Some police look the other way when a sex worker is murdered.
But Mickey can’t – because her sister could be next.
If you’re looking for drugs or sex in Philadelphia, Kensington Ave is the place to go.
Police officer Mickey Fitzpatrick has been working the 24th District for years. She knows most of the working women by name. She knows what desperation looks like and what people will do when they need a fix. She’s become used to finding overdose victims: their numbers are growing every year. But every time she sees someone sprawled out, slumped over, cold to the touch, she also has to pray it’s not her sister, Kacey.
When the bodies of murdered sex workers start turning up on the Ave, the Chief of Police is keen to bury the news. They’re not the kind of victims that generate a whole lot of press anyway. But Mickey is obsessed, dangerously so, with finding the perpetrator – before Kacey is the next victim.
I loved this book so much for all the things I expected it to be from the blurb but also because it was so much more than surface appearance would lead you to believe- a literary crime novel where the setting is just as much a character as the people you’ll meet there, a road trip through sisterhood that is beautifully written and hugely emotional.
There is a real noir feel to the prose as the tale unfolds, Mickey patrolling the streets, one eye out always for her wayward sister, one eye towards home and her beloved son. When it becomes clear a killer is working those same streets, Mickey’s two worlds will dangerously collide.
Long Bright River has multiple layers that slowly peel away as you read, revealing truths as the history of the relationship between Mickey and Kacey unfolds in unexpectedly emotive ways. Underneath that the mystery element simmers away quietly until coming to boiling point in a highly charged and pitch perfect resolution.
This novel is melancholy and gorgeous, the twists of personality informing the whole, the Kensington Avenue backdrop always there behind every small nuanced event. Philadelphia comes to life, the politics and the realities of life on the streets, it is thought provoking, intensely involving and never once misses a beat.
A powerful, provocative and authentic tale that will stay with you long after you are done. I’m not ashamed to say I shed a tear at the end, so caught up had I been in this. A really excellent read.