The Horror Honeys: Hardcover Honey's Haunted Bookclub ~ The Intern's Handbook

Hardcover Honey's Haunted Bookclub ~ The Intern's Handbook

Book of the Week Review by Jocelyn

The Intern's Handbook – Shane Kuhn

Another week, another great cover image for your Hardcover Honey to stare at dreamily while she considers her review.  Seriously, as amazing as authors are, the cover art people should get a lot of love of their own, right?  This one is especially fun, with average office supplies coming together to form a stark skull and crossbones and setting the bait for potential readers right away.

“The Intern's Handbook” comes from first-time novelist Shane Kuhn and for the most part, it is a polished effort.  Maybe a bit too polished, actually.
Focusing on good/bad/good guy John Lago, the book posits an intriguing world wherein a company known as HR, Inc. provides trained assassins in the guise of interns, carefully trained to take out the worst of humanity for other equally influential clients.  Picture, say, a lawyer who is making millions selling out names of those in witness protection, or a deposed dictator visiting the US for the first time after years of heinous war crimes.  

Needless to say, this is a job that can only be done by the young, lest their “intern” status be called into question.  In fact, it turns out orphans and kids kicking around Social Services make particularly attractive recruits.  As the book opens, 25-year-old John is doing what he hopes will be his last big job, attempting to identify which partner in a white glove law firm is his correct target.  Unable to fully trust his boss, Bob, a man who took John under his wing when John was 12, John must play all sides of the situation – and keep making an amazing cup of coffee to boot.

Unfortunately for John, distraction comes in the form of the lovely Alice, a superior at the law firm with secrets and an agenda of her own.  The book is couched somewhat as an actual handbook, with lectures from John on how best to disconnect from your feelings and how to fake it when you need to (shades of “Dexter”, a comparison which came to mind more than once over the course of the book).  Interspersed throughout are surveillance transcripts, mostly of John's interactions with Alice.  These were a welcome segue device and I laughed out loud at several exchanges detailed therein.

As the book progresses, everything John thinks he knows after having worked for HR, Inc, since the age of 12 is called into question.  Who can he trust?  And if he pulls off this last big job, can Bob possibly afford to let him sail off into the sunset?  Or is he himself a loose end that will need tying up?  

Although the book could have used a bit more editing (another fight scene, really?) the action was fun overall and the book had a very cinematic feel to it.  It's already been optioned and is rumored to be going into production soon, with Dave Franco in the role of John – inspired casting.  I'm sure this will be one my sisters in the Horror Honeys will enjoy as much as I will when it hits screens.

Hardcover Honey Verdict: 3.5 out of 5 deadly staplers for this creative concept