Rating: 4.5 / 5
John Lago is an assassin. Though he is only 25, he is on his last assignment, since the company he works for, HR, Inc. specializes in placing assassins in companies as interns. This is based on the premise that interns are so low on the professional totem pole that they have the ability to do work that will get them close to executives without being memorable. John has taken it upon himself to write a handbook (which ends up becoming partly a confessional) for the next wave of assassins, filled with tips and tricks, along with journal-like entries documenting his final assignment.
Right off the bat, The Intern’s Handbook is funny. Sure, John Lago is an assassin, but he is one with wit, insight, and a touch of sarcasm. Being an assassin has a negative connotation, which demonstrates Kuhn’s talent, since Lago is such a likable character. He is well aware of what his job has entailed and isn’t disillusioned or full of excuses about killing others, but amazingly, he has heart. He has put together this survival guide to help future assassins, and the handbook is filled with tips on how to get close to the intended target and how to act to blend in with everyone else (the last thing an assassin wants to be is an indelible memory). He also touches on the topics of loneliness, and the fact that this line of work is not conducive to maintaining a relationship.
Interspersed in The Intern’s Handbook are FBI field reports. While the narrative is from John’s point of view, the various FBI reports let’s the reader in on the fact that maybe everything isn’t peachy keen, and soon there will be conflict. The story didn’t go in the direction I anticipated, but I enjoyed every minute of reading it, and the fact that I couldn’t guess the ending was an added bonus.
The Bottom Line: The Intern’s Handbook is a wild ride. It is hilarious, and while it is billed as a thriller, I don’t necessarily agree with that. There are aspects of a thriller, but really, this book can’t be bucketed into one niche. The Intern’s Handbook is a filled with murder, mystery, and love, told with unparalleled wit and humor. I can’t wait for what Kuhn comes out with next.