* A Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, USA Today, and Publishers Weekly Bestseller *
“Read the Orphan X series. You’ll thank me later." David Baldacci
The New York Times bestselling Orphan X returns - just when Evan Smoak thinks he's done, his deadliest job yet pulls him back Into The Fire...
Evan Smoak lives by his own code.
Once he was known as Orphan X. Trained as an off-the-books government assassin and spoken about only in whispers, Evan Smoak was one of the most talented – and most feared – men in the Program. But he broke free and reinvented himself as The Nowhere Man, a figure shrouded in mystery, known for helping the truly desperate.
If anyone is truly desperate, it’s Max Merriweather.
Max is at the end of his rope. His cousin has been brutally murdered, leaving Max an envelope that contains nothing but a mysterious key. However, someone really wants that key, badly enough that Max – and anyone he turns to – is in deadly danger. What seems like a simple job for The Nowhere Man turns out to be anything but. Behind every threat he takes out, a deadlier one emerges and Evan Smoak must put himself in greater danger than ever before as he heads once more Into The Fire.
About the Author
GREGG HURWITZ is the New York Times bestselling author of the Orphan X books, including Out of the Dark. Critically acclaimed, his novels have graced top ten lists and have been published in 22 languages. Additionally, he’s written screenplays for and sold scripts to many of the major studios, and written, developed, and produced television for various networks. Hurwitz resides in Los Angeles.
Read an Excerpt
The industrial sliding doors heaved open to a burst of bitter alpine air, a dizzying flurry of snow, and a barrage of hoarse cries. "Hello — goddamn it — somebody help! He's bad. He's really — oh, Jesus, wake up, Grant. Please, just — Someone help!"
From the blurry white, Terzian emerged, lugging his injured companion into the waiting room. Grant's head lolled to one side, and the arm slung over Terzian's neck was limp. The toes of his rubber boots dragged across the hospital tiles, squeaking at intervals.
The intake nurse bolted off her stool, already reaching for the intercom to rouse Dr. Patel from her cot in the on-call room. The urgent-care facility was a one-doc shop — six beds, two nurses, a single ER physician now at the midpoint of her forty-eight-hour shift. Strategically positioned on the steep mountain road between the lake resorts of Big Bear and Arrowhead, the skeleton-crew operation serviced adventuresome souls damaged by the vicissitudes of weather or their own basic human stupidity. Torn ACLs from unyielding skis, ulnas shattered by lost footing on black ice, collarbones obliterated against steering columns — these were the bread-and-butter afflictions mended within the facility's weather-battered walls.
Grant's injury looked much more severe.
The intake nurse flew out from behind her station, and Jenna, the staff nurse, was running up the hall toward them with a gurney. Dr. Patel jogged behind her, flattening her stethoscope to her chest with a palm to keep it from bouncing. Though her eyes were heavy with sleep, she looked ready to work, her teal scrub sleeves hiked up over her shoulders.
"Let's get him horizontal now," she said, digging in her breast pocket for a penlight.
The nurses stepped to the patient, and he slipped from Terzian's shoulder into their arms. They puddled him onto the gurney. Though the doors had slid closed again, November air still swirled in the lobby, tasting of pine.
Dr. Patel rapid-fired questions: "What's his name?"
"Grant. Grant Merriweather."
"And you are?"
"Terzian. His friend."
"He was driving, lost control — the slush — and ... and ... next thing I knew, we were over the edge, right out there —" With a wobbly finger, he pointed through the wall. "We hit a tree, and he was like this. I had to pull him out. Thank God you were so close. It's like a miracle."
"Left pupil blown and unreactive." Patel clicked off her penlight. "Epidural hematoma."
"Wait — what? What's that mean?"
"He's got a bleed in his brain. There's too much pressure. We need to CT him — now."
"You have to save him. You have to save him."
The gurney wheels rattled as the three women, trailed by Terzian, sprinted into an adjoining room and fed Grant Merriweather's body into the massive white tunnel. He started posturing, his muscles stiffening, limbs straining. His dilated pupil looked unhuman, the halved marble of a stuffed animal's eye.
