Killers of a Certain Age by Deanna Raybourn

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!



Online Reading Challenge – August Wrap-Up

Hello Readers!

How did your August Challenge reading go? Did you find a fun, action-packed David Baldacci or similar book to read?

Here is my confession. I didn’t particularly like the book by David Baldacci that I read, and I’m not really interested in trying another. I can understand, though, why he is so popular – lots of gritty action, a flawed but righteous hero, corruption and wrong-doing stopped at the last possible moment. The plots are complex (convoluted?) and the action is non-stop. Great escape fiction, but not what I wanted to read right now!

I read The Innocent which introduces Will Robie, a paid assassin working for a clandestine, secret government organization. Robie is a loner, keeping himself apart from “ordinary” people living everyday lives. Each job is delivered to him via flash drive, all equipment (i.e. guns) that he’ll need are waiting for him at his destination, his exit route already outlined. Robie plans each job meticulously, studying the location and all possible escape routes in detail. When the job is done and he moves on to the next, he doesn’t think again about his target (or targets). It’s a job with clear parameter’s and no regrets.

Everything changes when he is tasked with killing a mother of two young children, a woman that has no obvious ties to global wrong-doing. When his back-up finished the job for him (killing one of the children as well as the woman), Robie breaks away, saves the second child then goes on the run. He has multiple escape plans, a safe house unknown to the agency and a fast track to disappear. Again, his plan is interrupted when he encounters another person on the run – Julie, a 14-year-old runaway who has just witnessed the murder of her parents and is hiding from the murderer. At first reluctantly, then as a team, the two work together to find the people who want them dead.

Ok, I think I missed a couple of twists and turns, and for a story about two loners this book had a lot of added characters, many with mysterious names (The Blue Man). It did deliver on action though and, while not necessarily my cup of tea, it was hard to put down.

Now it’s your turn – what did you read this month?