Mean Streak

( 190 )

Overview

From #1 New York Times best-selling author Sandra Brown comes a heart-pounding story of survival, that takes the age-old question, "Does the end justify the means?" and turns it on its head.

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 ...

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Overview

From #1 New York Times best-selling author Sandra Brown comes a heart-pounding story of survival, that takes the age-old question, "Does the end justify the means?" and turns it on its head.

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. Wrong becomes right at the hands of the man who strikes fear, but also sparks passion.

As her husband's deception is revealed, and the FBI closes in on her captor, Emory begins to wonder if the man with no name is, in fact, her rescuer from those who wish her dead - and from heartbreak.

Combining the nail-biting suspense and potent storytelling that has made Sandra Brown one of the world's best loved authors, MEAN STREAK is a wildly compelling novel about love, deceit, and the choices we must make in order to survive.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

When pediatrician and marathoner Dr. Emory Charbonneau wakes up in a stranger's wilderness cabin, she doesn't yet know if her secretive captor is the kidnapper of her nightmares or the romantic rescuer of her dreams. Sandra Brown's Mean Streak continues her long winning streak of suspenseful thrillers that feature vivid descriptions and compelling characters.

Publishers Weekly
06/23/2014
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.)
freshfiction.com
"DEADLINE is both a breathtaking and heartbreaking story; one that will stay with the reader long after the book is finished."
USA Today on LOW PRESSURE
"Sandra Brown meticulously develops a stellar cast of characters, weaving them into a tense, gritty thriller that offers numerous plot twists leading to stunning revelations and a nail-biting conclusion....I'm now wondering why I waited so long to enjoy this talented author's work. I highly recommend Brown's Low Pressure. Its multilayered, intricate and suspenseful storyline is enriched with vivid descriptions and crisp dialogue. If you enjoy romantic suspense, Low Pressure is a book you'll want to read in one sitting."
USA Today on LETHAL
"Hair-raising . . . a perfect mix of thriller and romantic suspense."
Library Journal
04/01/2014
With her husband slow to report her disappearance in the North Carolina wilderness (they'd been quarreling), pediatrician and marathon runner Emily Charbonneau wakes up the captive of a man who won't reveal his name. But he could be her rescuer; there's something suspicious about that husband.
Kirkus Reviews
2014-06-29
The perennially best-selling Brown checks in with another “woman-in-peril–hunky-guy-to-the-rescue” romantic thriller.Emory, a wealthy Atlanta-based pediatrician who runs marathons, is training for an upcoming race in a remote mountainous region of North Carolina. She's left behind her self-centered husband, Jeff, with whom she’s had one of their frequent arguments; that’s fine with Jeff, who plans to spend Emory’s absence with his mistress. But then Emory’s plans go very wrong. She wakes up injured and disoriented in a strange cabin with a tall, gorgeous man who refuses to divulge his identity. The mystery man tells her she had an accident on the trail and he brought her back there to recover. Emory suffered a head wound and is both woozy and mistrustful of the stranger, but after a day or so, when she feels well enough to leave, she discovers the mountain road is covered with ice, socked in with a pea-soup fog and not at all navigable, so she heads back to the cabin without even trying to get home. As Emory falls in love with the tall stranger, her petulant husband comes under scrutiny by two small-town police detectives who believe he might not be telling them everything about his missing wife. Brown throws in some steamy sex, a mysterious mistress and an FBI agent who's searching for the mystery man. Brown knows how to pace her stories so fans will keep turning the pages, but while her prose is clean and efficient, readers searching for characters who rise above the stereotypical will be sorely disappointed in this plot-driven entry.Brown’s novels share several qualities: They’re entertaining, competently written, full of twists and turns, but ultimately forgettable.
From the Publisher
"DEADLINE is both a breathtaking and heartbreaking story; one that will stay with the reader long after the book is finished."
freshfiction.com

"Deft characterizations and eye for detail make this a winner...Satisfying, vintage Brown storytelling."
Kirkus on DEADLINE

"Sandra Brown meticulously develops a stellar cast of characters, weaving them into a tense, gritty thriller that offers numerous plot twists leading to stunning revelations and a nail-biting conclusion....I'm now wondering why I waited so long to enjoy this talented author's work. I highly recommend Brown's Low Pressure. Its multilayered, intricate and suspenseful storyline is enriched with vivid descriptions and crisp dialogue. If you enjoy romantic suspense, Low Pressure is a book you'll want to read in one sitting."—USA Today on LOW PRESSURE

