Monday 6 March 2023

Review: Killers of a Certain Age by Deanna Raybourn

Thank you to Netgalley for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review

Publication date: 9th March 2023
Publisher: Hodder Paperbacks
Pages: 368

Older women often feel invisible, but sometimes that's their secret weapon.
Billie, Mary Alice, Helen and Natalie have worked for the Museum, an elite network of assassins, for forty years. But now their talents are considered old-school and no one appreciates their real-world resourcefulness in an age of technology.
When the foursome is sent on an all-expenses-paid trip 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 realise they've been marked for death.
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.

I adore Raybourn’s historical novels so I was fascinated to get stuck in to her latest novel, and whilst very different from her previous fare, this is no less delightful. Billie is a fantastic protagonist who offers us a human and flawed view into this crazy world. I loved how real she was, how grumpy, how very hacked off she was with the situation thrust upon her. I was rooting for her right from the start, even through the darker, grittier morally grey moments.

Raybourn is particularly skilled at creating intriguing shades of grey characters who are delightfully human in their navigation through the story, and this is no exception. I loved the juxtaposition of the present day older ladies and the pieces of history that fit in to round out the story of how they came to be the women they are today in the situations they’ve found themselves in.

This had all the trademarks of Raybourn’s work, whilst also feeling fresh and exciting, further cementing her place as a favourite author of mine. I loved it, and I’m desperately hoping we get more in the world of the Museum, even if Billie is getting her well deserved retirement.

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