As the machine whirred calmingly, Terzian tore off his jacket. Sweat darkened the cuffs of his long-sleeved T-shirt. He stomped from foot to foot, yanking at his sleeves, his untucked shirt swaying. Sweat filmed his forehead, and he was breathing hard, the air thin here at seven thousand feet above sea level.
Jenna placed a hand on his back. "We're gonna take good care of him."
Dr. Patel was over by the monitors, reading the images. "We got midline shift, the brain pushed to the right side. Sheila, call for a medical airlift. We have to get him to a brain center — Cedars or UCLA."
"Wait, you can't take him," Terzian said. "You can't just take him."
Patel ignored him. "Jenna, get me the surgical drill."
Jenna hesitated. "You're gonna drill a burr hole? Are we set up for that?"
"No. But if we don't get some of this pressure relieved, he's not gonna make it to the city." Patel's dark eyes darted to Terzian. "And get him outside. Sir, I need you outside."
But Jenna was already gone.
"Is this gonna wake him up?" Terzian asked.
"It might. Outside, please, sir. We have to take care of your friend."
Terzian backpedaled through the swinging door as Jenna rushed in with the surgical drill. She handed it off and then slid trauma shears up the front of Grant's sweatshirt, getting access to his chest in the event they'd have to jump him. She zippered up one leg of his jeans before Patel said, "Wait. It'll have to wait. Hold his head."
The doctor readied the cranial perforator, then placed the drill bit three centimeters above the left ear, revved up the motor, and punched a hole through the parietal bone.
Blood drooled out, and then Grant's eyelids fluttered. He moaned and moaned again. "P-please ..." he mumbled.
Jenna peeled back Grant's shirt, and her hand went to her mouth. "Doctor? Doctor?"
Patel looked down at the wounds puckering Grant's chest and stomach. More knots of shiny, angry flesh dotted the visible part of his thigh.
They heard the rasp of the door, and then Sheila breezed in. "The medevac's en route from —" She read Patel's face, went up on tiptoes to peer at the patient, the words sucked from her mouth.
"This man wasn't in a car crash," Patel said slowly. "He was tortured."
"Please," Grant mumbled again. "M-make it stop."
The door rasped again.
A shadow darkened the air at Sheila's shoulder.
For a split second, the women remained frozen, afraid to move. Then they turned in concert.
Terzian's suppressed pistol pipped three times.
A hat trick of head shots.
The women collapsed, jerked down as if pulled by unseen hands. They hit the floor at once, clearing Terzian's view to Grant Merriweather.
Terzian's affect had changed entirely. Not a ripple of distress stirred the surface of his face. He held the barrel steady, sighted now at Grant's groin. Half-moons of sweat darkened his shirt beneath either arm; controlling a grown man while wrangling electrical cables and clamps required a fair amount of exertion.
Terzian's cuffs had ridden up past the bulges of his forearms, revealing where he'd carved patterns into his skin, the scarification process leaving his flesh textured elaborately. Rose-colored divots scalloped the rich brown skin where Old English lettering spelled out his nickname: THE TERROR.
He spoke now with his true voice, the accent seeping through, rounding the vowels, rolling the r's.
"Give me the name," he said calmly. "Or it begins all over again. But worse."
Grant cupped his hand to the side of his head with disbelief. He looked at his palm, sticky and dark.
"The name," Terzian said once more.
Grant blinked against watering eyes. A shuddering breath left him, the sound of defeat. "My cousin," he said. "Max Merriweather."
Terzian put a round through the hole Dr. Patel had conveniently drilled for him.
Unscrewing the suppressor from the threaded barrel, he pocketed it. Then he stooped to pick his jacket up off the floor. In the far distance, the sound of the medevac came barely audible over the moan of the wind.
