This week, I’m reading two contemporary American mysteries, one by an author I know well and one by an author I’ve only just found. The first is set in Philadelphia in the midst of the opioid crisis and the other in a too-perfect-to-be-true small town in Minnesota.
‘Long Bright River’ by Liz Moore (2020)
‘Long Bright River’ will be the third book I’ve read by Liz Moore. The only thing the first two had in common was how good they were. I fell in love with the writing in both books and the people and ideas took up residence in my head.
‘Heft’ was a novel about a morbidly obese middle-aged shut-in ex-academic and a High School student and wannabe baseball star with anger management issues.
‘The Unseen World’ was the story of Ada, who grew up hanging around her father’s lab where he was one of the early researchers of machine learning and natural language programming. Despite his focus on language and identity, her father is barely able to communicate with those he loves the most about the things that are most important to him.
‘Long Bright River’ is about two sisters on different sides of the law and with different experiences with addiction. It is told against the background of the opioid crisis in Philadelphia. If you’re interested in what prompted Liz Moore to write about addiction, read her interview in The Guardian.
I’m hoping for another powerful, compassionate book that will immerse me in the struggles of people tangled in addiction.
‘Bloodline’ by Jess Lourey (2021)
‘Bloodline’ is a throw of the dice for me. I’ve never read Jess Lourey before. I picked up ‘Bloodline’ because it was offered free on Amazon and I liked the ‘Rosemary’s Baby’ meets ‘Stepford Wives’ hook. I’m hoping that there will be a few surprises and enough depth to make the people and the place feel real.
I’ll be happy if I get an entertaining read. I’ll be even happier if it turns out I’ve discovered another favourite author.