"A good old-fashioned thriller, and a winner..."—Kirkus on LOW PRESSURE

"Sexual tension fueled by mistrust between brash Denton and shy Bellamy smolders and sparks in teasing fashion throughout."—Publishers Weekly on LOW PRESSURE

"Hair-raising . . . a perfect mix of thriller and romantic suspense."—USA Today on LETHAL

"Pulse-pounding . . . a relentless pace and clever plot."—Publishers Weekly (starred review) on LETHAL

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781455581122
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
  • Publication date: 8/19/2014
  • Pages: 416
  • Sales rank: 4,072
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Sandra Brown is the author of over sixty-six New York Times bestsellers. There are over eighty million copies of her books in print worldwide, and her work bas been translated into thirty-four languages. She lives in Texas. For more information you can visit www.SandraBrown.net.

Biography

In 1979, Sandra Brown lost her job at a television program and decided to give writing a try. She bought an armful of romance novels and writing books, set up a typewriter on a card table and wrote her first novel. Harlequin passed but Dell bit, and Brown was off and writing, publishing her works under an assortment of pseudonyms.

From such modest beginnings, Brown has evolved into multimillion publishing empire of one, the CEO of her own literary brand; she towers over the landscape of romantic fiction. Brown has used her growing clout to insist her publishers drop the bosom-and-biceps covers and has added more intricate subplots, suspense, and even unhappy endings to her work. The result: A near-constant presence on The New York Times bestsellers list. In 1992, she had three on the list at the same time, joining that exclusive club of Stephen King, Tom Clancy, J. K. Rowling, and Danielle Steel.

Her work in the mainstream realm has taken her readers into The White House, where the president's newborn dies mysteriously; the oil fields and bedrooms of a Dallas-like family dynasty; and the sexual complications surrounding an investigation into an evangelist's murder. Such inventions have made her a distinct presence in a crowded genre.

"Brown is perhaps best known now for her longer novels of romantic suspense. The basic outline for these stories has passionate love, lust, and violence playing out against a background of unraveling secrets and skeletons jumping out of family closets," wrote Barbara E. Kemp in the book Twentieth-Century Romance & Historical Writers . Kemp also praises Brown's sharp dialogue and richly detailed characters. "However, her greatest key to success is probably that she invites her readers into a fantasy world of passion, intrigue, and danger," she wrote. "They too can face the moral and emotional dilemmas of the heroine, safe in the knowledge that justice and love will prevail."

Critics give her points for nimble storytelling but are cooler to her "serviceable prose," in the words of one Publishers Weekly reviewer. Still, when writing a crack page-turner, the plot's the thing. A 1992 New York Times review placed Brown among a group of a writers "who have mastered the art of the slow tease."

Staggeringly prolific, Brown found her writing pace ground to a halt when she was given a different assignment. A magazine had asked her for an autobiographical piece, and it took her months to complete. Her life in the suburbs, though personally fulfilling, was nonetheless blander than fiction. That may be why she dives into her fiction writing with such workhorse gusto. "I love being the bad guy," she told Publishers Weekly in 1995, "simply because I was always so responsible, so predictable growing up. I made straight A's and never got into any trouble, and I still impose those standards on myself. So writing is my chance to escape and become the sleaziest, scummiest role."

When she started writing, her goal was always to break out of the parameters of romance. After about 45 romances, the woman who counts Tennessee Williams and Taylor Caldwell among her influences told The New York Times that felt she had reached a plateau. In fact, she doesn't even look at her books as romances anymore. "I think of my books now as suspense novels, usually with a love story incorporated," she said. "They're absolutely a lot harder to write than romances. They take more plotting and real character development. Each book is a stretch for me, and I try something interesting each time that males will like as well as women."

Good To Know

  • "I hate to exercise and only do so because I absolutely must."

  • "I love to eat and my favorite foods are all bad for the body. Fried chicken and gravy, TexMex, red meat (hey, I'm from Texas!). My only saving grace is that I'm not that fond of sweets. Salty is my thing. Chocolate cake and ice cream I can skip. But a bag of Fritos. . ."

  • "It takes me a long time to go to sleep, usually because I read in bed and hate to put down the book. But when I do nod off, I'm a champion sleeper. I can easily do eight or nine hours a night."