Pulling on his jacket, he stepped over the bodies and shouldered out through the swinging door.CHAPTER 2
Puzzles He Didn't Know How to Solve
At the Fuller Street trailhead of Runyon Canyon, Max Merriweather stitched his hands together behind him and leaned forward to stretch out his lower back, where thirty- three years of wear and tear had taken roost. Hikers were out in force, gay couples and aggressively fit moms, dog walkers and the occasional celebrity in oversize sunglasses and a don't-notice-me slouch beanie. To the west the sun coasted down behind a bank of clouds, fuchsia embers warming up into a sunset.
The older he got, the more life seemed to present him with puzzles he didn't know how to solve. Holding down steady work. Stashing away money. And Violet.
Two years and seven months later and he still couldn't think of Violet without feeling it in his chest, a ping to the soft tissue.
He knew he wore the weight of it in his face, in the knots of his shoulders, in the stiffness of his back. These days people looked at him like they didn't want him to rub off on them. He couldn't blame them. He didn't want to rub off on himself.
Oh, well. As his old man said, A whole lotta folks do better with worse.
The breeze blew sage and chaparral, the dusty scent of the Santa Monica Mountains when you got away from the asphalt and car exhaust. Max started up the trail, nearing a homeless guy five layers deep in rags. The man seemed to grow out from the base of the fence, an organism composed of tattered cardboard, scraps of bedding, and dirt-caked flesh. Swollen legs protruded from a shabby blanket, the skin the same color as the fabric, the dirt. His feet were bare, the soles cracked like shattered plastic. A pit bull mix was curled up beside him, his snout scarred like the hull of an old ship — probably a dogfight rescue.
The man rattled some coins in a chewed Fatburger cup. "Help a guy out?"
Max said, "We all got it rough, pal."
The man nodded sagely. "Ain't that the truth."
Max jogged up the trail, weaving through the post-workday rush. Designer mini-dogs trotted on bejeweled leashes. Rihanna blared from Beats headphones. A few young guys moved together like a pride of lions, their hair cut in Mad Men parts, negotiating deals too loudly on their phones. A silver-haired husband and wife held hands and looked as content as anyone Max had ever seen outside a TV commercial.
He reached Inspiration Point and took in the downtown skyline miles to the southeast. The scrubby trail brush in the foreground framed the urban sprawl beyond, a snapshot of Los Angeles in all its rangy glory.
Violet had always loved this view. And now this was the closest to her he could get.
A mom nudged up beside him with an off-road stroller rugged enough to have been designed by the United States Army. Behind dark mesh a baby cooed, and Max turned quickly away.
He ran back down even harder.
As he passed through the gate, he heard the homeless guy rattle his few coins and call out to the pride of young men.
The loudest of the bunch muted his phone against his chest. "Quit bugging everyone, dude. You're a joke."
The homeless guy said, "Then help me not be a joke."
The young man laughed, white teeth flashing, and pointed at him. "Nice try, bud. Nice try."
Max walked up the street to where he'd left his truck, a TrailBlazer with rust patches eating through the wheel wells. He had to climb in across the passenger seat because a tap- and-run months back had dented in the driver's door.
He sat for a moment, hands on the steering wheel. He thought of the homeless guy back by the fence, those painful deep cracks running through the soles of his blackened feet. Help me not be a joke.
He turned the truck on but couldn't bring himself to tug the gearshift into drive.
A whole lotta folks do better with worse.
Defeated, he cut the engine and climbed out over the console. He headed back toward the trailhead.
Three minutes later he returned.
From the truck bed, he pulled out a dirty pair of socks and his work boots, worn from his by-the-day construction gig. When he crawled back behind the wheel, his phone chimed in the glove box.
He popped open the antique clamshell he'd been using ever since he fell behind on the payments for his iPhone.
A text from his father waited: YOUR COUSIN GRANT WAS KILLED LAST NIGHT. FIGURED YOU SHOULD KNOW.
Max lowered his face, took a few deep breaths, his hand clammy around the phone. Then he shoved the truck into gear, the transmission complaining, and headed into whatever the day held.
As Max drove up to his apartment on the last street in Culver City still unclaimed by gentrification, he reminded himself: He didn't know anything about anything.
This seemed true in general. But specifically it meant that he didn't — shouldn't — have to worry about the nonsense that Grant had saddled him with two months ago.
