By the Book

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By the Book
Game GTA V
For Steve Haines
Target Tahir Javan
Location Chumash
Fail Assassinate the wrong target
Unlocked by Three's Company

By the Book is a mission in Grand Theft Auto V, given by Steve Haines to Michael De Santa and Trevor Philips. This mission generated significant real-world controversy regarding its use of torture.


The mission is triggered automatically via a phone call from Agent Haines. Agent Haines tells either protagonist to meet him at a warehouse off Dutch London Street in Banning. If the player arrives as Trevor, Michael is waiting outside smoking a cigarette. Trevor tells Michael that he needs to give up smoking and instead take up speed. If the player arrives as Michael, Trevor is seen defecating behind a dumpster. Michael asks what's wrong with Trevor, to which he responds by saying he had abandonment issues.

After going inside the warehouse, Trevor and Michael meet Agent Haines' friend Devin Weston, CEO of Merryweather Security Consulting, as he is leaving. Trevor then approaches Dave Norton, asking him where did they meet. Michael asks Agent Haines why he and Trevor are here, and Agent Haines brings Mr. K, the man that Michael and Trevor kidnapped earlier, into the room. Agents Haines and Norton believe that Mr. K is a Azerbaijani spy and is withholding information valuable to the FIB; however, Mr. K denies that he knows anything. Agent Haines restrains Mr. K to a chair, preps various tools for torture, and hooks a heart monitor up to Mr. K. Mr. K reveals that the man the FIB is looking for lives in Rockford Hills and works at the Azerbaijani consulate.

Michael and Agent Norton drive to Rockford Hills to locate and assassinate the target while Trevor and Agent Haines remain at the warehouse to torture and interrogate Mr. K. On the way, Michael asks Agent Norton if Agent Haines is going to be a problem, to which Agent Norton says yes but there is nothing they can do about it. Michael tells Agent Norton that keeping secrets is difficult since Trevor is now working with them. Upon arriving at the house in Rockford Hills, Michael and Agent Norton find a reality show is being filmed there and not their intended target. Agent Norton calls Haines to tell him that they have a false lead and asks for a new address.

The game then shifts back to the warehouse where Trevor is selecting a torture method. The player can either waterboard Mr. K with the Jerry Can, pull Mr. K's tooth with the pliers, hit Mr. K in the kneecap or crotch with the monkey wrench, or electrocute Mr. K with the jumper cables hooked to a car battery. The player may perform tortures in any order desired; however, the player must monitor Mr. K's health and heart rate on the ECG monitor during the torture procedure. If Mr. K's heart stops at any time, the player must use the adrenaline shot to revive him.

After the first torture session, Agent Haines asks Mr. K about Tahir Javan. Mr K states that Javan lives in Chumash on the Western Highway. The game shifts back to Michael and Agent Norton, who are at a coffee shop waiting for the new address. On the way to Chumash, Michael states that Trevor is now as much as a problem for Agent Norton as he is for Michael. Agent Norton reveals to Michael that he posed as the late Bradley Snider to maintain the illusion that he is still alive. Michael and Agent Norton set up across the road from Javan's beach house. Michael asks for a description of the target, leading to another torture session at the warehouse. Mr. K tells Haines that Javan is average height, average build, and middle aged. Michael states that the description given is too generic as Javan is having a party at his house and no one in particular stands out enough. After a third torture session, Mr. K reveals that Javan has a bushy beard. Michael states that the description is still too generic, as many of the party-goers have beards. After the final torture session, Mr. K states that Javan is a chain smoker and left handed. Michael finds the target, smoking by himself. After Michael kills Javan, Agent Haines tells Trevor to kill Mr. K as he has outlived his usefulness; however, Trevor instead frees him and takes him to Los Santos International Airport. Trevor states that Mr K. cannot see his family anymore and leaving Los Santos is the best option.

Secondary objectives

Objective Description
Don't Stop Me Now Complete the mission without Mr K's heart stopping.
Electrocutioner Electrocute Mr. K with the jumper cables.
The Tooth Hurts Pull Mr. K's tooth with the pliers.
Wrenched Hit Mr. K with the monkey wrench.
It's Legal! Waterboard Mr. K with the jerry can.

Video walkthrough

Xbox 360 Version - GTASeriesVideos