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Rage Against the Dying

(Brigid Quinn #1)

3.73  ·  Rating details ·  4,965 ratings  ·  979 reviews
In her hey-day, ex FBI agent Brigid Quinn not only worked serial killer cases but became their prize. Small and blond, from a distance she looked vulnerable and slight. . . the perfect bait to catch a killer. But as Quinn got older, she realised she needed to find a protegee, a younger field agent to take her place. So Quinn trains a twenty-two year old and lets her loose ...more
Paperback, 384 pages
Published March 2013 by Orion Publishing (first published August 9th 2012)
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Average rating 3.73  · 
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 ·  4,965 ratings  ·  979 reviews

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Chelsea Humphrey
Two words- WELL DONE. I picked this up at the used bookstore and was skeptical, but it was so cheap I couldn't pass it up.

Brigid Quinn is a 59 year old ex FBI agent who has more awesomeness in her pinky toe than I have in my entire body. I don't want to give away too much, but there is action from the very first page. I was drawn in and read the entire book in one sitting. She is retired and enjoying life, her new marriage, and her hobby of collecting rocks by the river bank. She is thrust into
Feb 29, 2020 rated it really liked it

Rage Against the Dying by Becky Masterson is a 2013 Minotaur publication.

This first book in the Brigid Quinn series grabbed my attention immediately. After I survived the first chapter, I was hooked.

Brigid is a retired FBI agent in her late fifties. She marries later in life and loves her husband and enjoys living a peaceful life, trying to put her painful past behind her. Yet, her demons refuse to let her be.

When the case that nearly broke her comes roaring back to life, Brigid becomes obses
Jeffrey Keeten
Apr 07, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries, arizona
”I’ve sometimes regretted the woman I’ve been.

There have been so many: daughter, sister, cop, tough broad, several kinds of whore, jilted lover, ideal wife, heroine, killer. I’ll provide the truth of them all, inasmuch as I’m capable of telling the truth. Keeping secrets, telling lies, they require the same skill. Both become a habit, almost an addiction, that’s hard to break even with the people closest to you, out of the business. For example, they say never trust a woman who tells you her age
Dec 23, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: The over 40 crowd
Recommended to Paula by: Carol
What a fun thriller debut!

I was drawn to this book by the age of the narrator who is an FBI agent, now retired at 59, and a female. You would never think she is retired by the amount of scrapes she gets into throughout the book. Brought back into a case of a serial killer still on the loose gets Brigid Quinn in some difficult situations. I love her fighting ability and toughness that surprises many due to her gray hair.

Brigid is joined by a new husband, Carlo, who is an ex-priest and their 2 cha
Nov 11, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book starts out dark, gritty and graphically violent at times. As much as I love thrillers it was virtually too much for me. I could almost compare this book to an episode of Criminal Minds, as the FBI chase down a serial killer. I considered putting the book away after just one chapter, but I am glad I didn't. It mellowed out and became a great thriller as the plot took hold.

The main character Brigid is a 59 year old retired FBI agent who left the FBI was under less than desirable circum
Better than many debuts in the genre. Better pacing and suspense than a Nevada Barr novel. A tad implausible, but if that's the trade-off for getting to read a suspense/crime novel with a 59 year old female protagonist, I will suffer it gladly. I trust that --in subsequent entries in this series -- Masterman will make Brigid more real, less defensive and less prone to gaffes that are inconsistent with her professional training. I'm tired of wanting to grab her by the shoulders and shake her. The ...more
Oct 21, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
***3.5 Stars rounded up to 4*** I’ve been on vacation with a few “go to” mysteries. This was one of those audio books that I included. I thoroughly enjoyed this crusty, older female ex-FBI agent and the endearing relationship with her new husband, Carlo and their two pugs. It was refreshing to read an account of a 50-something female detective with mental, physical or psychological challenges rather than the same, familiar tale about a male investigator. I plan to check out more stories by this ...more
Apr 02, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: series
We readers are a fickle lot. Just last week I read a book in which the author tried to evoke a strong female character. In doing so she put her in situations that seemed unbelievable, where she should have been killed or maimed beyond a doubt. It didn’t work for me. So why does Rage against the Dying, a debut featuring another kick-butt woman character who also has nine lives work so well for me? It’s all in the story! This one hits the ground running and is a beaut of a thriller.
Ex-FBI Agent B
Jan 21, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
My first impression of this debut novel was about the writing style. It immediately reminded me of a certain Goodreads friend's reviews, which are witty, self-deprecating, relaxed, and fun to read.

