The Old Woman With the Knife

by Gu Byeong-mo


A whip-smart, taut and compelling novel about a 60-something female assassin navigating the vulnerabilities posed by her ageing body, and a meditation on loss and loneliness.

Hornclaw is a sixty-five-year-old female contract killer who is considering retirement. A fighter who has experienced loss and grief early on in life, she lives in a state of self-imposed isolation, with just her dog, Deadweight, for company.

While on an assassination job for the 'disease control' company she works for, Hornclaw makes an uncharacteristic error, causing a sequence of events that brings her past well and truly into the present.

Threatened with sabotage by a young male upstart and battling new desires and urges when she least expects them, Hornclaw steels her resolve, demonstrating that no matter their age, the female of the species is always more deadly than the male.

Format: Paperback
Page Count: 288 pages
Imprint: Canongate Trade
Published: May 2022
ISBN: 9781838856434

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