Book Review: HOSTILE TAKEOVER by Shane Kuhn

hostile takeoverShane Kuhn shot onto the crime fiction scene last year with The Intern’s Handbook (movie rights were snapped up), and now his assassin John Lago is back in Hostile Takeover with more explosive action.

At the end of Handbook, Lago had lost track of Alice, the person assigned to “exterminate” him. He not only finds her at the start of Takeover but, after a wee bit of gunfire, proposes to her. The two then stage a coup to take over HR, Inc., the company that places fake interns who are really assassins into the corporate world to kill their targets. As with many relationships, their partnership is heady at first, until they start fighting and turn on each other. As Lago says, “With normal couples, someone might get thrown out of the house after a fight. With us, someone is liable to get thrown out a window.” Or worse.

The violence in Takeover is even more over the top than in Handbook, but done in the same satirical way. A boy named Sue is a fun new character who gives Lago tech support–make that hack support. The identity of the big baddie is predictable, and some of the scenes seem more like set pieces rather than action that helps move the story forward, but Kuhn’s sharp-as-a-blade humor keeps readers, like the bullets, flying through pages. And despite the deadly doings, Hostile is quite romantic, for Lago is hopelessly smitten with Alice, just a boy standing in front of a girl, asking her not to kill him.

This review originally appeared in Shelf Awareness for Readers and is republished here with permission.

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6 Comments

  • Reply
    le0pard13
    July 20, 2015 at 8:03 am

    I just saw this was out and will be reading it soon. I have you to thank for introducing me to Shane Kuhn, at that. Glad to hear it’ll be an entertaining experience once more. Thanks, Elyse.

    • Reply
      Paulette
      July 20, 2015 at 8:24 am

      I will be dodging bullets right along with you!

    • Reply
      Pop Culture Nerd
      July 20, 2015 at 11:16 am

      It makes me giddy to know I helped introduce you to Shane’s work. I hope you enjoy this one, too!

  • Reply
    Paulette
    July 20, 2015 at 8:23 am

    Oh, what a killer last line in a killer review! Loved it! Will definitely read this…

    • Reply
      Pop Culture Nerd
      July 20, 2015 at 11:22 am

      Thanks, Paulette! Sometimes I struggle with last lines. I could have lots to say about a book and then get stuck on how to wrap it up. With this review, I was so grateful that last sentence came to me as I neared the end and I didn’t have to stare blankly at the computer for half an hour.

      • Reply
        Paulette
        July 20, 2015 at 5:17 pm

        It is spot on and ever so brilliant!

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