A pleasurable entertainment, flavored by the mysterious interconnection, seemingly, of an Elizabethan beauty and a contemporary model. Jennings (Breach Candy, not reviewed, etc.) stumbles only in his structuring of a very convoluted narrative. Alison MacAteer, a young British journalist, has an assignment to cover the campaign to launch Eternal Summer, a new perfume on which the Laurene Forth company is betting the bank. Oddly, Forth has hired an enigmatic and unknown model, Dale Cooney, as their chief spokesperson. Alison is slated to attend the filming of Dale's first commercial, but then she learns that actor Dan Fortess is having an affair. Jump back six years: young Alison has a sexual brush with the actor that is left unresolved. Back to the present: with this new information about him, she plans an exposé. But then an auto accident, brutally disfiguring Alison, interrupts her plans. So the reader is left wondering, What happened to the perfume thing? It resurfaces when Alison leaves the hospital for Darne Castle, site of the Eternal Summer commercial. Caught up in its magic, and adjusting to her new, damaged body, Alison stumbles on the shadowy tale of Eleanor Duboys, a 16th-century beauty who mysteriously disappeared in her '20s. Dale Cooney, whose face chillingly resembles a portrait of Eleanor, arrives on location and, after an apparently idyllic few days, commits suicide on the final night. Forth executives orchestrate Dale's "disappearance": shades of Eleanor Duboys? Despite the jarring chronological bumps, Jennings does a good job of weaving together Elizabethan lore and the equally potent myths disseminated by the contemporary beauty industry in thisdense though genuinely engaging puzzle. A brisk, high-minded novel that's most animated chronicling the historical drama of Eleanor through Alison's smart, ironic, damaged voice. The real world of modern fashion, truth to tell, can't be quite as wicked, or as deeply written.