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A family — a man and a woman, both documentarians working with sound (“We accumulated hours of tape of people speaking, telling stories, pausing, telling lies, praying, hesitating, confessing, breathing.”), and a boy, ten, and a girl, five — leave their New York apartment on a cross-country road trip.

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Before We Were Strangers is a stunning romantic thriller that questions the love and loyalty of parents, siblings, and friends.

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Many Texas ranchers have a special bond with their land: they grew up on it; inherited it from a parent or other relative; earned their livelihood from its huge acreage; and hope to pass it on, after their demise, as a loving legacy for their children or grandchildren.

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The Swick and the Dead is book two in Maggie Foster’s clever and imaginative Loch Lonach Mysteries series, and the odd word in the title, “swick,” has a double meaning. In recent slang, swick mashes together “sweet” and “sick” to refer to something “cool” or “excellent” or “pleasant.” In old Scottish, however, swik (and similar spellings) referred to something much darker: deceit or a deceiver.

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