Review: Killers of a Certain Age by Deanna Raybourn

Author: Deanna Raybourn
Publisher: Berkley Books
Released: September 6, 2022
Received: Own (BOTM)
Warnings: Ageism, sexism, violence

4 1/2 kitties

We hear all sorts of stories about assassins and how they’re dark and brooding. But how often have we read about female assassins on the brink of retirement? If this is something you feel should be remedied immediately, pick Killers of a Certain Age, written by Deanna Raybourn.

Four women have been assassins for the last forty years. Their names are Billie, Mary Alice, Helen, and Natalie. Now they’re reaching sixty years old; it is time for them to finally retire. They’ve done their service – they’ve killed bad people and made the world a safer place because of it. They deserve a break.

Naturally, that is not how things are about to play out. It doesn’t take long for these four to realize that somebody from their organization is out to get them. To survive, they will have to pick up their deadly tools again and get to work.

“Only women are ever called persnickety,” Mary Alice said. “Men get to be ‘detail oriented.”

Wow! Killers of a Certain Age is a breath of fresh air! This novel flips so many assassin tropes on their heads and has fun with the concept overall. If you’re in the mood to read about four lethal ladies, it’s time to tune in.

This novel is told mainly from Billie’s perspective, though in two points of time. There’s the present, and there’s the past – back when she was in training or active duty. The two pieces help to explain the whole of her character. It also helps to explain the situation she and her allies are in.

Killers of a Certain Age has a lot of humorous elements, despite all the action and sometimes graphic violence. It isn’t afraid to have fun. Likewise, Raybourn isn’t afraid to get detailed when it comes to the battles being fought, and I do mean that literally.

I really enjoyed these details. It explained just how good these women are at their jobs. Every task they take is full of careful planning, and I love that we got to see a little bit of that. One case, in particular, is still giving me the chills, though that has more to do with the setup (you’ll know which one I’m talking about when you get there, I promise).

While Killers of a Certain Age is a fully contained novel, I could see this becoming a successful series. Honestly, I wouldn’t mind another book or two. I also wouldn’t mind seeing it get adapted into another format, as I think that would be a blast.

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About Liz (AKA Cat)

I am an avid animal lover, photographer, reader, and much more. While my photography blog is feeling a bit neglected at the moment, the other sites I'm involved in are going strong. ✧I review books, comics, and basically anything else in the literary world over at Quirky Cat's Fat Stacks (of Books). ✧I review comics and books, as well as write content for Word of the Nerd. ✧I review comics for Monkeys Fighting Robots. ✧I write content for Screen Rant and CBR. ✧I write book reviews for The Review Crew.
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