The yuppie assassin of The Intern’s Handbook (2014) confesses to an FBI interrogator how he battled traitors, government agents, good old boys, and his own smoking-hot wife.
John Lago’s stint at Human Resources, Inc., which trains young professionals as killers and then embeds them in organizations that need to be destroyed, has ended with a bang. Now that he’s been captured, he’s being interrogated by FBI Assistant Director Winton Fletcher about his life of comic-book crime. Prodded to a series of extended flashbacks, JL recalls several violent acquaintances from his wonder years, his successful liquidations of hedge-fund partner/heroin trader Kiana Nguyen and online dating guru Dr. Love, and his glorious tenure as co-director of HR, which began when he and his equally lethal love, Alice, celebrated their nuptials by their spectacular murder of Bob II, who’d grabbed the HR reins after JL killed his predecessor, Bob. Months pass in the kind of bliss marked by steamy sex and nonstop assassination contracts, but then those inevitable domestic blues turn JL and Alice against each other as each one seeks to infiltrate Chinese Industrial Solutions, Inc. and neutralize the other. Kuhn works like a beaver to inflate this last score by making a mystery of the real power behind HR, but the whole enterprise is so episodic that it reads like a collection of cheerfully over-the-top short stories capped by a novella in the same key.
“I’m not most people,” reflects JL. True. His closest fictional counterparts, as he’d be the first to admit, are drawn from movies like Mr. and Mrs. Smith and the Roadrunner cartoons.