Before We Were Strangersby Published 04 Dec 2018
|Before We Were Strangers.pdf|
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?
Before We Were Strangers Reviews
The storyline and characters just fell flat for me. It was almost 300 pages into the book before anything really came to the boiling point with the storyline, and then things moved so quickly to the ending and the wrap-up/final twist. The premise was a good one, but something made me not connect.
10 years ago, Sloane McBride left her hometown, her family, friends, the boyfriend she was madly in love with and run away from the memories of her mother disappearance and the doubt that never left her about that night. She was only 5 years old when her mother disappeared, or as her father always put it, when her mother walked away from all of them. Yet, she heard things that do not fit with the official story.
Now, after 10 years of running away, Sloane is determined to uncover the truth of what happened to her mother, even if that meant facing a brother and a father who want to silence her, a jilted ex-boyfriend who happens to be also the ex-husband of her ex-bestfriend.
Too many complicated relationships, half-truths, deceits and lies and it made the whole story interesting. Sloane is the kind of character one can't help but sympathize with and get attached to. However, it was not exactly an investigation of a cold case, more of one final attempt of an abandoned daughter to finally find the answers she needed.
The truth turned out to be more complicated than i expected and i enjoyed being surprised by the ending, part of it was easily guessed but another part was surprising.
overall, it was an enjoyable read.
Thank you NetGalley, the Author and Publisher for this free copy in exchange of an honest review.
When you want out of a lonely unfulfilled marriage you will do just about anything to get it even if you must be on the outside looking in....
Absolute splendor! Thrilling! Mysterious! Dark! With suspense around every corner....
I couldn't put this one down because it demands your attention from start to finish.
Before We Were Strangers begins with a young daughter's recollections of family violence involving an awful fight between her parents.
She recalls a loud noise and never seeing her mother ever again...
Where on earth is she? Could she truly have walked away leaving it all behind? Would she have the gall to build a new life under an alias with a lover? Is she sitting back sipping on tequila somewhere? It's been too long to not have answers for this cold case and it's high time we get something to settle it all once and for all as the town is getting restless and the gossip mill is running rampant.
As a child this was unbearable to process for Sloane but as an adult she couldn't wait to start a new life as a NY model and so she tries to better herself but never once did she forget.
Fast forward many years later and it seems everyone has something to hide and something even more disturbing to tell.
Secrets are not simply hidden but with enough careful searching "Deadly Daddy" may finally be served the justice he deserves.
Or does he?
Plot twists galore so hold the heck on as there's many slippery slopes in this one.
As a scapegoat, blacksheep, and survivor of abuse in several forms I can tell you this resonated with me deeply.
The lake was a place once reserved for peace, tranquility, but murder?
Well it truly depends on who you speak with and further who you believe.
Ed the father holds a prominent position as mayor of Millcreek so whose to say they're not out for revenge as a political witch hunt ensues?
At least for Randy the son and brother of Sloane he refuses to acknowledge that his father is a psychopath/sociopath and is capable of such a terrible crime.
So many lies, so much betrayal, so many angles to digest....
Good grief, Ed was never a loving honorable family man but a cold blooded killer? Sure he had his faults as a womanizer/serial cheater but nobody's perfect..Right?!
Sloane seems to rekindle a past flame with Micah her best friend's former husband and of course Paige the ex wife of Micah finds her own lil romp in the hay with someone you'd never likely guess.
Lord, my head is spinning, ok hold up...
Did I mention affairs..?
Well let's just say plenty of bed scenes but be careful because you never know whose watching, darn sickos.
Ok, well blackmail aside what if revenge was an answer.. what if the jilted lover is too jilted?
Never do anything you might regret and that includes picking those bed partners...
I digress, when we pick up the pieces you'll be happy to know that," speaking from the grave" can truly happen and thank god because slick rick thought he could get away with murder and got his ars handed to him.
In the end, Brenda Novak has you questioning every character(s), every action, every inaction, and then some.
Was it the neighbor, was it the co-worker, was it the family friend, the jilted lover, the ex lovers, who here is responsible?
Brenda you got this one wrapped up tight and I loved it all!
Every new twist added a new dynamic and this deserves more than I can offer in just 5 stars.
Don't walk, but run, out to get this one before it disappears off the shelf.
Thank you Brenda, the publishers, NetGalley, and Aldiko for this fab e-read copy.
Having read the Evelyn Talbot chronicles, I knew Novak could write a captivating series; having now read Before We Were Strangers, it’s clear Novak can write a captivating standalone novel too! I read this book over the course of a day, it was so suspenseful, there was no way I could put it down part way through!
Let’s look firstly at the mystery in this novel – Sloane returns to her home town to find out what really happened to her mother. Sloane was only five when her mother left, she had a difficult childhood growing up with her father, as the blurb states, she fears her father wasn’t just difficult, but deadly! Let’s focus on that on that word, deadly, did her father kill her mother? That’s one hell of a mystery to solve, made all the more difficult by the strained relationship she has with her father and brother.
This mystery will have you back-and-forthing on Sloane’s father’s guilt, one minute, you’re sure he’s a murderer, the next minute you’re supporting his innocence, but what never goes away is your dislike for him – what a horrid man! He was a great character, as was Sloane’s brother, Randy, these two really gave you a focus for your dislike! As much as you disliked them was as much as you liked Sloane, she’s the kind of character who is instantly likeable, she may make a few unwise decisions, inadvertently putting herself in danger, but you root for her the whole time, and hope she can find her closure.
This plot oozes tension, especially as it’s set in a small-town, so not only does everyone know everyone, but rumours spread like wildfire. If you love the claustrophobia novels set in small-towns bring, the dark, tense atmosphere, then you absolutely need to read this novel.
Also, if you enjoy romantic suspense/thrillers, you absolutely need to read this novel. There is a strong romance element to this novel; when I think romance books, I shy away from them, but when Novak writes romance in her plots, I find them addictive and thrilling – there’s always a threat hanging over the romance and that danger element makes it exciting. If the plot’s dark, the romance isn’t ‘fluffy, they’re so cute’ romance, it’s more like ‘ride or die’ romance, as in ‘I’m coming with you because you could die if you go alone!’ The point I’m making, don’t let the word ‘romantic’ scare you off! Crime fiction, psychological thriller, women’s fiction, whatever your preference, I still recommend this book! Anyway, Sloane is super likeable, you go girl, go get your man, just don’t die before you get your happily ever after!
The plot is twisted, you’ll meet some twisted characters, rife with suspense and tension, you’ll be gripped until the very last page! The complex conflicts and the heightened emotions will ensure you stay hooked, family-ties and friendships are pushed to breaking point. In this small-town, Sloane must fight through the betrayal and lies to find the truth about what happened to her mother.
*My thanks to DaVaughn Smith (Author Brenda Novak Representative) for providing me with a digital copy of this novel*
Secrets and family drama are at the heart of Brenda Novak’s Before We Were Strangers, in which a woman returns to her small Texas hometown determined to uncover the truth about her mother’s disappearance. Novak’s fans will devour this one, and the relentlessly twisty plot will win her some new fans, as well. This is the kind of book best swallowed in one sitting: suspenseful, surprising, and 100% addictive.