  • "My worst "thing" is mean-spirited people. People who deliberately belittle or embarrass someone really irk me. The people I admire most are the ones who find something good about even the most undesirable individual. That was a quality my mother had, the one I hope most to emulate."

  • "I have a fear of gravity. Recently my whole family went to Belize. We had several adventures. We tubed a river through miles of cave, wearing head lamps so we'd have illumination. No problem. I scaled Mayan ruins. I rode horseback (on a monster named Al Capone) through the rain forest. No problem. But I couldn't zip line. Even though my five-year-old grandsons did it with glee, I just couldn't make that leap."

  • "I and my husband are huge fans of Jeopardy! We never miss it if we can help it. Does that make us complete dorks?"

  • Read More Show Less
      1. Also Known As:
        Laura Jordan, Rachel Ryan and Erin St. Claire
      2. Hometown:
        Arlington, TX
      1. Date of Birth:
        March 12, 1948
      2. Place of Birth:
        Waco, Texas
      1. Education:
        Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters, Texas Christian University, 2008
      2. Website:

    Customer Reviews

    Average Rating 4
    ( 190 )
    Rating Distribution

    5 Star

    (108)

    4 Star

    (40)

    3 Star

    (22)

    2 Star

    (8)

    1 Star

    (12)

    Your Rating:

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    See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 190 Customer Reviews
    • Anonymous

      Posted August 20, 2014

      Great

      Loved it. Story was riveting, kept your interest even though you think you have it figured out. She is just such a good story teller. There are only two who compare.
      Nora Roberts and Linda Howard. I go back and forth between the three of them. As soon as I think I like one better, I read one by one of the other two and change my mind. As you can tell, this is the latest.. so, now I' ll try Nora and see what I can find..

      22 out of 26 people found this review helpful.

      Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
    • Posted August 30, 2014

      Keeps you guessing up until the very last chapter - and then whe

      Keeps you guessing up until the very last chapter - and then when you finally think you know whodunnit, you dont! Page-turner - finished in a day!

      17 out of 19 people found this review helpful.

      Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
    • Posted August 26, 2014

      I Also Recommend:

      Pediatrician Emory Charbonneau¿s love for long distance running

      Pediatrician Emory Charbonneau’s love for long distance running has been a bone of contention in her marriage for quite some time now but that won’t deter her from heading off a hundred miles into the mountains on a training run. In fact, it’s just the weekend break she needs to take a breather from the latest argument she had with her husband. Things were looking more and more bleak in her marriage and she would deal with it…when she got back. Unfortunately that wouldn’t be on Sunday as she had planned. Emory sets off on her run and wakes in a small cabin with a gash on her head, a headache from hell, and a stranger taking care of her. Her immediate reaction is one of fear and confusion but almost as quickly as those feelings settle in she senses this stranger wouldn’t hurt her and with bad weather rolling in and no way to contact her husband or friends, she would be stuck with him for a day or two. Hopefully her second set of emotions ring true and this stranger won’t be putting her in danger while she recovers a bit and tries to figure out how she ended up in this situation in the first place. Was she attacked? By this man? Did she fall? By the time her stay in the mountain cabin is over she will be warring with too many emotions to name and will have to reconcile with the fact that maybe the people she has trusted aren’t the ones she should and maybe this stranger was….
      You all know I read. A lot. And every once in a while a book comes along that touches me on a different level and when it happens it’s magic. This was one of those books. While there are a few things I can’t give away, I can tell you that this is without a doubt a book you need to have in your library. Emory’s story starts off with quite a bang and doesn’t let up until the very end. There were so many twists and turns and questions along the way and it all had me glued to this book. Emory’s husband was suspect from the start and I didn’t know if he was the one behind her accident or even if it was an accident. Ms. Brown did an amazing job with giving the reader warring emotions when it came to him. There was also the stranger to consider. Emory’s savior…or was he? I will tell you that from the time we meet him you just know the story behind him is going to be emotional…good or bad, it was going to be rough. He is one of the most memorable and incredible characters I’ve ever read. No, he doesn’t speak a whole lot. No, we don’t know his name until the last few chapters. No, we don’t find out his story until the very end but that didn’t make one bit of difference. His actions and mannerisms said more than words. He is rigid and tough, living simply but has a soft side he shows only a few times in this story. But still we are left to wonder if he’s dangerous or if he’s one of the good guys. We are lead to believe from the hints he gives of himself that he isn’t exactly one of the good guys but it didn’t matter to me…I loved him anyway.
      Of course, while Emory is in the woods, her husband and friends are looking for her and that leads to more than a few revelations that had me gasping audibly more than a few times. I can’t give anything away but be ready for a heaping spoonful of “I never saw THAT coming”!
      Just trust me when I say this is a book you need to read. Suspense, mystery, and high emotion are just a few of the facets that make Mean Streak one of the best books I have ever read.

