Spy stories are getting a feminist makeover... and about time too! Two years ago Luke Jennings hit the spot with the sexy, fast and gloriously good fun Codename Villanelle about an ever-so enthusiastic female assassin. It was made into the quirky and humorous TV offering Killing Eve, which has been gobbled up by audiences all over the world.
With Killing It, author Asia Mackay has wandered into similar territory. Lex Tyler is a highly-trained assassin working for the British Secret Service. After years of offing people for a living, she decides there has to be more to life so she enters into a relationship and for once, she finds herself creating life instead of pumping heavy metal into it.
We pick up Lex's story as she returns to work after six months of maternity leave. Her lawyer husband Will has no idea what she actually does for a living and her baby Gigi has no idea her nappy bag is packing heat.
Adding to the tension, despite being a kick-ass terminator of monumental proportions, Lex has always felt the prejudice of her older male colleagues. Juggling breast pads and a Polish nanny isn't making her any more acceptable.
Lex's first project back from maternity leave is high-stakes – she has to eliminate London-based Russian tycoon Dimitri Tupolev who has something of a Dr Evil about him. The good news is that Gigi will come in handy as a plausible cover as she cosies up to Dimitri's wife. The bad news is that while she is hunting Dimitri, someone else is hunting Lex.
There's plenty to enjoy in this fast-paced twist on the traditional male-led spy novel. It's an unusual mix of thriller and comedy – funny, clever, refreshing.
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