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Orphan X (Evan Smoak Series #1)
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Orphan X (Evan Smoak Series #1)

4.7 15
by Gregg Hurwitz

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“Brilliantly conceived and plotted … Read this book. You’ll thank me later.” -- David Baldacci

Who is Orphan X?

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


“Brilliantly conceived and plotted … Read this book. You’ll thank me later.” -- David Baldacci

Who is Orphan X?

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.

“Excellent…A smart, stylish, state-of-the-art thriller…might give Lee Child’s Jack Reacher books a run for their money.”—The Washington Post

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 an Orphan, an off-the-books black box program designed to create the perfect deniable intelligence asset: An assassin. Evan was Orphan X—until he broke with the program and used everything he learned to disappear. But now someone is on his tail. Someone with similar skills and training who will exploit Evan’s secret new identity as the Nowhere Man to eliminate him.

“Hurwitz melds nonstop action and high-tech gadgetry…in this excellent series opener.”
Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
★ 11/09/2015
Bestseller Hurwitz (Don’t Look Back) melds nonstop action and high-tech gadgetry with an acute character study in this excellent series opener. Evan Smoak, who was trained to be an assassin under the government’s secret Orphan Program, is now a rogue operator known as the Nowhere Man with a mission to help those in need. As payment, each of his clients refers him to another innocent person in trouble. But Evan becomes the hunted when he tries to help Katrin White, whose father will be killed unless she pays gambling debts. A sense of authenticity permeates the story, no matter how outlandish the tech toys or over-the-top the action. Evan is an electrifying character who chooses daily to do good. Run-ins with his L.A. condo board add a bit of levity while a growing relationship with neighbor Mia Hall and her eight-year-old son, Peter, reinforce that a normal life is just out of Evan’s reach. Movie rights were sold to Warner Bros. 100,000 first printing. Agent: Lisa Erbach Vance, Aaron Priest Literary Agency. (Jan.)
From the Publisher

“This isn't simply Hurwitz's 'best thriller yet' or 'a terrific new thriller'-Orphan X is an order-of-magnitude leap into stardom. It's the most exciting thriller I've read since The Bourne Identity. Fans of Jack Reacher, Mitch Rapp, and Jason Bourne will LOVE Evan Smoak, and the deadly, secret world of the Orphan Program. A new thriller superstar is born!” —Robert Crais

“What is Orphan X? A thrill-a-minute read with twists and turns galore. I'm looking forward to Evan Smoak's next adventure.” —Phillip Margolin

“Orphan X is the most gripping, high-octane thriller I've read in a long, long time. Hang onto your seat because Gregg Hurwitz will take you on a dizzying ride you'll not soon forget!” —Tess Gerritsen

“Gregg Hurwitz's Orphan X is his best yet -- a real celebration of all the strengths he brings to a thriller.” —Lee Child

“From the explosive opening where a boy begins his dramatic transformation, Orphan X blows the doors off most thrillers I've read and catapults the readers on a cat-and-mouse chase that feels like a missile launch. Brilliantly conceived and plotted, his character Evan Smoak, Orphan X, deserves his own niche in the thriller hero hall of fame. Read this book. You will thank me later.” —David Baldacci

“Orphan X is the most exciting new series character since Jack Reacher. And Reacher would love this guy. A page-turning masterpiece of suspense enriched by compassion and insight.” —Jonathan Kellerman

“Exciting and mind blowing! A perfect mix of Jason Bourne and Jack Reacher, ex operative Evan Smoak turns on the action and shows off all the right moves as he sets out to help the downtrodden, and perhaps save his own humanity along the way.” —Lisa Gardner

Library Journal
Evan Smoak is the Nowhere Man, trained as an assassin in a shadowy black box orphan program (he was Orphan X) and now dedicated to helping those with nowhere else to turn. Unfortunately, someone aware of his past is trailing him. First in a new series from the New York Times best-selling author.
Kirkus Reviews
Kicking off a new series, Hurwitz (Don't Look Back, 2014, etc.) sets young Evan Smoak, a one-time government assassin, to work as a pro bono equalizer—one call brings a criminal to justice. The 9/11 terror attacks made major bad guys targets for undercover termination, and so a darker-than-black government agency created the Orphan Program. That group trained throwaway kids as the world's most efficient assassins "for solo, offline covert operations." Then "drones changed everything," and the Orphans were left in limbo. Orphan X, Evan, decided to freelance, his impetus being his belief that his Orphan mentor (and substitute father), Jack Johns, was murdered. Soon, a Hezbollah arms chief, a dealer in fissile material, and a serial rapist receive Evan's justice. All it takes is a quick call to his victim's hotline, 1-855-2NOWHERE. Evan's back story arrives in short, scene-style chapters. The primary narrative follows Evan as he takes on new projects. His lair is a luxury Los Angeles condo, the atmosphere set by neighboring busybodies, where he has a secret vault with Google-level technology. Hurwitz offers a glimpse of Evan's modus operandi as the assassin eliminates a dirty cop coercing an immigrant teen into prostitution. Then the tale spins down into double crosses and duplicities as Evan becomes a target and other former Orphans enter the fray. High-tech gadgetry abounds—microscopic internal GPS transmitters, a "fully pixelated contact lens" for digital communication—but Evan is old school too, mastering esoteric Filipino, Japanese, and Indonesian martial arts. Hurwitz closes with an unexpected narrative left turn, but even though he's painted Evan adequately, including vague hints of possible romance with neighbor Mia, a widowed single mother, Evan will need another adventure or two before he grows into an empathetic hero. With his digital-age The Avenger, Hurwitz races by minor plot holes and spins a web of relentless intrigue with bursts of tensely sketched violence.

