Review: The Intern’s Handbook by Shane Kuhn

Review: The Intern’s Handbook by Shane KuhnThe Intern's Handbook by Shane Kuhn
Amazon|The Book Depository
Pages: 276
Series: The Intern's Handbook #1
Published by Simon & Schuster on April 8th 2014
Genres: Fiction, Humor

Interns are invisible. That’s the mantra behind HR, Inc., an elite "placement agency" that doubles as a network of assassins-for-hire, taking down high-profile executives who wouldn't be able to remember an intern’s name if their lives depended on it.
At the ripe old age of twenty-five, John Lago is already New York City’s most successful hit man. He’s also an intern at a prestigious Manhattan law firm, clocking eighty hours a week getting coffee, answering phones, and doing all the grunt work no one else wants to do. But he isn't trying to claw his way to the top of the corporate food chain. He was hired to assassinate one of the firm’s heavily guarded partners. His internship is the perfect cover, enabling him to gather intel and gain access in order to pull off a clean, untraceable hit.
The Intern’s Handbook is John Lago's unofficial survival guide for new recruits at HR, Inc. (Rule #4: "Learn how to make the perfect cup of coffee: you make an exec the best coffee he’s ever had, and he will make sure you’re at his desk every morning for a repeat performance. That’s repetitive exposure, which begets access and trust. 44% of my kills came from my superior coffee-making abilities.")
Part confessional, part how-to, the handbook chronicles John’s final assignment, a twisted thrill ride in which he is pitted against the toughest—and sexiest—adversary he’s ever faced: Alice, an FBI agent assigned to take down the same law partner he’s been assigned to kill.


John Lago is not your average intern. He’s an assassin trained to infiltrate corporate America and kill his assigned target. And like all things, he’s got an expiration date. The Intern’s Handbook tells the story of Lago’s final mission for HR, Inc.

The Intern’s Handbook read like an action movie on paper. The plot moved swiftly from fight scene to fight scene, but Kuhn left little to the emotional build up of the story’s characters. While I found it an enjoyable quick read, I often skipped over John’s long monologue-esque pages of past missions and advice. About a third of the way through I became less interested in the non stop action and started wondering where the actual meat of the story was. While the ending “twist” was somewhat well contrived, the characters lacked any emotional development which hindered the twist in the end.

Kuhn is a screenwriter and filmmaker, and those two attributes come across clear in his first novel. If you are looking for a quick, action packed read, with very little in the way of emotional development of its characters – this is the book for you. Three stars because it was well written and the plot itself is interesting, but I wish the characters were a little more fleshed out.


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