Sunday, 20 July 2014

Kill Your Boss: The Intern's Handbook by Shane Kuhn

"John Lago is a hitman. He has some rules for you. And he's about to break every single one."

Interns are invisible. That’s the secret behind HR, Inc., the elite “placement agency” that doubles as a network of assassins for hire who take down high-profile targets that wouldn’t be able to remember an intern’s name if their lives depended on it.

At the ripe old age of almost 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 actual employees are too lazy to do. He was hired to assas­sinate one of the firm’s heavily guarded partners. His internship provides the perfect cover, enabling him to gather intel and gain access to pull off a clean, untraceable hit. 

As an earlier Tweet of mine declared - this is a difficult book to read on the commute to work surrounded by your colleagues. What if word got back to my boss? Is it technically a threat? 

I spent the first train journey trying to hide the book from prying eyes but after several chapters, I was hooked. I would have read this book at my desk in full view of my boss if I could. 

It starts as something of a DIY manual for new interns written by Lago but it soon becomes more of a confessional or warning about HR Inc. Once again, I'm not going to include any spoilers at all, just know it's full of twists and turns that truly make the book unputdownable. It's funny too, with dark humour that will have you giggling whilst also shaking your head at the subject matter. 

It's got all of the fast-paced action you would expect from a blockbuster movie making it no surprise to learn of Kuhn's Hollywood background. Before I read this I thought (unfairly) that someone in the movies would be unlikely to execute a novel containing evolved characters and I was more than pleasantly surprised. Lago starts off discussing his past in a clinical manner but as the story evolves and he's introduced to new associate at the firm, Alice, the wider world starts to open up to him. He begins to see his boss for what he really is and a series of events lead the story in a direction no one could predict. 

I'm really excited about Kuhn's next project. It's tough to pull off a dark, action-filled caper that still has a heart, but he manages this ten-fold in Kill Your Boss. If you're looking for a fun page-turner from a new talented author, this one's for you.  

Kill Your Boss is the British title for The Intern's Handbook. It's published by Sphere and available on paperback and on the Kindle. 

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