Killers of A Certain Age: A Novel by Deanna Raybourn

Killers of A Certain Age: A Novel
by Deanna Raybourn

Oh, this was such a fun book to read! This novel plays out like a film. It’s got the panache of Ocean’s Eleven, the humor of Mr and Mrs Smith, and oozes a middle-aged version of the familiar camaraderie of The Golden Girls. It’s perfect.

The story traces the lives of a clannish posse of retirement-aged Charlie’s Angels, assassins who work for a clandestine international organization intended to keep the world’s evil at bay through extralegal and morally questionable means (murder). These women have devoted their lives – professional and personal – to this cause and vocation. They’re ready to throw in the proverbial towel, trade in the excitement and the deception for some much deserved rest and relaxation when they realize they’re the targets of assassination themselves.

Now they’ve got to figure out who, why, and what the hell.

And that’s the rest of the novel. It’s humorous and mysterious. It’s stylish and spy-savvy. It’s Jane Bond, darling. This reader was driven by the desire to find out who had set them up and why. There was no doubt they’d succeed, but the thrill was in reading how these feminine Chuck Norrises were going to get it done.

Like a film, this novel moves swiftly, propelled by witty prose and cutting dialogue between its the sharp-edged characters. The women in this story are nuanced, fleshy, sinful and deliciously flawed, but the reader should not necessarily expect depth; simply put, this novel isn’t about depth as much as it is a much needed op-ed on the awful way in which women are made invisible on account of their age in our patriarchal society. The onset of menopause — no, even just the briefest mention of hot flashes –and women middle-aged (and older) are suddenly recast in a dimmer light. Where once they were all-powerful Women, they suddenly are under-estimated, dismissed, erased. This novel does not seek to redress the issue, but does highlight it. As I said, an excellent comment on what is an on-going problem in our youth obsessed society. It weaves in a feminist commentary in parts, but this is not a serious work of feminist disruption.

This is a fun, entertaining read. And one I recommend.

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