      16 out of 25 people found this review helpful.

      Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
    • Posted August 21, 2014

      Sandra Brown has come so far from her earliest books. You¿re dra

      Sandra Brown has come so far from her earliest books. You’re drawn into this story right from the very beginning with the mystery and intrigue. There are so many surprises that this may be one of her very best yet.

      14 out of 16 people found this review helpful.

      Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
    • Anonymous

      Posted August 31, 2014

      Fabulous!

      Just read it. You wont be sorry!

      9 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

      Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
    • Anonymous

      Posted August 22, 2014

      Great Novel

      Suspenseful, fast paced! I couldn't put it down. Sandra Brown never disappoints! One of her best.

      8 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

      Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
    • Anonymous

      Posted August 21, 2014

      Very good book, from beginning to end

      Great book

      8 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

      Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
    • Anonymous

      Posted August 26, 2014

      Mean Streak

      Loved this book! RIVETING! Didnt want it to end!

      7 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

      Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
    • Posted September 1, 2014

      more from this reviewer

      Another solid Sandra Brown story! I received an advance reader

      Another solid Sandra Brown story!

      I received an advance reader edition of this book from Grand Central Publishing and Net Galley for the purpose of providing an honest review.

      5 Stars!

      I have been a fan of Sandra Brown's work for quite some time. I even stood in line to have her sign my book a few years ago. I have read many of her recent novels but still need to catch up with a few of her recent work as well as much of her older works. When I saw a this book on Net Galley, I requested it right away and was so excited to be approved.

      As I was reading this book, I wondered why I don't read Sandra Brown more often. I was completely sucked into this book and simply could not put it down. That is exactly what I am looking for when I pick up a book. I am looking for that story that will knock my socks off and make the rest of the world go away for a few hours. This book was really that good.

      Emory wakes up to find herself in a strange cabin with a man she has never met. She has suffered a blow to the head and while the man cares for her he will not allow her to call for help. This man will not share even the most basic information with her, such as his name.

      Emory came to the mountains to train for an upcoming marathon. Her husband does not report her missing until several days have passed causing the police to suspect that he may have been involved in her disappearance. Meanwhile, Emory is beginning to trust the man in the cabin to some extent. When he asks her for help in caring for a young girl, Emory, a physician, quickly agrees.

      This book was extremely well written. I found the characters to be believable....for the most part. Of course with any work of fiction, some characters will have exaggerated traits which is to be expected. There were characters that I loved and others that I really disliked which is what makes for an excellent story. There were plenty of plot twists and I found myself guessing right up until the end.

      I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a book full of twists and turns. I plan to keep reading Sandra Brown and catch of on a few of her older titles.

      3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

      Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
    • Anonymous

      Posted August 28, 2014

      Excellent read! I was beginning to worry that I would not like

      Excellent read! I was beginning to worry that I would not like the ending, but I loved it!!!

      3 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

      Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
    • Posted August 21, 2014

