Thank you to the author for providing me a free digital copy of Before We Were Strangers. All opinions are my own.
Synopsis from Amazon:
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?
If you really like thrillers, but have been in a bit of a thriller rut lately (because let’s face it, they are all at least a little but similar), then Before We Were Strangers might be for you. It is very outside of the typical thriller box. It definitely had the suspenseful vibes, but was strongly character driven with hints of romance. A large portion of the book deals with Sloane’s assimilation back into her old town and old life. She is working on repairing old relationships, fixing hurt she has caused, and hesitantly trying to find a happy medium with her estranged family.
The mystery components were well developed and cast suspicion on many of the characters, making it hard to figure out who dunnit. A great twist gave the ending good shock value. While I did like the main characters Sloane and Micah, I did find them to be a little unnatural at times. But overall, I enjoyed this thriller. I rate this one 3.5 out of 5 stars. If you like small town settings and tricky love triangles, then this book is for you.