The Old Woman with the Knife

Harlequin Audio. Mar. 2022. tr. from Korean by Chi-Young Kim. 6:29 hrs. ISBN 9781488213229. $20.99. THRILLER
This incredible, internationally best-selling South Korean thriller (Gu’s first to be translated to English), elicits nearly every human emotion throughout its six-and-a-half-hour run time. Hornclaw is a South Korean assassin who is not ready to retire, but she has noticed that at 65, her aging body is beginning to slow her down. Working for Disease Control, a murder-for-hire business, she finds that knowing nothing about her target works best—until the day she messes up. Bleeding profusely, she finds herself beholden to a doctor outside the organization. As Hornclaw’s past is slowly revealed, her human side is exposed. She’s a ruthless killer, but she also provides an escape route for Deadweight, her lovable rescue dog, should she fail to return from a mission. Poignant and humorous, the story explores aging, relationships, difficult decisions, and vendettas.
VERDICT Narrator Nancy Wu’s lilt, emphasis, and pacing are impeccable, bringing life to Gu’s characters, making them easy to differentiate and identify as the engrossing story unfolds.
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