Before We Were Strangers by Brenda Novak
Thank you to the author and her representative for my free copy in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
Goodreads Synopsis: Something happened to her mother that night. Something no one wants to talk about. But she’s determined to uncover her family’s dark secrets, even if they bury her.
Five-year-old Sloane McBride couldn’t sleep that night. Her parents were arguing again, their harsh words heating the cool autumn air. And then there was that other sound–the ominous thump before all went quiet.
In the morning, her mother was gone. The official story was that she left. Her loving, devoted mother! That hadn’t sat any better at the time than it did when Sloane moved out at eighteen, anxious to leave her small Texas hometown in search of anywhere else. But not even a fresh start working as a model in New York could keep the nightmares at bay. Or her fears that the domineering father she grew up with wasn’t just difficult–he was deadly.
Now another traumatic loss forces Sloane to realize she owes it to her mother to find out the truth, even if it means returning to a small town full of secrets and lies, a jilted ex-boyfriend and a father and brother who’d rather see her silenced. But as Sloane starts digging into the past, the question isn’t whether she can uncover what really happened that night…it’s what will remain of her family if she does?
Review: I was thrilled to see that Brenda Novak had a standalone mystery coming out as I’m still trying to catch up on her Evelyn Talbot series. This was an absolute roller coaster ride of a mystery! I think I suspected every single character in the book bedsides Sloane at one point or another. By the time I got to the end I was completely shocked by who the villain really was, which is my favorite way to feel at the end of a book.
I’ve noticed that Novak also likes to work some romance into her mysteries. As someone that doesn’t read romance, they don’t feel like they’re over the top. This particular novel had the classic love triangle that leaves you aching for it to go in one character’s favor over the other.
I would recommend Before We Were Strangers to fans of Clare Mackintosh and Lisa Jewell. It’s a great mystery for readers that don’t like their thrillers too dark.
Publisher: Mira Books
Publication Date: December 4, 2018
Page Count: 384
Overall Rating: 4/5