispatch-many rookie officers have the habit of speaking in a kind of stilted, masculine manner they have most likely picked up from films or television-and reminding him, too, to extract from Dispatch as many details as he can.

    But before I've finished speaking, Lafferty says, again, Got it.

    I look at him. Excellent, I say. I'm glad.

    I've only known him an hour, but I'm getting a sense for him. He likes to talk-already I know more about him than he'll ever know about me-and he's a pretender. An aspirant. In other words, a phony. Someone so terrified of being called poor, or weak, or stupid, that he won't even admit to what deficits he does have in those regards. I, on the other hand, am well aware that I'm poor. More so than ever now that Simon's checks have stopped coming. Am I weak? Probably in some ways: stubborn, maybe, obstinate, mulish, reluctant to accept help even when it would serve me to. Physically afraid, too: not the first officer to throw herself in front of a bullet for a friend, not the first officer to throw herself into traffic in the pursuit of some vanishing perpetrator. Poor: yes. Weak: yes. Stupid: no. I'm not stupid.

    I was late to roll call this morning. Again. I am ashamed to admit it was the third time in a month, and I despise being late. A good police officer is punctual if she is nothing else. When I walked into the common area-a drab, bright space, devoid of furniture, adorned only by peeling policy posters on the wall-Sergeant Ahearn was waiting for me, arms crossed.

    -Fitzpatrick, he said. Welcome to the party. You're with Lafferty today in 2613.

    -Who's Lafferty, I said, before I thought better of it. I really didn't intend to be funny. Szebowski, in the corner, laughed aloud once.

    Ahearn said, That's Lafferty. Pointing.

    There he was, Eddie Lafferty, second day in the district. He was busying himself across the room, looking at his blank activity log. He glanced at me quickly and apprehensively. Then he bent down, as if noticing something on his shoes, which were freshly polished, somehow glistening. He pursed his lips. Whistled lowly. At the time, I almost felt sorry for...

About the Author-

  • Liz Moore is the author of the acclaimed novels Heft and The Unseen World. A winner of the 2014–2015 Rome Prize in Literature, she lives in Philadelphia.

Reviews-

  • Publisher's Weekly

    October 14, 2019
    Moore (The Unseen World) weaves a police procedural and a family drama into a captivating novel. Mickey Fitzpatrick, a single mother, is an officer for the Philadelphia PD, tasked with patrolling Kensington, a neighborhood devastated by opioid addiction. Drugs have impacted Mickey’s life as well: her mother died of an overdose, her father, also an addict, is thought dead after disappearing, and her estranged younger sister, Kasey, is a known user and prostitute. While on her beat, Mickey tries to keep tabs on Kasey by speaking to locals and shop owners, but when Kasey vanishes amid a flurry of unsolved murders of women in the neighborhood, Mickey dedicates herself to finding Kasey and the killer, all the while praying her sister isn’t the next victim. Moore breaks her novel into sections labeled “Then” and “Now,” filling each with short, direct chapters that explore Mickey and Kasey’s history while also propelling the narrative’s murder mystery. The author presents several characters as the potential killer, and though seasoned readers may guess the culprit long before the reveal, Mickey’s personal journey that runs parallel to her pursuit is smartly crafted. Filled with strong characters and a layered plot, this will please fans of both genre and literary fiction.

  • AudioFile Magazine Moore's heartbreaking story centers on family, addiction, and forgiveness. Alternating between present day and flashbacks, narrator Allyson Ryan expertly engages listeners. Mickey Fitzpatrick is a hardworking police officer who is trying to provide for her son. Raised by her grandmother after losing her parents to drugs, Mickey couldn't be more different from her estranged sister, Kacey, who lives on the streets, doing anything for her next fix. When Kacey goes missing, Mickey tries to save her. Ryan creates compelling distinctions between the characters and between the time periods, beautifully voicing the bleak reality of addiction, fear and hope for the future, and the powerful bond that exists between sisters, even in the darkest moments. K.S.M. � AudioFile 2020, Portland, Maine

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