Starting right on page two, there were missed editorial opportunities. A van drives from the end of a bridge down to the edge of a dry wash and three paragraphs later does it again. A bit later, the main character takes off her gloves and a few paragraphs later takes them off again. There were also som
Terence M
Apr 26, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Audiobook - 11:20 Hours - Narrator: Judy Kaye
3.5 stars rounded to 4.0

As an example of the genre, former FBI agent Brigid Quinn has many of the attributes expected of a crime fighter who is also a woman. She is dogged, determined and feisty. She bucks authority, can shoot straight and seriously kick arse if required. However, she also is an inveterate liar - to friends, workmates, bosses, criminals, and especially her beloved second husband, Dr. Carlo DiForenza.

”Keeping secrets, telling lies, the
What attracted me to this book was the heavily-marketed plug that it features a 59-year-old protagonist, (same age as myself). And sure enough, there in paragraph two of Chapter One, the narrator states: "I am fifty-nine years old." Which is a good thing, because otherwise you'd never know it. She is also a recent first-time newlywed, married to an opera-singing Italian professor and ex-priest; she remains a physical badass who can easily kill with her bare hands; and she enjoys a randy (if mono ...more
Apr 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
All of my reviews can be found on

I’m way late to this series, but one of the advantages to this is that I don’t have to wait for a new book to be released! When Chelsea at The Suspense is Thrilling Me asked if I had read Becky Masterman and I said no, she was sweet enough to send me the first two books. Then I recently received the third from the publisher and figured it was about time I started reading about Brigid Quinn. I’ve been hopping into a lot of new to me series in t
Diane S ☔
Nov 12, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This new series has gotten off to a great start. Love the character of Brigid, ex-FBI, married to an ex-priest and is 59. A series with an older, kick but heroine, not too many of them out there. The story is gritty, at times pretty brutal but kept my interest to the end. My favorite part though is the character of Brigid and the relationship she has with her husband who I hope we see more of in the future.
Mar 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
How deeply satisfying to read a mystery thriller with a women in my age demographic as the main character. Gray haired, fifty-nine year old Brigid Quinn is a retired FBI agent, living near Tucson with her new husband Carlo, a widower who was a priest before he married the first time. She’s settled near the site of case she never managed to close, a serial sexual predator, so though Brigid is no longer a twenty, thirty or even forty-something this is no cozy with a knitting needle as the weapon. ...more
May 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Just when you think it’s not possible to sell a publisher on a female protagonist who’s well into middle age, along comes Becky Masterman’s compelling thriller “Rage Against the Dying.” Her protagonist, Brigid Quinn, is 59, a retired FBI agent who burned out after years of working undercover, disgraced because she killed an unarmed perp. Her specialty: investigating sexual homicides. She’s haunted by the disappearance of a young protégée whom she trained to decoy a serial killer.

When a man named
Michael Robotham
Mar 19, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very fine debut crime novel - with a very likeable and believable protagonist. I can see why it made so many shortlists for crime writing awards.
Liz Barnsley
Excellent psychological chiller/serial killer thriller with a really brilliant main protagonist. Loved it. Full review to follow.
Mar 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Brigid Quinn is a retired FBI agent looking for a quiet life with her devoted husband Carlo and two pugs in the Tucson, Arizona desert. Still haunted by the kidnapping of her protege by a serial killer, she's inadvertently drawn back into the case when a truck driver confesses to killing her and seven other young women. In an interesting twist, FBI agent Jessica Coleman convinces Brigid of her well founded suspicion that the confessed "Route 66" killer is taking the fall for someone else. Someon ...more
This was subpar from the beginning but at 27%, I am throwing in the towel. A retired FBI agent who was haunted by an unsolved serial murder case, turns around and (view spoiler)…yeah…not buying that at all. It was freaking self-defense and there was absolutely no reason to cover it up except to create more needless drama. When shows like Criminal Minds and The Mentalist are more believable, serious questions should be raised. It's ...more
Jan 30, 2013 rated it really liked it
Becky Masterman has really brought something different to the thriller market with her impressive debut novel ‘Rage Against The Dying’. With a strapline from Linwood Barclay saying, ‘Masterman writes like an angel that has seen too many ungodly things’, I can only agree, with such a visceral plot and with a band of damaged and affecting characters. I think it is demeaning to the strength of Masterman’s writing, to simply label this as a serial killer thriller in the conventional sense. Yes, the ...more
Apr 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Rage Against The Dying
Becky Mastermann

My " in a nutshell" summary...

Serial murders...a complex FBI agent...and tons of questions...

My thoughts after reading this book...

