This is the first time a Brenda Novak book has been on my TBR list because I assumed she wrote mostly romance novels, which is not one of my favorite genres. However, Before We Were Strangers has been a most pleasant surprise: it is a contemporary mystery thriller that captures the reader's attention from the first page. Sloane McBride, at age 5, overheard her parents having a violent argument. The next morning, her mother had disappeared, never to be seen again. This abandonment stayed with the child into adulthood. She left her hometown in Texas as soon as she was 18, leaving behind her best friend and her boyfriend Micah. She returned 10 years later because she was convinced that her rich and powerful father was responsible for whatever happened to her mother. With Micah's help, they proceed to dig up the past in order to solve her mother's probable murder, in spite of her father's and brother's obstruction of their investigation. This is a whodunit that will stay with the reader, long after the last page. I look forward to more novels by Brenda Novak.