Product Details

St. Martin's Press
Publication date:
Evan Smoak Series , #1
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
6.40(w) x 9.40(h) x 1.30(d)

Meet the Author

GREGG HURWITZ is the New York Times bestselling author of thrillers including You’re Next and Orphan X. Critically acclaimed, Hurwitz is a two-time finalist for ITW’s Best Novel prize and a finalist for CWA’s Steel Dagger. In addition, Hurwitz is a screenwriter, TV producer, and comic book author. The first book in the Evan Smoak series, Orphan X, has been sold in twenty-one countries. Hurwitz, who lives in Los Angeles, is writing the screen adaption of Orphan X for Warner Brothers and Bradley Cooper.

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Orphan X 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 15 reviews.
Anonymous 6 months ago
I sort of just happened upon this book based on its best-seller status, and thought it sounded interesting. I was clueless!! The storyline was so intriguing, I stayed up all night and finished it in one sitting!! If you are a thriller fan, you'll enjoy this book. I havent read any of the author's other work, but I certainly plan to now. Id rate him right up there with Lee Child, Brad Thor, & better than David Baldacci.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great story, read in one day, could not put it down.
Anonymous 1 days ago
Anyone looking for a girl
Anonymous 1 days ago
Anyone here?
Anonymous 1 days ago
( panse<_>xual ) <br> Leo's fairly buzzed. He's at a party with his friends, and after several drinks their party games turned se<_>xual. "Leo!" someone cheers. "I dare you . . . to give your partner head in the closet!" Leo blushes bright red, but looks to his love questioningly.
Robynn 18 days ago
Great book!! I hated for this to end, it was so good and written so well. Love Evan and will continue reading this series. An excellent suspense and action book.
Anonymous 19 days ago
Anonymous 3 months ago
GratefulGrandma 4 months ago
Hold onto your seat for this thriller! When Evan was young, a man rescued him from the orphanage. He was living a tough life and was happy to go with him. The man, Jack John, became a surrogate father to Evan, he also became his handler. This was an off the books, black ops training program which took children from difficult life situations and taught them to be employed as assassins. He trained him in every imaginable form of self-defense, weaponry, meditation, hand-to-hand combat and intelligence. Evan became one of the best operatives in the Orphan Program. Evan took the last name of Smoak as they never used their real names. As far as the program was concerned, the Orphans were known only by letters—Evan became Orphan X. When the program was disbanded and Jack killed, Evan went into hiding. He grew restless and knew he needed to do something. Using the skills that Jack had taught him, wanting to honour Jack and help others, he became the Nowhere Man, the last resort for a person in desperate trouble. No one knows who the Nowhere Man is, but they know if they call him, he will help rescue them from a seemingly helpless situation. The only way someone can contact him is if he/she is given his contact information by the previous beneficiary of his services. Once they have passed on the number, there is no contact between them anymore. It's a lonely existence, but it is the only existence he knows. When he begins to have feelings for Mia, a single mother in his building and her young son, he is not sure what to do. He does not want to get involved, but he is pulled by the innocence and genuineness of both of them. When something goes awry with his latest client and he realizes that the sniper shooting at them in a restaurant is really after him, he is upset that he is put his newest client in danger. What happens next will keep you on the edge of your seat. I really liked Evan. He was caring and compassionate when he did not want to be, put himself out there to help others, was smart and did not give up. Mia and Peter were the relief in his life and were very likeable. Peter was a curious, funny yet very innocent. Mia had to be strong for Peter, but was just like the rest of us, vulnerable and let it out when she thought no one was around. The suspense was well written and kept you guessing right to the end. There was a little too much killing for my taste, which is why I gave it 4 stars and not 5, but it was an essential part of the plot. If you like thrillers with a lot of action and killing, you will love this book. Even though I am not a big fan of a lot of violence, I still liked it and am getting ready to read the next one in the Evan Smoak Series. The publisher generously provided me with a copy of this book via Netgalley.
Carstairs38 More than 1 year ago
