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  • An intelligent, well-constructed thriller

    When a string of sex-workers are found dead on the streets of Kensington, Police Officer Mickey is determined to find the culprit – not just for the women on her beat but for her sister who is one of them. Will she be next? I wasn’t quite sure what to make of Long Bright River from its blurb – it seemed a little obvious and cliché for me at first impression which to be honest put me off picking it up for a little while. When I did get round to reading it however, I hold my hands up that I was completely wrong. Long Bright River is a well-written, intelligent, character-driven crime thriller. At almost 500 pages it is a long read although I always felt compelled to pick it up and keep reading it – I never got tired or bored with it. The plot jumps between Police Officer Mickey in the present day trying to find her sister and flashbacks of her past and family history. These are nicely balanced together, and I liked the character of Mickey – she is really interesting with a lot of hidden depth and layers to her. It was nice to have a real deep-dive into her past rather than just skimming over the important bits and this made her feel so much more rounded and realistic as a character. The background of Kensington is also really well-described and I really got a grip on the gritty atmosphere and politics of the place (despite thinking they meant the well-off area of London for the first chapter which really confused me!) The crime itself was well-tied into Mickey’s personal story, although it does take a slight backseat to her finding her sister but it’s woven nicely into the plot to help increase the tension. It didn’t feel like too much was held back from the reader (other than what Mickey herself doesn’t know) although there was a great twist towards the end which pushed any assumptions you may have made about a certain character. The end reveal also had a twist on a twist which really threw me – there was a red herring had me thinking ‘well I totally guessed that really early on’ only for it to turn around and prove me wrong! I was reading the Kindle ARC so I completely appreciate the formatting may have changed by the published product but it wasn’t the easiest format to read. Paragraphs and chapters were run together in places (including the acknowledgements and the final chapter which really jarred as my headspace as I tried to absorb the realistic but certainly not fairy-tale ending). There were also no quotation marks to establish dialogue which I think was a conscious choice and this actually worked quite nicely. Overall, Long Bright Read is an intelligent, well-constructed thriller. Thank you to NetGalley & Penguin Random House – Hutchinson for the chance to read the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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  • A story of addiction

    This is the first book I have read by Liz Moore, so I was looking forward to seeing the style of writing, it’s always good finding new to you writers. At times this is a tough book to read dealing with the opioid crisis, set in Philadelphia, I know I have seen documentaries on the opioid epidemic in America right now. It makes it interesting as I take opioids for pain, have done for 13 years and attitudes lately over here have changed with GP’s. So not an easy subject for a writer to tackle in a story. The story follows the relationship of sisters Mickey and Kacey, Mickey is a police officer, assigned to a specific area of Philadelphia, an area where drug use is high, but Mickey is also involved emotionally into fighting this crisis, as her sister, Kacey, is an addict, and a sex worker, she will disappear for weeks at a time, which causes Mickey a lot of anxiety, wondering if she will be the next body she finds. The story is told in past and present, the past is Mickey and Kacey growing up, a father that is absent, and the death of their mother, leaving it to the grandmother to raise the girls, the present is the investigation into a string of murders that coincide with Kacey disappearing, which causes added stress to Mickey. This is at times a really tough story to read, emotions are high, two women who have had to fight all the way from a young age. two take two different paths in life. You really feel for Mickey, who is patrolling the streets watching over her sister in a way, hoping she is not the next dead person she will find. The characters grip you. and draw you in. The only negative thing I could say, is that this began as a police investigation into the killing of prostitutes, but somewhere that seemed to take a back seat for part of the book, to then reappear at the end, but was then so rushed, the suspects all linked intimately with Mickey, mystery solved and put to bed. I felt that let the rest of the story down in a way. Would it have been better to have just focused on the two sisters, without the crime, as that is mostly what it was about. It would have worked on its own, the emotions are there, a story is there. Obviously the crime part was tied up nice and neatly at the end, but the social problem with drug addiction is still there. It’s not as easy to wrap up. I would like to thank #netgalley and #Randomhousefor an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest, fair and unbiased review.

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  • Dark themes , but an excellent book

    Could not wait to see what was coming next in this book .Exceptionally well written , with many surprises along the way . The best book I have read for a long time

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