Book Review: Hostile Takeover (John Lago Thriller #2) by: Shane Kuhn

Hostile Takeover (John Lago Thriller #2)
By: Shane Kuhn
Genre: Fiction, Thriller, Mystery, Humor
Rating: 2 stars
Release Date: July 14, 2015
Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Goodreads | Amazon | B&N


Professional assassin John Lago faces off against his deadliest adversary yet—his wife—in Hostile Takeover, the exciting sequel to Shane Kuhn’s bestselling debut The Intern’s Handbook, which the New York Post called “a sexy, darkly comic thriller.”

At the end of The Intern’s Handbook, John tracks down his nemesis Alice but instead of putting a bullet in her head, he puts a ring on her finger and marries her. Together, they execute a hostile takeover of Human Resources, Inc., the “placement agency” that trains young assassins to infiltrate corporations disguised as interns and knock off high profile targets. As HR’s former top operatives, they are successful until conflicting management styles cause an ugly breakup that locks John out of the bedroom and the boardroom.

But when Alice takes on a new HR target, John is forced to return to the office battlefield in a role he swore he would never play again: the intern. What starts out as a deadly showdown turns into the two of them fighting side by side to save HR, Inc.—and their marriage.

“Those who like Dexter will love John Lago” (Booklist), and in Shane Kuhn’s sequel to The Intern’s Handbook, readers will be rooting for this smart, witty antihero to come out on top.

Book Review

Despite my rating for this book, It started off pretty good. Light, funny and semi-self aware of itself. But, after the fourth/fifth chapter or so, the cocky, pretentious and self-glorifying of the main character, John, became extremely annoying. Thus, from then on, I just wasn’t feeling the story all that much. It’s a quick and easy read though, in it’s first person, short-handed form.

However, John’s recount of events seemed to drag on longer than the expected time each scene/memory logically needed it to. It came to the point where I just assumed the scenes were drawn out for the simple fact that he, John, liked the sound of his own voice.

Then there was Alice, his on again, off again, lover, enemy, wife and business partner. Who, to be honest, was just the female dominatrix version of John that was conveniently depicted as being every man’s emotions-free, always “on” dream girl which was just another nail in the coffin for me.

Anyone reading this book for five minuets could basically guess how the story was going to pan out with the briskness and a bit abrasive approach with the dialogue and action/description lines—as it largely mimicked common Film/TV narrative practices—it was clear to identify the over used flashback-like interrogation set up in the beginning and so on.

I was surprised that several people compared this book/series to the TV show Dexter. I mean granted, I’ve only seen 3-4, maybe 5, episodes of the show myself, but I didn’t really get the comparison, as Dexter and John didn’t actually kill people for the same reason.

Regardless, a few readers of The Intern (book #1) have mentioned that they were not fans of this book either, but I am curious about how John’s character (and Alice) are perceived in the original story and will consider picking it up in the future. This wasn’t the book for me, but I did have a few people in mind who might have enjoyed it more than I did by the end.

Thanks so much for stopping by and checking out my review. 🙂

Until the next post,