He recalled the scene with the clarity reserved for painful memories. Golden Boy Grant, the pride and joy of the Merriweathers, paying his first visit to Max's shitty second- floor apartment, standing on the worn carpet in a thousand- dollar suit so he wouldn't have to sit on the stained couch. Grant, whose exploits and accomplishments Max heard about at every infrequent brush with a family member. Grant, the forensic accountant, certified in internal auditing, business evaluation, fraud examination, financial forensics, and God knew what else, the licensure initials appended to his signature even on the family fucking Christmas card. Grant, caped investigator of misfeasance, who scoured the books at the behest of insurance companies, police departments, attorneys, banks, courts, government regulatory bodies, and the occasional private citizen. Grant of the rugged good looks, the strong chin, of the spit-shined wing tips and high-precision haircut. "Exactitude is my business," he'd told Max on more than one occasion. And indeed, sprawled on his inferior couch, Max noted that he could probably cut himself on the crease of his cousin's slacks.
Grant handed him a canary-yellow envelope and said, "If anything ever happens to me, call the number inside."
Max said, "You serious with this Hitchcock routine?"
Max swallowed dryly and said, "Whose number is it?"
"A reporter at the L.A. Times. Don't trust this to anyone but her. Promise me."
"What's up with you, Grant?"
Grant laughed. "Nothing. Nothing's gonna happen to me. Look, I deal with some heavy hitters. And I've taken down my share of shady characters. I just want to make sure I have ..." He paused, no doubt selecting his next word with that legendary exactitude. "Insurance. In case one day I kick over the wrong rock. It's not the kind of thing you'd come across in your ..." Another exactitudinous pause. "Line of work. But as you said, you've seen stuff like this before in the movies."
In the movies, Max thought, this shit always worked out. The hero prepares his in - the - event - of - my - death file to disincentivize anyone from whacking him in a dark alley. Then he wades brashly into the conspiracy and outs the bad guys, saving the day. And no one has to waste a single thought on the schmuck holding the insurance envelope.
But this wasn't the movies, and if Max had learned one thing from real life, it was that it didn't go as well as cinematic bullshit.
He looked down at the holes worn through the knees of his jeans, sawdust still caught in the white harp strings of denim. "I don't know, man. This cloak-and-dagger stuff isn't really my thing."
"Come on, Max," Grant said, like he was talking to a kid or a dense customer-service specialist. "For once in your life, maybe step up, shoulder some responsibility."
A stiletto to the gut. It took Max a few seconds to breathe again. He kept his eyes lowered, not wanting to let Grant see how devastatingly effective his neat little salvo had been. He imagined that Grant had rehearsed it a time or two in the mirror at his health club.
Max studied his hands. "What about Jill?"
"My wife's not exactly a safe distance removed from me. Or my family. The thing with you is, no one will ever know. I mean, no one would ever think of you."
Max said, "Right."
"You know what I mean. Now, please, Max." Grant considered his Breitling. "I have to get back to the office. Can I count on you?"
Max picked at a ragged edge of thumbnail where he'd nicked it in a band saw. Without looking up, he held out his hand. "I promise."
"Great. Thanks so much." Grant almost seemed sincere. "Thanks, Mighty Max."
That brought him back. Five years old at a family picnic at Point Dume, and Max had built the tallest sand castle. Then he'd Godzilla-stomped his way through it, and everyone had laughed and pointed, even his old man, and Grant had bestowed on him the nickname. A brief, shining moment when he'd been the pride of the Merriweathers.
Grant stepped forward and slapped the stiff canary-yellow envelope into Max's palm. Something jangled inside, small but solid.
A waft of expensive cologne and Grant was gone.
Nothing's gonna happen to me.
Parked at the curb now, Max recalled how long he'd sat there holding the envelope. How he'd duct-taped it behind his toilet tank before leaving to line up with the hardworking Hispanic day laborers outside Home Depot, hoping to be picked.
He pulled out his clamshell phone and read the last text exchange once again in case it had magically rewritten itself in the past fifteen minutes.
Me: How'd he die?
