Stretching the Strength of Family Ties   Leave a comment

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Two sisters, two time frames and two stories are the foundation of Liz Moore’s novel Long Bright River. Mickey is the responsible older sister: an introvert, intelligent and a police officer who patrols the Philadelphia neighborhood of her youth. Kacey is outgoing, estranged from Mickey and an addict.

A spate of murders, including in Mickey’s district, results in her search for Kacey who’s gone missing. The narrative alternates between “Then” and “Now”, as told by Mickey. The former is about the sisters as young children living with their embittered grandmother; the latter follows Mickey’s search for Kacey in hopes she isn’t – and doesn’t become – another murder victim.

Even with its taut element of suspense, making this a rapid page turner, it is more than crime fiction. It’s a family love story about stretching the limits of trust. Moore’s writing evokes vivid images of hookers, drug dealers, corner stores and abandoned buildings along the streets of Mickey’s beat.

Equally as gripping is the girls’ past: their close bonds and the events contributing to the choices each makes. Their mother died of a drug overdose and their father abandoned them.

Mickey’s career choice and her reclusive personality inspire little trust among her family or Kacey’s friends. This stymies Mickey’s efforts to find her sister.

The past is not the only obstacle Mickey faces. Circumstances force her to question those with whom she works. Moore injects plenty of surprises leaving the reader to remember there’s always more than one side to a story.

Long Bright River

Four Bookmarks

Riverhead Books, 2020

482 Pages

Posted February 5, 2021 by bluepagespecial in Uncategorized

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