Orphan X by Gregg Hurwitz

Description:  The Nowhere Man is a legendary figure spoken about only in whispers. It’s said that when he’s reached by the truly desperate and deserving, the Nowhere Man can and will do anything to protect and save them.
But he’s not merely a legend.
Evan Smoak is a man with skills, resources, and a personal mission to help those with nowhere else to turn. He’s also a man with a dangerous past. Chosen as a child, he was raised and trained as part of the off-the-books black box Orphan program, designed to create the perfect deniable intelligence assets—i.e. assassins. He was Orphan X. Evan broke with the program, using everything he learned to disappear.
Now, however, someone is on his tail. Someone with similar skills and training. Someone who knows Orphan X. Someone who is getting closer and closer. And will exploit Evan’s weakness—his work as The Nowhere Man—to find him and eliminate him. Grabbing the reader from the very first page, Orphan X is a masterful thriller, the first in Gregg Hurwitz’s electrifying new series featuring Evan Smoak.

I’ve been a fan of Gregg Hurwitz since his first book, The Tower came out in 1999. I was drawn in by an outstanding premise and a page-turning thriller. Even though the book had some flaws, it was clear that this was a very talented writer. Fast forward to 2016 and Hurwitz is one of the best writers in the business and Orphan X with its hero, Evan Smoak is one of the best books out this year.

Hurwitz has always been a master of inventive plots and breakneck action. Orphan X has that in spades. Evan Smoak is one of my favorite new characters. An orphan plucked from the streets and trained in isolation as part of a covert organization that may or may not be tied to the U.S. Government. Evan grows up to be one of the organization’s most skilled and deadly operatives. When he learns that the jobs he’s been ordered to do may not be as righteous as he had believed, he takes all the skills he’s acquired and disappears, choosing to use his skills to help those who have nowhere else to turn. He becomes “The Nowhere Man”. When one of those jobs puts him back on the radar of the organization he left behind, it’s going to take everything he’s got just to stay alive.

Orphan X is the best thriller I’ve read this year. Evan Smoak is a larger than life character who is smart, skilled and deadly. The supporting characters are equally fleshed out and Smoak’s opponents are clearly competent and dangerous making for realistically exciting clashes. The book moves along at a breakneck pace that makes you hold your breath as the suspense builds before the action explodes across the pages. Hurwitz works in enough of Smoak’s backstory to let you catch your breath before the next leap forward in the action. Reading this book will make you feel like you are seeing Ian Fleming’s James Bond or Lee Child’s Jack Reacher for the first time.

If you like larger-than-life heroes and plenty of action, pick up Orphan X. You won’t be disappointed. I can’t wait to read the next book. Highly recommended.

I was fortunate to receive an advance copy of this book.


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