Dad: Guess he was shot. Prob'ly one of the bad guys he had under the magnifying glass. A damn shame. Always the good ones who go young.
Pocketing the phone, Max started to climb out of his truck, but then he looked up and halted on all fours on the passenger seat. Up on the second floor of his building, the perennially unshaven and surnameless Mr. Omar had just emerged from his apartment to head to Max's place next door. He shuffled through the jaundiced beams thrown from the outdoor hallway's overhead lights. When he reached Max's door, he knocked with considerable force.(Continues…)
Excerpted from "Into The Fire"
Copyright © 2020 Gregg Hurwitz.
Excerpted by permission of St. Martin's Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
1: The Terror,
2: Puzzles He Didn't Know How to Solve,
4: A Healthy Touch of Paranoia,
5: Social Environment,
6: So Much More to Wreck,
7: Like Torn Rubber,
9: Bedside Manner,
10: Area of Expertise,
11: Much More Force, Very Specifically Directed,
12: A Thousand Brittle Pieces,
13: The Badness of My Heart,
14: Take Names,
15: Predacious Douchenozzle,
16: System Overload,
17: Right Side Up and Upside Down,
18: The Terrible Intimacy of the Mundane,
19: Not That Fight,
20: Living Plaything,
21: I Know What You Did,
22: Not Yet,
23: The Snack Docent,
25: An Unusually Painful Slip,
26: Small Talk,
27: The Edge of Visibility,
28: Eleventh-Hour Surprise,
29: A Man Moves Through the Night,
30: Trapped Sweat and Spilled Blood,
31: The Whole Story,
32: Awful Shit,
34: Nightmare Scenario,
35: Into the Lion's Mouth,
38: Worse to Come,
39: No Margin for Error,
40: Your Average Lowlife,
41: Your Usual Four-Alarm Emergency,
42: A Nice Visible Presence,
43: Arrangements of a Muscular Nature,
45: Deploying a Mop-Based Weapon,
46: Some Martha Stewart Shit,
47: Kill You Tonight,
48: I Saw What You Did,
49: An Orphan's Best Friend,
50: Contingency Plans to Our Contingency Plans,
51: A Troubled Son of a Bitch,
52: Last Resort,
55: An Elaborate Piece of Business,
56: The Fucking Mary Kay Lady,
57: Taking Steps,
58: Beautiful, Furtive Choreography,
59: Guardian Angel,
60: Fly Away,
61: Speechless Terror,
62: God or Fate or Whoever Runs the Universe,
63: Tipping Point,
64: A Forever Fall,
Also by Gregg Hurwitz,
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
please tell me #6 is in the works ! I've read them all loved them all and INTO THE FIRE has been my favorite ! it's a book you can't stop reading but never want to end ! !
Amazing from beginning to end!!
Max has a problem. His forensic accountant brother, Grant, has given him a sealed envelope. He instructs Max to give it to a reporter if anything strange happens to him. The problem occurs when Grant is a victim of a professional hit. And the reporter is permanently unavailable. That forces Max out of the frying pan and Into the Fire. Only Evan, formerly Orphan X but now the Nowhere Man, can help. Into the Fire is the fifth book in the Orphan X series. I have only read the first book but was able to pick up what had happened earlier without issue. It makes a fine standalone. Basically, Evan was an orphan groomed to be a black operator for the US government. However, he went rogue and now helps people escape impossible situations. Per Evan, “one last mission and he was out.” And that mission is Max. I enjoyed this covert underworld thriller as much as the first book in the series. It has believable characters dealing with extraordinary circumstances. The reader begins to think about what they would do if they were in the same situation. Especially wondering if they could create a nursemaid’s elbow with a quick twist and jab to the forearm. Ahem, I digress. This thriller is an exciting pulse-pounding read. It is highly recommended for all thriller readers. 5 stars! Thanks to Minotaur Books and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for my honest review.
Couldn't wait to read this next book in the series. It did not disappoint. Had me in the edge of my seat. Couldn't put it down. When does the motion picture of this series come out!!!!!!
