Sreenwriter Shane Kuhn’s debut novel The Intern’s Handbook follows trained assassin John Lago on his final assignment, relayed through the secret handbook he has written for young trainees following in his footsteps. Posing as an intern in a law firm, his assignment is to find which of the three leading lawyers is the unknown target he has been assigned to kill, however Lago soon realises that this is a mission like no other as things continuously seem to go wrong despite his best efforts. As his time runs out he faces more and more drawbacks and his goal of restarting under a new identity seems to be increasingly distant. Lago is introduced to us as an orphan with a troubled childhood in and out of foster homes and juvenile centres, however through his relationship with F.B.I. agent Alice who is posing as a fellow intern (except he doesn’t know that she knows he knows she’s under cover – Friends levels of confusion here) we end up exploring Lago’s complex hidden family past which reveals Lago a surprisingly emotional character, as well as adding a more personal element to the novel.
Written from a diary perspective with a combination of action, comedy, dating and multiple dramas it almost has a Mad Men meets Jason Bourne feel. Although in parts it does read more like a plot description for a movie than a novel, the story is no less gripping from start to finish and is a very good debut work for Kuhn. It can get pretty graphic in some parts so isn’t a read for the squeamish, but at quite a short length of around 200 pages it’s a great Sunday afternoon read for those who like to get their teeth into a good action filled thriller. The Intern’s Handbook is already in the process of being adapted into a movie by Sony (with Dave Franco rumoured to be taking the role of Lago- hello), and in the mean time after the hugely exciting twist at the end I am eagerly awaiting the sequel!