Review copy was received from NetGalley. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Killers of a Certain Age by Deanna Raybourn
Published by Berkley on September 6, 2022
Genres: Mystery, Thriller
Amazon, Audible, Audiobook, Barnes & Noble, Apple
Billie, Mary Alice, Helen, and Natalie have worked for the Museum, an elite network of assassins, for forty years. Now their talents are considered old-school and no one appreciates what they have to offer in an age that relies more on technology than people skills.
When the foursome is sent on an all-expenses paid vacation to mark their retirement, they are targeted by one of their own. Only the Board, the top-level members of the Museum, can order the termination of field agents, and the women realize they’ve been marked for death.
Now to get out alive they have to turn against their own organization, relying on experience and each other to get the job done, knowing that working together is the secret to their survival. They’re about to teach the Board what it really means to be a woman—and a killer—of a certain age.
Nothing like the gift of a cruise to send four older female assassins out in style, especially since the company has decided that only a deadly termination of their employment will do. Deanna Raybourn has written some sparkling historical mysteries, but this dive into a modern day thriller with senior citizen protagonists grabbed my fancy and I couldn’t wait to see what would happen out of the gate.
Billie, Mary Alice, Helen, and Natalie were all recruited over forty years ago for a top secret organization and were all trained in the company’s first all-female squad of assassins. Now, when coming up on retirement, they have all been brought back together for a cruise, or so they thought, until they realized the hunters are now the hunted. Why is their former employer now targeting them? They have to stay alive while tracking down the intel and then these old dames will turn the tables on those who had once earned their loyalty and trust. They might not be young, spry, and tech stars, but they know a thing or two one can’t learn on the internet.
Killers of a Certain Age has that fun and exciting dance along the knife edge that a good thriller loaded with wit and vim can bring. It races with taunt thrills and nail-biting suspense, but also makes it clear that the golden years don’t mean dribbling rice puddling down one’s twin set and pearls, or forgetting everything they have learned and done over the last forty years to kill or be killed. With age comes wisdom and experience, and these gals employ it so well. Not to mention, their various personalities and skill sets come in to play to make them a lethal and effective team that their own org should have been wary of messing with.
Yes, this is a traditional thriller and even a traditional ‘spies get blacklisted’ style scenario, but this is not ho-hum. There is an emphasis on the women and their complex personalities and stories as well as their tight relationship of found family they got from a forty year working relationship that was life or death when it came to being able to work together and depend on each other. This all shines through. I was curious about why they were being targeted and what is going on with ‘The Museum’ people, but I found just spending time with the gals was my favorite part whether the looks back to the past which are important or time in the current time thread.
Killers of a Certain Age was a fast read for me and there was plenty of action, chase, and intrigue as well as delight in seeing these old gals take it to their enemies. As a standalone, this is a good book for new readers who love spy thrillers and old fans to the author seeing her sparkling in a new genre.
I really enjoyed this one a lot too.
I had no doubt her venture into thrillers was going to be fun. I really got a kick out of these gals.
Lovely review Sophia. I adore this author.
Thanks, Kimberly! Yes, she is a go-to author for me. 🙂
I am currently reading/listening to this one and loving it! I have the ARC but I’m so behind and have a ton of things to do today on my day off that I’m listening while doing chores hoping to get it done and reviewed for a post tomorrow. Why did I sign up for so many books in August?! At least I’m loving it, lol. Glad you loved it too, Sophia!
I really overloaded on the August releases, too. Whew! Yay that you scored an audio copy so you can be semi-caught up on it while doing busy stuff. Aren’t the gals a blast? 🙂
The ladies are a blast! I want to be as strong and hip as them when I get to my 60s. I’m trying to work up to that at 52, lol! I wish I scored on an audio ARC. I bought that copy. I’ve burned through a bunch of my credits trying to catch up. Oh well, at least I’m entertained while cleaning the house! 🙂
Bummer about the credit, but most definitely good that it was for a fun one. 🙂
I had so much fun with this book too, Sophia! terrific review
Yay for a fellow fan, Wendy! 🙂
I am so glad that you enjoyed this one. These four women were awesome and I loved what Deanna Raybourn did with the story. I have my fingers crossed that we might see these ladies again in future books.
Yes, from your lips to Deanna’s ears, Carole. 🙂
Glad to read the good review. I had this on the hold list at the library (I thought it had already been published) for months and it’s ready for me to pick up.
Oh fun, Anne! You’re in for a treat.
Great review. This sounds fun. I’ve enjoyed her Veronica Speedwell series, so I’m going to give this one a try for sure.
These older gals are as vivacious as Veronica. I think you’ll get a kick out of them Role’!
I had no idea she was doing another series. Sign me up please!
I hope its a series, but saw no indicators that it is. Crossing fingers, Robin!
This sounds like a fun one, great review.
Glad to put it on your radar, Bookworm!
This sounds like it would keep me on the edge of my seat!
I think you’d have a blast with these gals and their thriller adventure together, Carole.
Great review you have here Sophia. I have been seeing so many good things about this book here. Its always a plus when you have a book that is hard to put down. Love that this was such a great adventure for you.
Thanks, Renee! Oh yes, I loved the characters and their friendship and how they outsmarted everyone to stay alive. 🙂
I’m so looking forward to reading this one! Great review!
Thanks, Katherine! You’re in for a treat. 🙂
Great review, SR. I don’t normally read thrillers but this one was so good. I loved the balance of the human aspects of the story and the women growing older, remaining friends, etc. with the action and suspense. I would definitely read another one by DR. So good.
Yes, she really made the reader feel and understand the gals and still get a good thrill ride.