Younger by Suzanne Munshower
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Summary: When PR pro Anna Wallingham gets dumped by her last client, she finds herself running out of options in LA, where looks trump experience. Desperate to prove she is still relevant, the fiftysomething accepts a shady job offer from Pierre Barton, secretive billionaire owner of Barton Pharmaceuticals. Isolated in a facility outside London, she agrees to test a new top-secret product guaranteed to make her look thirty years younger. Anna is starting to look on the outside the way she feels on the inside: ageless. But she soon discovers that her predecessor died under mysterious circumstances, leading her to research just who stands to gain—and lose—with this miraculous product. When Pierre drops dead in front of her, she takes off on a dangerous journey across Europe hoping to stay alive long enough to uncover the truth.
Just an okay read for me. I can't help but think that by the time I had read to chapter 19 and found the character was still newly arrived at her temporary apartment with the girl she met on the train back in chapter 9 (so literally a day since the event that apparently set off this whole cat and mouse chase introduced in chapter 1) and still had made no headway on the actual mystery), the story had lost much of the hope I'd invested in it.
This meandered on a lot of things meant to give a sense of the character's preoccupation with posh material possessions and the further tendrils of rarefied web she's drawn into. Ultimately, I found much of that tedious as the name brand notice by Anna (a woman many years my senior) made me think her frivolous and I had difficulty taking her seriously. She literally noticed what brand watches and shoes people were wearing in passing. She came across as trite for it and also fairly pretentious and worst of all, narcissistic (and that's even with her slow reckoning that she'd taken the few people in her life for granted and had made for herself a mostly valueless, empty life). I found her slighting opinion in the beginning (while she's under the tutelage of her coaches) of what young women were like was the worst broad brush ever. That the majority were supposed to be vapid, real life text speakers and cared only or most about being conversant in whatever passing trend there is at the moment with no interest or knowledge of anything that came before this moment, was frankly, a bore. Ostensibly she was still supposed to be inhabiting a professional job and had a worthy degree behind her so I didn't understand why she needed to try and blend this way.
Anyway, all comes to a tidy conclusion and let me just say that I knew from Chapter 1 when Pierre staggered into Anna's London apartment and died (like a dwarf in D&D and carrying a briefcase of intel instead of a scrawled note as the clue), that the persons he mentioned last would be the ones responsible for this sad cabal. On the up side, I got this as one of my Kindle First books and there's something to be said for having read it at no additional cost to me. It certainly passed some time but if I'm honest, I've got a TBR list that's years long so it's not like I'm spoiled for choice.
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