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Thursday 11 August 2016

‘Shoot the Messenger’ by Shane Kuhn

Published by Sphere,
3 December 2015.
ISBN 978-0-7515-6173-9

For me the word that best describes Shoot The Messenger is whacky.  Where else would you find a chap, John Lago, giving his brand new wife, Alice, an Israeli Special Forces X95 SMG (an assault rifle that’s a submachine gun) complete with a silencer and ammunition, not to mention a bullet-proof dress, for a wedding present?  Alice was delighted with her presents and with the challenge laid on for her entertainment ie killing the CEO of Human Resources Incorporated along with two dozen of his armed guards.  Suffice to say that John and Alice are professional assassins and the man they set out to kill on their wedding night was their former boss. It was also their aim to takeover Human Resources Incorporated, which is merely a front for training more assassins, and run it for themselves, which they duly did.

Another of their targets was Dr Love. He ran an online dating site that offered an100 percent match and marriage guarantee.  If you didn’t meet the love of your life and then stay married for at least five years he would refund your money and give you ten thousand dollars.  Given his success in selecting suitable partners and the proven ability of his software to predict human behaviour Dr Love was considered too dangerous to be allowed to survive. He was discourteously dispatched by Alice.

As the body count rises steadily all goes well with the happy couple.  Then trouble strikes. A disagreement on whether or not an FBI agent had been planted in Human Resources Incorporated leads them – as it was supposed to do - to lose trust in each other.  From that point the race is on to see which of them can kill the other first.  John also wants to discover who has driven a wedge between him and Alice, and why. 

Shoot the Messenger is an action packed, darkly comic and highly entertaining thriller. Graphic descriptions of the many ingenious methods used to dispatch their targets may unsettle the squeamish, but they are written in such a disarming way that it is difficult to be upset by them. I’m sure we haven’t heard the last of this deadly, but strangely likable, duo.
Reviewer Angela Crowther

Shane Kuhn is a writer and filmmaker with twenty years of experience working in the entertainment business and the ad world. In feature film, he has writing credits with Universal, Paramount, Sony, and Fox, and a writing and directing credit with Lionsgate. In the world of independent film, he is one of the four original founders of the Slamdance Film Festival and currently serves as an Executive Board member of Slamdance, Inc. A shameless product pusher in the ad world, he has worked as a copywriter, creative director, and broadcast video director and producer for several notable brands and charitable organizations.  
As a college baseball player, he threw a fastball in the low 90s but his career was cut short by a Bull Durham strike zone. The Intern’s Handbook was his first novel. He lives with his wife and family in a bi-coastal/mountain migration pattern that includes Massachusetts, Colorado, Los Angeles, and San Francisco.

Angela Crowther is a retired scientist.  She has published many scientific papers but, as yet, no crime fiction.  In her spare time Angela belongs to a Handbell Ringing group, goes country dancing and enjoys listening to music, particularly the operas of Verdi and Wagner.

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