Orphan X is out there, and better than ever! “Into the Fire” was a terrific reading experience and I enthusiastically recommend it all fans of the suspense thriller genre. It’s an action-packed and visceral experience, at the same time it’s full of heart with a truly endearing hero. I look forward to Gregg Hurwitz continuing this series for many years to come and can’t wait to find out what becomes of the Nowhere Man.
A good series to read
DO NOT miss reading this book! Gregg Hurwitz comes thru with 5 stars - would give him 10 if I could. I have tried to pace myself reading this as I don't want it to end so fast. I love Evan Smoak.....my hero. When I finish the book, I can't wait for the next. Not revealing the plot here.....just know you will have missed the best if you don't read it.
Into the Fire by Gregg Hurwitz is the fifth book in his Orphan X series. This latest offering is a thriller of the first order. Orphan X continues his exciting personal missions. Evan Smoak, the operative formerly known as Orphan X, ditched the covert Orphan Program but kept his other alias, the Nowhere Man, and now devotes himself to helping people in dire circumstances. His clients reach him by calling a little-known number, 1-855-2-NOWHERE. Each client is tasked to pay it forward and pass his number to someone else in desperate need. Trevon Gaines, Evan’s last client, honors the agreement and passes the number to an apparently desperate, Max Merriweather. Max’s cousin, Grant Merriweather, left him information that someone is willing to kill for. Evan just has to determine what the information is and who’s willing to kill to get it. Though part of a series, this novel works well as a standalone, but background from the previous books is helpful in understanding the mindset of the main character. Hurwitz has created a captivating cast of new and recurring characters with complete backstories. These characters are complex but not confusing. Thus, characterization is my favorite element of this novel and the series. The plot is fully engaging with twists that are far from predictable. Into the Fire is a complete success. I give it 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it to lovers of thrillers with political intrigue and constant action. There is some violence but not enough to deter the average reader, though the very squeamish may be offended. My thanks to St. Martin’s Press and NetGalley for the opportunity to read an advance copy of this book. However, the opinions expressed in this review are 100% mine and mine alone.
Another great Orphan X book. I hope he doesn't stop !
Once I picked up this 5th and perhaps the end of the Nowhere Man as we have come to know and love him, the pages began to fly. I became fully immersed in the world of Evan Smoak, who was on another mission to help someone who by unfortunate circumstances needed his help immensely. I think this could be a standalone as enough background information is given but it would be a much richer experience if you begin with his first novel Orphan X.The pacing is spot on and I found it taut, gripping and pulse racing ..in other words, another thriller of the highest order. Dive in right away to see why Hurwitz is such a master of this genre.
This is a fast paced, action packed, mystery adventure thriller. The action begins all at once and never lets up. This is a book in a series but it works well as a stand alone. I hadn’t read the other books but that was okay. I will probably go back and read the previous books. Max Merriwether’s perfect cousin has been brutally murdered but before that he gave Max an envelope containing a mysterious key. People are after Max and that key. A stranger tells him if he needs help he should call the Nowhere Man or Orphan X. Orphan X or Evan Stoak, was an orphan recruited and trained to handle Max’s type of problem. He is trying to atone for past jobs and agrees to help Max. Every time he thinks he has solved the problem, another team attacks and it is up to X to complete this one last mission. I really liked this. The characters were well thought out and true to form. The story line was believable and raced along. My only complaint was the elaborate descriptions of the weaponry but I guess, some readers like that. Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for giving me an ARC in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.
Gregg Hurwitz knows how to write a story that keeps you interested! This is a story that is a bit different, one that isn't the same oh murder mystery. I was not familiar with his writing but I will look up the other books Orphan X and Nowhere Man and others now and read them. This story is about a man, Evan known as Orphan X, who was wronged big time as an orphan child and molded, formed and trained to be a killing machine. Now he wants a new way of life, he wants to help others who are unable to save themselves. All in absolute secret. He learns of Max who is in desperate need of protection, someone is determined to kill him. He decides to help Max. This new mission proves different than any he has ever been involved with. This one won't end. This one will take all he's ever learned and just maybe more than he can handle. A corruption that is so deep it goes in places and a depth you would never guess. The determination and tenacity of Evan as he peels back layer upon layer of evil as he tries to save Max's life, will it cost him his? Thank you NetGalley, Minotaur Books And Gregg Hurwitz for allowing me to read this book. This is my honest opinion I hope you read this and the others! You will like them if you like this genre.
