Liz Moore is an American author who is known for her thriller and mystery novels. Her first novel, The Words of Every Song, was published in 2007 and was selected for the Borders Original Voices Award. Her second novel, Heft, was long-listed for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award and went on to be included in numerous “Best of 2012” lists. Her excellent creative-writing skills saw her receive the 2014 Rome Prize in Literature from the American Academy in Rome, after which she spent the following year at the American Academy in Rome, working on her third novel, The Unseen World, which was well received.

In addition to novels, Moore has also authored several short and creative works of fiction and nonfiction alike.

Her latest novel, Long Bright River, has been acquired by producers Amy Pascal and Neal H. Moritz to be adapted into a movie.


The fictional plot of Long Bright River is set in the real-world location of Kensington, one of the older neighborhoods in Philadelphia. The area is infamous for being an opioid den. The US Government is tasked with the gentrification of the town to make it habitable for everyone by taking slow yet concrete steps to attract new businesses into the forsaken town.

The story’s protagonist is Michaela ‘Mickey’ Fitzpatrick, a patrol officer working for the eradication of the city’s opioid mess. She has been living with her younger sister, Kacey, and her grandmother, Gee, who assumed the role of the girls’ guardian when their parents abandoned them.

The girls initially form a close bond, but their relationship sours when Kacey falls into the trap of drug addiction. When they enter high school, Kacey gets drawn to drugs and soon starts working on temporary jobs to sustain her addiction. Mickey, on the other hand, chooses to be a law-abiding citizen and joins the police force. With different priorities in life, the sisters gradually grow apart.

Despite this rift between the once-close sisters, Mickey cannot help checking for Kacey as she patrols the neighborhood of Kensington. Mickey finds it disturbing for her sister to go missing for weeks altogether and is afraid that, one day, drug overdose would result in Kacey’s untimely death.

A serial killer’s sudden appearance is perfectly timed with Kacey’s disappearance for a month and Mickey takes it upon herself to find both her sister and the murderer. What follows next is a plot replete with twists and turns, besides some shocking revelations that are too good to be spoiled here.


The author has successfully brought the serious issues of drug abuse and addiction to the forefront. She also deserves praise for the way she has portrayed every fine detail of the small neighborhood of Kensington.


While Long Bright River stands out for its detailed explanation of police investigation, seasoned thriller readers may find the pace a bit too slow for their liking.


This was the secret I learned that day: none of them want to be saved. They all want to sink backward toward the earth again, to be swallowed by the ground, to keep sleeping.

I wouldn’t listen. I wanted everything to stay as it was. I was more afraid of the truth than the lie. The truth would change the circumstances of my life. The lie was static. The lie was peaceful. I was happy with the lie.


Ameya Score:

Long Bright River merits a commendable score of four stars out of five for its smooth ending. The plot is ably supported by a well-structured story of estranged relationships, misery and hope. Moore has shown herself to be a writer at the top of her craft, making this novel a must-read for people with a thing for a robust literary voice in crime fiction.

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