Mean Streak

Sandra Brown. Grand Central, $26 (416p) ISBN 978-1-4555-8112-2
At the start of this solid novel of romantic suspense from bestseller Brown (Deadline), heiress Emory Charbonneau, a successful Atlanta-based pediatrician, disappears while training for a marathon; the police, along with her colleagues and husband, are soon engaged in efforts to locate her. Awakening after a painful collapse, Charbonneau finds herself in the remote cabin of a handsome, nameless man. While he doesn’t restrain her, he does refuse to drive her to her car, citing inclement weather. She’s distrustful of the claim that he has no phone and begins to question his motives. A parallel plotline involving FBI agent Jack Connell’s search for a man involved with a deadly incident intersects with Charbonneau’s predicament, casting further suspicions on her captor. Florid prose and problematic power dynamics render sex scenes more troubling than titillating, but Brown ends her gone-girl narrative with a surprising denouement that hits the reader like a well-aimed blow to the back of the head. Agent: Maria Carvainis, Maria Carvainis Agency. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 06/23/2014
Release date: 08/19/2014
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