This is my first foray into the Orphan X world and I am hooked. This is truly a page turning story that will make you set aside anything else you have to do and just keep reading. When X gets a call for help, he once again drops everything and goes to work. Max is way over his head and doesn’t quite understand how his life has taken such a drastic turn. Joey is a delightful character, who gets a new canine sidekick she names a Dog. This story is intense as X gets closer to the top of the pile of bad actors he has to take bigger risks to get rid of them. The characters are unique and bring just the right amount of edginess to the story. The author does a great job of building the scenes and the drama. This is definitely a top notch story that will keep you going back for more.
Evan Smoak returns as the Nowhere Man in Gregg Hurwitz’ latest Orphan novel. Raised in the covert Orphan program from the age of twelve, he was trained as an assassin and designated Orphan X. After escaping from the program he spent his time helping people who found themselves in impossible and dangerous situations. It was his way to atone for his past life, but how many people must he save before he saves himself? Max Merriweather is holding an envelope for his cousin Grant, a forensic accountant. When Grant is tortured and murdered, his killers come after Max for the information contained in the envelope. Evan decided that he would take on one last case, so when Max calls Evan comes to his rescue. Taking care of Grant’s killers is only the tip of the iceberg. Max’s attackers were part of an organization and represented only the lowest tier. To keep Max safe, Evan must follow a trail that leads to the organization’s head. Evan is assisted by Joey Morales, a teenager that he rescued from the Orphan program. She is a hacker who uses her skills to not only track Evan’s opponents, but to keep him as safe as possible. Evan’s condo is equipped with state of the art security, weapons and technology. However, one of the problems that he faces is avoiding his neighbors, including Mia, a DA that he cares for who has become suspicious of his actions. From illegal dog fights to setting up an arrest and subsequent jail break the action is intense and relentless. Hurwitz just gets better with each entry in this series and Into the Fire is guaranteed to keep you reading late into the night. I would like to thank NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for providing this book for my review.
Gregg Hurwitz's Orphan X series is one of my favorite thriller series. Orphan X, aka The Nowhere Man, is sort of a cross between Jack Reacher and Jason Bourne. Early in the series we learn that Orphan X was part of a government program that took kids from orphanages and trained them to be black ops assassins, then targeted them for elimination when the program was terminated. In this latest book, Orphan X is still dreaming of a normal life while helping everyday people who need his skills. While I highly recommend the entire series each book somewhat stands alone and catches you up on the backstory.
Although this series is centered on Orphan X, our hero is looking less and less isolated as he moves through civilian life on his own terms. Are those terms compatible with having dependents and a robust home life? Perhaps not. Yet. But Evan Smoak is working out the details of what such a life might entail even as he protects those innocents from the big, dark, scary stuff that looms just outside their comfortable lives. In this fifth tale, the Nowhere Man finds that he has somehow underestimated the forces gathered against him. Author Gregg Hurwitz does an excellent job of creating a tense, fast-moving tale with just enough pathos to keep readers fully engaged. This is not a tale that is easily stopped midway. So, prepare to read straight through regardless of the time. It is a great joyride. I received my copy from the publisher though NetGalley.
Orphan X, the Nowhere Man, Evan Smoak, receives a call he’s come to expect. “Do you need my help,” he asks, and the answer spins him into battle against a hydra of crooks and killers. Peeling back layer after layer, Evan fights to neutralize the threat while fighting off a devastating concussion. This will be his last mission; he is desperate to try to live a normal life. But when the woman he loves, Mia, and her son Peter are threatened by the hydra, he will risk everything to save them. Hurwitz’ explores the depths of human attachments, and what people will do for those they love. A totally satisfying — if violent — thriller. Highly recommended.