      more from this reviewer

      Mean Streak is the newest novel from author Sandra Brown and a n

      Mean Streak is the newest novel from author Sandra Brown and a novel I was beyond lucky to have read early. I was intrigued from the synopsis and by the end of the book I was completely in love with every single aspect of this story. Amazing doesn’t even begin to do it justice.
      Pediatrician Emory Charbonneau’s love for long distance running has been a bone of contention in her marriage for quite some time now but that won’t deter her from heading off a hundred miles into the mountains on a training run. In fact, it’s just the weekend break she needs to take a breather from the latest argument she had with her husband. Things were looking more and more bleak in her marriage and she would deal with it…when she got back. Unfortunately that wouldn’t be on Sunday as she had planned. Emory sets off on her run and wakes in a small cabin with a gash on her head, a headache from hell, and a stranger taking care of her. Her immediate reaction is one of fear and confusion but almost as quickly as those feelings settle in she senses this stranger wouldn’t hurt her and with bad weather rolling in and no way to contact her husband or friends, she would be stuck with him for a day or two. Hopefully her second set of emotions ring true and this stranger won’t be putting her in danger while she recovers a bit and tries to figure out how she ended up in this situation in the first place.   Was she attacked? By this man? Did she fall? By the time her stay in the mountain cabin is over she will be warring with too many emotions to name and will have to reconcile with the fact that maybe the people she has trusted aren’t the ones she should and maybe this stranger was….
      You all know I read. A lot. And every once in a while a book comes along that touches me on a different level and when it happens it’s magic. This was one of those books. While there are a few things I can’t give away, I can tell you that this is without a doubt a book you need to have in your library. Emory’s story starts off with quite a bang and doesn’t let up until the very end. There were so many twists and turns and questions along the way and it all had me glued to this book. Emory’s husband was suspect from the start and I didn’t know if he was the one behind her accident or even if it was an accident. Ms. Brown did an amazing job with giving the reader warring emotions when it came to him. There was also the stranger to consider. Emory’s savior…or was he? I will tell you that from the time we meet him you just know the story behind him is going to be emotional…good or bad, it was going to be rough. He is one of the most memorable and incredible characters I’ve ever read. No, he doesn’t speak a whole lot. No, we don’t know his name until the last few chapters. No, we don’t find out his story until the very end but that didn’t make one bit of difference. His actions and mannerisms said more than words. He is rigid and tough, living simply but has a soft side he shows only a few times in this story. But still we are left to wonder if he’s dangerous or if he’s one of the good guys. We are lead to believe from the hints he gives of himself that he isn’t exactly one of the good guys but it didn’t matter to me…I loved him anyway.
      Of course, while Emory is in the woods, her husband and friends are looking for her and that leads to more than a few revelations that had me gasping audibly more than a few times. I can’t give anything away but be ready for a heaping spoonful of “I never saw THAT coming”!
      Just trust me when I say this is a book you need to read. Suspense, mystery, and high emotion are just a few of the facets that make Mean Streak one of the best books I have ever read. Thank you, Ms. Brown, for a phenomenal story that will stay with me for a very long time.

      3 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

      Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
    • Posted November 2, 2014

      more from this reviewer

      Kept me guessing until the end. I liked the characters, but it

      Kept me guessing until the end. I liked the characters, but it did feel like it was a Showtime soft core love story at times. Trashy fun is what I'd call it.

      2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

      Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
    • Posted September 21, 2014

      I have been a big fan of Sandra Brown and have enjoyed her evolu

      I have been a big fan of Sandra Brown and have enjoyed her evolution as a writer over the years. This book was promising for about the first half, then became predictable and just preposterous. As the story progressed there were too one dimensional characters falling into the good or evil categories, making it far too easy to predict the outcome. I strongly disagree with the other readers who found surprises right up to the end. This one was a disappointment.

      2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

      Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
    • Anonymous

      Posted September 7, 2014

      Damn it, I bought this book for 12.99 per Nook. Predictable stor

      Damn it, I bought this book for 12.99 per Nook. Predictable story line, Typical ending. Very disappointed. 

      2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

      Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
    • Anonymous

      Posted August 26, 2014

      Fantastic

      Loved this book. Linda B. AZ.

      2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

      Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
    • Anonymous

      Posted August 20, 2014

      Forgot to add stars

      Awesome....

      2 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

      Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
    • Anonymous

      Posted November 15, 2014

      Plot typical, story line ridiculous

      I really wanted to like this book given the title. The plot was one you've likely read dozens of times which is fine but the story line is preposterous. I was skipping paragraphs to just get to the relevant points. I also find the fact that the main character in the book runs triathlons to be completely unnecessary yet it was rather core to the story. A lot of what was supposed to make up the story line was really just back story, and the author failed to root the characters in what was supposed to have made them the characters they are. If it had been written much darker it might have been a great read.

      1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

      Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
    • Posted October 17, 2014

      Pretty good

      Interesting, but different.

      1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

      Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
    • Anonymous

      Posted October 17, 2014

      Predictable - Typical story that you would see on Lifetime.  The

      Predictable - Typical story that you would see on Lifetime.  The good people are too good and naive and the bad folks are super bad.
      The characters are one dimensional.  

      1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

      Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
    • Posted October 14, 2014

      Reads like a romance novel. Unlikely situations, unreal people.

      Reads like a romance novel. Unlikely situations, unreal people.

      1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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