John Largo is an operative for a company called Human Resources Inc., an organization that recruits young troubled teens and primes them for office intern placements. However, these professionally trained students specialize in assassination. The pupils infiltrate huge businesses and government agencies to eradicate guarded executives and pivotal employees. The FBI uncovers a guide written by Largo called The Intern's Handbook written for future assassins. This begins a manhunt by both the FBI and CIA. After 20 years of dedication, John has accepted his final mission before retirement; to penetrate a successful Manhattan law firm as a resident and eliminate one of the co-founders whose ties with the mafia and the selling of witness protection names to the highest bidder have led to many crime-filled deaths. When an expiration date is added to the assignment, strategies change and accomplices are added, but the closer Largo gets to his target, the more obscure reality becomes. The truth behind this final mission becomes a deadly struggle and a realization that reality is not what it seems. The full 20 years of experience and training will be mandatory to uncover the truism of a life-long career with HR, Inc.
Shane Kuhn has twenty years of experience working in the entertainment business and has accomplished an enjoyable alternate reading experience with his first novel. Beginning with memorandums from the Federal Bureau of Investigations to classified surveillance transcripts, realism takes a stand at the forefront of this reading experience. Revealing the unofficial guide for assassin training capitalizes on the verism of this book. Attached are guidelines throughout, such as rule #12: Embrace your inner shadow warrior. This, among Shane's many fresh writing techniques provides a flowing structure that reads like a horrifying diary. When the main character discovers his hidden past that collides with his present profession, the story becomes a white-knuckled roller coaster ride that has hidden twists and turns. Having an occupation of being a master of manipulation without a soul and performing a crucial service to society by being an elite assassin adds a captivating effect to the plot of this novel. The reader will soon learn that all your worst nightmares come true when your chosen work is killing people.
— Mike, Albuquerque
April 2014 Indie Next List
“I have a twisted sense of humor and so does Shane Kuhn, the author of this darkly funny novel of office work and assassination - something like what you might get if Joshua Ferris and Josh Bazell ever collaborated. It's full of misdirection, red herrings, and characters so layered with secret identities and hidden agendas that even they may not know the truth. If you learn nothing else from this exciting, exhilarating debut, take this lesson to heart: If the intern offers to make you coffee, just say 'No, thank you.'”
— Billie Bloebaum, Powell's Books At PDX, Portland, OR
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.
**INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER** Best of the Year—Seattle Times
JOHN LAGO IS A HITMAN. HE HAS SOME RULES FOR YOU. AND HE’ S ABOUT TO BREAK EVERY SINGLE ONE.
John Lago is a very bad guy. But he’s the very best at what he does. And what he does is infiltrate top-level companies and assassinate crooked executives while disguised as an intern.
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.
Part confessional, part DIY manual, The Intern’s 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.
About the Author
Shane Kuhn is a writer, director, and producer with twenty years of experience working in feature films, documentaries, and advertising. He is a cofounder and executive board member of the Slamdance Film Festival, and a member of the Writer’s Guild of America. He lives in Colorado and works as Vice President of Creative Services for a San Francisco-based media and special events company. He is the author of The Asset, The Intern’s Handbook, bought for film by Sony Pictures, and Hostile Takeover, the second book in his John Lago intern-assassin thriller series.
“All of the testosterone-bloated wisdom of Tucker Max mixed with the satire of American Psycho.”
“A sexy, darkly comic thriller with cinematic flourishes… Explosively violent and psychologically wily the way a good thriller should be.”
“This Handbook was made for the multiplex. . . . Faceless and forgettable, an intern's as invisible as a ninja in fluorescent lights—and, at least in John Lago's case, just as deadly.”
“Imagine Dexter working in The Office."
“Once I started reading The Intern’s Handbook, I had a hard time putting it down. Over the course of three days, I spent any spare moment I had immersed in the book. The wit and humor had me laughing out loud at times; the twists and turns in the plot kept me wondering what was going to happen next.”
“Just the kind of book we love to read. . . . On our short list for best debut of the year.”
“John is an appealing narrator, a hit man with his own code of honor about collateral damage that sometimes puts him at odds with his elusive boss, Bob, who may or may not have John's best interests in mind. Fans of Duane Swierczynski's Charlie Hardie trilogy and Josh Bazell's Beat the Reaper should enjoy this witty, deadly thriller.”
“Black humor and surprise twists distinguish Kuhn’s highly entertaining debut, which puts a fresh spin on the theme of the hardened criminal planning one last job. . . . Not least of the charms of this likable and energetic, if amoral, character are the amusing swipes he takes at other killers in fiction and film.”
“Kuhn’s debut is a prime example of dark and mordant humor in the midst of a fast-moving, suspenseful, action-packed ride. Those who like Dexter will love John Lago.”
“A propulsive, well-written black comedy. . . . Believable dialogue, a whip smart and cynical central character, clever reversals and an entertaining amount of bone-crunching violence help wrap up this nasty package with a pretty little bow. An entertaining, ferociously violent romp about a morally bankrupt killer trying to find his way home.”
“The Intern's Handbook is Tarantino funny and as tense as a Mexican standoff. Shane Kuhn has written a movie lover’s thriller that’s as entertaining as it is smart.” — Andrew Pyper, bestselling author of The Demonologist
"The Intern's Handbook is Dexter meets Office Space—the blackest and goriest office comedy you could imagine, with an intern-slash-assassin in the starring role. Shane Kuhn’s debut thriller crackles with dark humor, pyrotechnic action scenes and twists you’ll never see coming. Just like the intern who’s getting ready to snuff you out." — Lisa Lutz, New York Times bestselling author of The Spellman Files
“Being bad is seldom this good. Mercilessly entertaining.” — Christopher Brookmyre, bestselling author of Where the Bodies Are Buried
“Dark, assured and utterly thrilling. Makes Grosse Pointe Blank look like Goodbye Mr. Chips.” — John Niven, bestselling author of Kill Your Friends and Straight White Male