Book Review | Murder Your Employer

How many watch lists do you think this author is on after doing research for this book? It’s got to be more than one.

In Murder Your Employer, Cliff Iverson is fed up with his employer. More than that, he knows that the man is cutting corners on their latest project, which could cause the deaths of innocent people. And he’s already led to the suicide of one of Cliff’s coworkers who he cared deeply about. So Cliff decides it’s time for retribution. But his botched attempt at ridding the world of his awful boss Fiedler lands him in trouble, probably a prison sentence—until the cops who catch him reveal themselves to be alumni of a prestigious secret school: McMasters, which educates people in the art of “deletion.” They don’t like the term “murder” there. Cliff soon finds himself at this school to learn how to properly eliminate his terrible boss. However, this school is cutthroat, and Cliff wonders if he has what it takes at a place where dropping out isn’t an option, though of course, dropping dead is.

So this book was weird. As you might imagine.

There are lots of clever things, especially at the McMasters school. The class names, the entire setup of the place, and the methods, are full of dark humor and wit. I actually found it really intriguing to get to know this place, and I wish that we had spent more time at the school, rather than focusing on the outside world as much as we did. It’s a bizarre, insular location full of secrecy and scheming, and the scenes there were the most engaging parts of the book.

However, plenty of the scenes set outside McMasters were fine, too. I enjoyed (if that’s the right word) being along for the ride to watch how Cliff’s new plot played out. And there are a couple of other schemes happening at the same time, each with their own backstories and development. But there are a lot of characters to keep track of, especially in the last act of the book, and it was a little confusing at times. I thought the main characters Cliff, Gemma, and Doria were well-written enough, enjoyed getting to know the McMasters headmaster, and found their targets appropriately despicable, but no one jumped out at me as a character that I truly liked. Well, maybe Gemma.

I also thought that some of the narration was strange. Some scenes that could easily have been from Cliff’s point of view (in the form of his journal entries) were narrated by a third party. It felt strange to sometimes hear directly from Cliff and sometimes from someone else, when there was no solid reason for this change. Not to say that the audiobook narrators didn’t do a wonderful job, because they did. It was just a weird thing that I felt was inconsistent. Either have all Cliff’s scenes narrated by him, or don’t.

On a more positive note, though, I think having Cliff tell (some of) his story through diary entries was a good one. It feels very conversational, and although it is perhaps a bit of a lazy way of providing exposition, I found it entertaining. I also liked the revelation about who he’s writing to; I thought that was well done.

In the end, Murder Your Employer was fine, but weird, but entertaining, but conflicting. I can’t really decide my opinion on it overall. The writing is decent, lots of the quips and concepts are clever, and the murders are well thought-out, whether they work or not. The characters are fine, but not very likable. The story is engaging enough. All in all, quite a mixed bag. The audio version is excellent, though; great performances. But yes, generally I feel rather neutral about this one.

On a separate note, if you want proof that humanity contains multitudes, this book is written by the same man who made the song “Escape (The Piña Colada Song).”

Murder Your Employer is available now!

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