Billie, Mary Alice, Helen and Natalie have worked together for ages, ever since they trained together 40 years ago. Now 60, they are set to retire and their company sends them on a lavish, all-expenses-paid cruise to celebrate. It’s not quite as generous as you might think though – someone has been sent to kill them. You see, the four women are highly skilled assassins employed by a secret agency known as The Museum and someone from the agency wants them silenced – permanently – in Killers of a Certain Age by Deanna Raybourn.
Barely avoiding the first attempt on their lives, the four escape from the cruise ship (while making it seem like they’re lost at sea) but now they’re adrift on the ocean with no money, no passports and no one they can trust except each other. But just because they’re “of a certain age” doesn’t mean they’ve lost their edge – a combination of smarts, experience and yes, the skillful application of a knife or garrote as needed – keep them one step ahead of their pursuers as they race to find out who has set a bounty on their heads.
What follows is a fast-paced, roller coaster chase across multiple countries highlighted with sparkling banter and acerbic one-liners. The women lament their aching joints and the miseries of menopause, but they never doubt their ability to out-smart anything that’s thrown at them. Each of the characters are endearing in their own right, but this isn’t The Golden Girls – these women do not hesitate to spill blood when needed and do so without regret (though they go to great lengths to protect any innocent bystanders).
Surely this is the start of a new series – Raybourn has left plenty of room for more adventures with these four! I have high hopes that we’ll see Billie, Natalie, Mary Alice and Helen working together again soon!