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.
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.
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