Wow...this was truly a fast paced thriller with a fabulously chilling ending. I loved it all.
I was hooked just by reading the prologue and from that moment on I had a love/ hate relationship with Brigid. Seriously...she could be so annoying that I wouldn't want to be anywhere around her...yet she is the FBI agent you would wan
Ex and now retired FBI Agent Brigid Quinn has moved on from her life as a top and revered agent to a happily married woman, who can’t believe she has found her soul mate at 59 years of age. Carlo is an ex-priest who owns two pugs, and together they have made a different life, a life that Brigid hopes will never change.

But the morning she went down to the wash, not far from their home, and was confronted with a danger so immense and so frightening, that it caused her to make one of the worst dec
I thought the book was really good and I will certainly read the sequel (only 1 so far ? ).
The main character was believable although a bit of a numpty on a couple of occasions. The suspense was built well and drew to a natural climax, so all in all a definite 4 stars.
May 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
A taut, well-written crime novel, this book introduced me to an interesting new sleuth, Brigid Quinn. She is a retired FBI agent, who is mature in years and appearance, but blessed with decades of experience and a sharp intelligence.

A resident of Tucson, Arizona, Brigid's activities bring into focus the remarkable desert landscape of the region. A passionate rock hound, she is out scouting one hot day when she becomes embroiled in a crime which leads to terrifying consequences for her and her f
Colleen Chi-Girl
I wasn't sure if this was a 3-1/2 or 4 stars so I rounded up. As I work on genealogy and packing boxes, and long work commutes, I enjoy listening to audio books. This has a strong female lead, as well as snarky and snappy dialogue to go along with the thriller/murder-mystery. Becky Masterman is a master at intelligent, saucy dialogue. I was excited to read about the main character, a middle age woman and ex-FBI...yes! Another strong woman as the lead.

Reviewers have noted that it's really grueso
Jun 10, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Unfortunately, I only made it to page 105 before I completely gave up on this book. For me, the writing came across as superficial and lacking. The main character, Brigid Quinn a retired FBI agent currently living in the shadow of the Catalina Mountains offered no depth and I was not drawn to her.

Fifty nine year old Bridget has been in a couple of rough spots in her life, but the day she went rock hunting and ending up bound in the back of a sexual predators van seemed to have ranked pretty high
Feb 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
So much better than I expected.

A deeply, believably protagonist—a white haired older woman. Don’t you automatically picture the cozy or comedic mystery? This decommissioned FBI is tough as nails and serious as can be, down through every layer but the core, where she’s warm and weak, smart and foolish, rock solid and afraid, as human as you could want.

This ex-agent is professional to a fine point, a rule follower, a noble upholder of the mission, while being a rebel, her own woman, with her own
Aug 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adultfiction, mystery
Brigid Quinn is the kind of protagonist who is so delightfully real and quirky, she could carry any story. In fact, the story is really besides the point. I loved Rage Against the Dying because I loved hanging out with Brigid. After a solid career in the FBI that ended in scandal, Brigid is uncertain how to handle her retirement. She audits a class at the local University where she meets her husband, Carlo. She keeps the nastier parts of her past a secret from him, reveling in the quiet life the ...more
Jan 28, 2014 rated it it was ok
I really wanted to like this book. I really did. But I didn't. I couldn't even finish it.

The protagonist is exciting and interesting and so different from your standard run-of-the-mill story. She has a great back story, and it's very clear that from her history and her outlook on life she is going to be a thrill to accompany through this adventure. And then the action starts, and the action is good, and then it all goes wrong. The protagonist makes a fundamental decision that will evidently fue
Sep 11, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery-crime
A crime blogger had written a terrific review of this book, and while I do not enjoy books about serial killers, the review was very persuasive. So much, that I placed a hold on the book at my local library.

I put off beginning the story for more than 7 weeks, but at that point I could not renew the book again, so I either had to start reading or give it back to the library. Well I began reading. The story is violent, too violent for my taste, but the characters are so well drawn that they kept
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Becky Masterman created her heroine, Brigid Quinn while working as an editor for a forensic science and law enforcement press. Her debut thriller, Rage Against the Dying, was a finalist for the Edgar Awards and the CWA Gold Dagger, as well as the Macavity, Barry, ITW and Anthony awards. Becky lives in Tucson, Arizona, with her husband.

Other books in the series

Brigid Quinn (4 books)
  • Fear the Darkness (Brigid Quinn, #2)
  • A Twist of the Knife (Brigid Quinn, #3)
  • We Were Killers Once (Brigid Quinn, #4)

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