I am not sure what took me so long to read this one. Long Bright River by Liz Moore has been sitting on my shelf since I chose it as one of my BOTM January choices. I have heard nothing but amazing things, but never felt ready to take the plunge. Once I did though, I flew through it. For a book that is almost 500 pages long, it read incredibly quick. This dark, suspenseful book was just what I needed to get me out of a reading slump.
Set in Philadelphia, this police procedural novel hones in on the often overlooked opioid epidemic. Mickey is a patrol officer has lived in Pittsburgh her entire life. Her beat is the area of town where many of the addicts, prostitutes, and morally questionable people hang out. Instead of looking at this area and people the way others do, Mickey sees the hold that their addictions have over them. Mickey's sister, Kacey, is an addict herself. Mickey spends her days on patrol trying to keep track of her sister and watch over her, but Kacey has been missing for awhile now. When young women are found dead in that area of town, Mickey fears that Kacey will be next. While not a detective assigned to the case, Mickey involves herself in the investigation and uncovers more than she could have imagined.
I love a good police procedural, especially when there are other elements that add to the story and characters. The sense of place in Long Bright River is so vivid, it feels as though the city of Philadelphia is it's own character. The city heaves with the opioid addicts who spend their days in a constant loop, looking for a high, getting high, coming down from a high, repeat. The way Moore described this city and it's people had me immersed in the case. I love how she saw these people as the people they are, not who their addictions make them.
Long Bright River was a solid five star read for me. The character development and setting where what really gave this novel it's credit. The investigation, tied with the sisterly and familial issues, gave it a different spin as opposed to a typical police procedural. This book is the perfect read for a cold rainy or snowy day. It is perfect to snuggle up and get lost in.