“Into the Fire” by Gregg Hurwitz is part of the “Orphan X” series. Without complications, life would be sterile, and Evan Smoak’s life is certainly not sterile. The book opens with a scenario that grabs readers, both regular and first time -- a detailed glimpse into the living space of Orphan X. Hurwitz provides all the backstory needed for new readers and refreshes events for regulars. The recap brings Smoak into the conflict with a directed question; “How much longer?” Hurwitz expertly develops characters, their subtleties, and their everyday lives, both the ordinary and the extraordinary. All players are uniquely positioned, ready for what is to come. New characters are sympathetic, realistic, and relatable. Evan Smoak is consistent and dependable. As always, he remains alone; the mission is always first. Paranoia is Orphan X’s best friend with good reason. The narrative is tense and purpose driven. Every line and every action has significance and function, either to advance the plot or to define the characters. Hurwitz gives characters focus and direction, then steers them into the plan. Conspiracy details are mixed in with everyday life activities and complex interpersonal relationships. Hurwitz skillfully creates a twist, another problem, and then a new threat, just waiting to work its way to the surface. Chapter titles are expressly tailored to foreshadow the events and actions that follow. Specifics are accurate to the smallest detail from the Hello Kitty t-shirt to the most complicated weapons. “Into the Fire” stretches Smoak’s abilities and determination to the limit. I received a review copy of “Into the Fire” from Gregg Hurwitz and Minotaur Books. It is wild, uncompromising, frantic, and human, and an outstanding addition to the Orphan X series. DO NOT skip ahead, but know that the last three words in the book are the most important.
I received a free copy of INTO THE FIRE (Book 5 of the Orphan X Series) by Gregg Hurwitz in exchange for an honest review. Evan Smoak has spent years working as the Nowhere Man. In essence, doing everything necessary to solve the problems of those who ask him for help. Evan’s newest project is Max Merriweather. Max has long since considered himself worthless, but when his cousin is murdered and leaves Max a mysterious parcel, Max is determined to do what he can to find out who killed his cousin. Just receiving the package put Max in danger; he’s being hunted when he calls the Nowhere Man. In this case, every time Evan thinks he’s finally made his newest client safe, a new danger appears. Evan will have to rely on some of his prior clients to accomplish his goal. I liked this book and enjoy this series. I recommend this book and this series to fans of spy thrillers and storylines similar to The Equalizer. #IntoTheFire #NetGalley
Orphan X undertakes his last act as the Nowhere Man. His last is as exciting as the first. Gregg Hurwitz’s writing is always superb and Into the Fire fits that bill. Another adventure for Evan Smoak and it maintains the on-the-edge-of-your-seat action and tension. Max Merriweather is in trouble. The problem is that his woes may not be as simple as he and Even may think. Every time they think they have cut off the neck of the dragon, two more grow in its place. If this ends up being the last exploit for the Nowhere Man, I will greatly miss knowing he is just a phone call away. It is too sad to think “Do You Need My Help?” will be retired. As expected, the characters are rich and complicated. The high danger in this book provides for some mental gymnastics that will keep the reader guessing. Gregg Hurwitz has been and will continue to be one of my favorite all-time authors! I received an ARC from St. Martin Press through NetGalley. This in no way affects my opinion or
This is the 5th book in Hurwitz' Orphan X series. Evan Smoak is Orphan X, plucked from an orphanage at age 12 and trained to be a talented, if not the best, agent for an off-the-books government agency. He managed to break free of the agency and become The Nowhere Man, helping those in dire need and only asking that they pass along his phone number to the next person who needs his help. And the next person to call is Max Merriweather. When Max’s cousin is killed, he left him an envelope that contains nothing except a key. But someone is after that key, and will go to any means necessary to get it back. Evan is able to save Max from the initial threat, but that is not the end of the line as another and another threat arise. As The Nowhere Man peels back each layer, he finds himself in even greater danger than before. Another page turning edition in this series. Hurwitz is right up there with the better thriller writers of today. My thanks to Minotaur Books and NetGalley for the opportunity to review the ARC of this novel.