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The heroine is a winner
on September 7, 2009
Plot Summary: Hot-shot investigative TV news reporter Charlie McNally is on the wrong side of forty, and perennially worried that a waxed twenty-something will take her job. The November sweeps are looming, and Charlie needs to dig up a blockbuster story that will guarantee her place at the station for another year. Her evil boss sends Charlie on vulture patrol, where she must interview a woman whose husband died in a car accident, but when the widow asks Charlie why she didn't respond to her late husband's email, Charlie smells a story.
It's hard not to like Charlie. She's married to her job, and it's ironic that her impressive expertise is turning into a negative mark against her. At 46 she's pushing the magical demographic boundary, 18-49, that is targeted by all advertisers, and thus by all TV stations hungry for commercial sales. She buys miracle eye-creams, she scrupulously avoids carbs, and she has a savings account just for future plastic surgery needs. Charlie is no dummy, and she knows that looks matter when it comes to TV news.
As much as I liked Charlie's character, and her sidekick producer Franklin, I wasn't enamored with the plot which moved fairly slowly for this type of mystery/thriller. I was also disappointed by the romance subplot, which sounded a lot more robust in the back cover blurb, but was cursory at best. With these types of books I expect a love scene or two, and I didn't get them.
The golden goose of this story is Charlie, and anytime the plot got away from her personally, I lost interest. I think fans who hunger for middle-aged heroines who are smart, savvy, and yes, having hot flashes too, will gobble these books down.