Title: Mean Streak
Author: Sandra Brown
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Published: August 19th 2014 by Grand Central Publishing
Rating: 4/5 stars ★★★★
“But owning the pain, running through it, overcoming it, was a matter of self-will and discipline.”
Dr. Emory Charbonneau, a pediatrician and marathon runner, disappears on a mountain road in North Carolina. By the time her husband Jeff, miffed over a recent argument, reports her missing, the trail has grown cold. Literally. Fog and ice encapsulate the mountainous wilderness and paralyze the search for her.
While police suspect Jeff of “instant divorce,” Emory, suffering from an unexplained head injury, regains consciousness and finds herself the captive of a man whose violent past is so dark that he won’t even tell her his name. She’s determined to escape him, and willing to take any risks necessary to survive.
Unexpectedly, however, the two have a dangerous encounter with people who adhere to a code of justice all their own. At the center of the dispute is a desperate young woman whom Emory can’t turn her back on, even if it means breaking the law.
As the FBI closes in on her captor, Emory begins to wonder if the man with no name is, in fact, her rescuer.
4 of 5 stars to Mean Streak by Sandra Brown
This is only my second Sandra Brown novel after Chill Factor and I can say that it is definitely better. I understand now why this is Brown’s most popular work. After just two books from her, I know that she’s a master of the genre. Mean Streak checked all the right boxes with regards to a great romantic suspense.
The mystery was kept alive until the last few chapters. I was so sure who the culprit was but was sucker-punched into a different and unpredictable twist instead. The secrets unraveled so slowly but still managed to shock. Brown really knows how to play her readers. She would give you cliffy chapter enders that would compel you to read on and on. She’d keep you guessing what really happened, who did what and while you may get some of it right, rest assured you’d miss a vital detail that would complete the picture or, you’d totally get it all wrong. There’s just no guarantee where Brown would take the story and that’s what make her novels so riveting.
The hero and the heroine are also the most interesting ones I’ve come to read about. The hero (I refuse to divulge his name so you could experience the novel to the fullest), is an enigma and to avoid spoiling you, I wouldn’t talk about him anymore. Let’s move on to Dr. Emory Charbonneau, a philanthropic doctor and humanitarian. She’s beautiful, she’s accomplished, she’s kind but what’s missing is her heart. After the tragic loss of her parents, she never really moved on from grieving and just shut her emotions off. She got married but never really invested her emotions in it that prompted marital woes. I love her most of all because she’s a strong woman who survived a great deal in life. She may have lived a cushioned life because of her parents’ money but her life was never easy and she never took being rich for granted. She worked just as hard as everyone.
And as usual in every Sandra Brown novel, the subplots are intriguing and ties easily with the main one.
The only thing that kept me from giving this a five-star is that I felt it wasn’t tear-jerking enough. I’m looking for that one particular aspect that wouldn’t just thrill me or intrigue me. I wanted to feel deeply. The events didn’t really grip me emotionally although most of it are horrific, shocking and vile. However, that is one tiny detail that shouldn’t matter much. Mean Streak is still a favorite.
***cover art: 3/5 stars.***