You’ll Definitely Want to Meet Orphan X While I have enjoyed Gregg Hurwitz’s standalone thrillers, I’ve often wished I could revisit some of his characters in a series. He’s taken that leap back to series with Orphan X, and what a thrill ride it is. Evan Smoak was approached as a twelve-year-old and trained to become a top member of a program you’ve never heard of. Branded Orphan X, he was sent on multiple top secret assignments involving assassination and other black ops. As thanks, Evan has landed on most wanted lists the world over, including the USA. When Evan left the program, he set himself up in a fortress in Los Angeles. Now, he spends his time helping people get out of impossible situations. Only his newest client seems to be more than he bargained for. At their initial meetings, someone shoots up the restaurant where they are. Can Evan save her? Obviously, this is not the kind of book I normally pick up to read, but when I do pick up one of Gregg’s books, I never regret it because they are such fun. This one is no exception. Evan is a blast to be around. Okay, so he might be a bit of a superhero in some ways, but as the book goes along, we do see the human side of him, and I look forward to seeing him be fully fleshed out as the series continues. I can definitely see how that would happen given some of the supporting characters we meet in this book. They definitely have the potential to really draw Evan out, and they felt very real to me already. I was tempted to write off the beginning of the book as set up, but as the book continued I fully understood just how important it all was. And once Evan meets with the main client, things really take off and we never look back. This is a delightful ride that left me turning pages as quickly as I could. And that ending makes me wish the next in the series were out already. We get some flashbacks to Evan’s past that help set the scene for this book. They are sprinkled into the beginning of the book but never feel like they slow things down. The fact that they aren’t dumped on us all at once helps not break the pace of the current story. Evan Smoak may be larger than life, but he is going to be a fun character to revisit. Orphan X will leave you breathless for his next adventure.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Excellent. His books are always the best. Hated for it to end.
pmm1963 More than 1 year ago
I loved every page of this book and wish I could give it more than 5 stars. Was reluctant to read it at first as it had been hyped as being so crazy good that I was worried about too much of a build up and being disappointed. It lives up to everything I'd heard about it. At the age of 12, Evan Smoak was removed from an orphanage and went thru some very specialized training. He has since left that life and is simply trying to help people with his set of specialized skills and live an unnoticed life. He has succeeded at this for several years but the past has caught up with him. The book mixes his current life with memories of his childhood and the training he received. The pace of the book is great and it was so much fun to read. I'm torn now between worrying that the next book in the series can't possibly live up to this book and desperate for the next book to come out as I can't wait to read it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Page turner! Readit in 3 days!
tlcaz1 More than 1 year ago
One of the Best Books I've Read In Awhile!!! Gregg Hurwitz's, "Orphan X" is a book I could not put down! It's well written, fast-paced, and filled with neat gadgets. I highly recommend this book!
Twink More than 1 year ago
I've enjoyed a number of Gregg Hurwitz's previous books - he has penned quite a few page turning thrillers. His latest book, Orphan X, has just released. It's the first in a planned series - and I'd say it's off to a great start! Evan was plucked from an orphanage at twelve by a shadowy arm of the US government - a covert group runs The Orphan Program. Their mandate? To train assassins. Evan was one of the most successful 'graduates' of the program - until he'd had enough and decided to disappear. Now, he uses his skill set to help those who can't help themselves - he's The Nowhere Man. And that was working - until his past decided to catch up with him. Now, someone has turned the tables and is trying to kill him.... Evan is a strong protagonist - skilled, resourceful, driven - all the characteristics that an action driven lead should possess. But there is a flip side to Evan - he does have a conscience and is determined to protect 'innocents'. It is this flip side that allows the reader to like Evan and hope that he escapes whoever is pursuing him. And what a pursuit! Action and more action! And all of drawn and depicted so clearly that I could easily picture it in my mind. Hurwitz has done his research as well - there were numerous technological tools and obscure skills used that were well detailed. The story isn't straight forward though - who he can trust is a problem for Evan. Are the innocents he's trying to protect really what they claim? Or are they the assassins sent to kill him? The twists of the plot kept me guessing until the final chapters. The book ends on a nice little unexpected scene that just whets the reader's appetite for the next in the series. If you enjoy the Jason Bourne and Jack Reacher novels, will enjoy this one. The movie rights to Orphan X have already been snapped up - Bradley Cooper to produce.