Thursday, April 9, 2015

The Intern's Handbook by Shane Kuhn

HR, Inc. is not exactly the best solution for your staffing needs. Yes, their interns can file and make coffee, but that's not really their end goal. See, the folks HR, Inc. trains and sends your way aren't really there to learn job skills that can lead to a career; they already have a very special set of skills and they're there to take someone out. Literally. HR, Inc. specializes in highly trained and skilled assassins. Killers like John Lago, who is on his final assignment before retirement at age 25. 

John's great at what he does, but from the beginning nothing about his last assignment is typical of an HR, Inc. job. To start, intel on his target - a partner at a prestigious law firm - is limited to such an extent that John must first determine exactly which partner is actually his target. And then John discovers that the feds are also on the job. Now he has to complete the job and elude the FBI at the same time.

The Intern's Handbook plays out as a document prepared by John for other HR, Inc. employees. And we know the feds are on the hunt for intel on HR, Inc., including John Lago and the identity of his targets, because the prologue sets the premise that the feds have John's handbook in hand.  

Kuhn quickly establishes a voice and style filled with snark. Lago is a smartass - he's an orphan with a dark background and a fondness for films, which means lots of pop culture references and sarcastic wit. And it works. Paired with a plot that's borderline ridiculous it's so out there, The Intern's Handbook becomes a darkly comic romp through the life and assignments of a young corporate hit man.

If you enjoy twisted humor a bit a la Dexter or even John Wick, then The Intern's Handbook is definitely for you! And while you read, you might want to picture Dave Franco as Lago - he's apparently on tap for the movie version currently in the works.

Rating: 4/5

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