Featured Review: ‘The Nowhere Man’ By Gregg Hurwitz

51koo4tlgul-_sx327_bo1204203200_Following last year’s hit novel, Orphan X, Gregg Hurwitz continues Evan Smoak’s story in blistering, high-powered fashion.

Plucked from a Baltimore group home as a child, Evan Smoak was thrust into a top-secret government agency called the Orphan Program. Designed to raise elite-level assassins for the government to turn loose overseas without backup, and with absolute plausible deniability should something go wrong, Evan was designated Orphan X (the letter, not the Roman numeral).

His days of mindless killing are done, though, as Evan split from the program years ago. Armed with a unique set of lethal skills and a nearly endless amount of money, courtesy of secret bank accounts lined with cash straight from the Treasury’s printing press (a little parting gift he kept for himself after breaking from the Orphan Program), Evan now does things his way.

To right his past wrongs, Evan’s traded in his life as a government hitman and taken on a secret identity. Known only as the Nowhere Man, a vigilante who comes to the aid of those in desperate need of help, Evan asks just one thing of his clients—to pay it forward by giving his number to someone with nowhere else to turn.

That’s how it works. Those in need who call are greeted with a simple, “Do you need my help?” No strings attached.

But, as one might imagine, departing from a classified government program doesn’t come without risks. In Evan’s case, Charles Van Sciver, the most brutal operative of the original Orphans, now heads up the program. Due to his intimate knowledge of past Orphan operations and Van Sciver specifically, Evan is enemy number one, and Charles’ top priority.

When a victim of a child sex ring phones the Nowhere Man for help, Evan sets out to not only save her, but to destroy the entire operation. In the process, he learns that another young girl is trapped in a shipping container on board a cargo ship that is fourteen days away from reaching its destination. Should the ship arrive before Evan can get to the girl, she’ll enter the hell-on-earth life of a sex slave.

That can’t happen, and Evan vows to save her, too. But first, he’ll have to save himself.

With Van Sciver hot on his trail, working off of his first real lead in years, Evan is kidnapped by a mysterious businessman named Renee, then taken to a heavily-guarded, secluded mansion set in a densely wooded location miles away from civilization.

Imprisoned with little hope of escape, and Van Sciver and his assassins getting closer with each passing moment, Evan soon finds himself in the kind of desperate situation people would normally call him for help with. And to make matters worse, there’s still an innocent girl locked in a crate who needs to be saved.

What do you do when you’re held captive in the middle of nowhere, with no weapons and no one to call? Well, if you’re the Nowhere Man, you do exactly what you’re trained to do–fight back.

In addition to the nonstop action, Hurwitz mixes in plenty of suspense and several well-timed plot twists that each change the tempo of the story. Just when you think you have the plot figured out, it takes an unexpected turn—elevating the stakes higher with each shocking revelation.

Hurwitz has developed Evan (a Jason Bourne-like character, but with Tony Stark’s money and gadgets) significantly from last year’s Orphan X, and he does it in a creative way that readers won’t catch onto until after a brilliant reveal that is incredibly well-written.

Even with the odds stacked against him, don’t count Evan out just yet. He’s trained his entire life for impossible situations, allowing him a certain level of comfort when surrounded by danger. But the real fun isn’t just watching Evan get himself out of a jam, it’s following his thought process and analysis of each situation, as Hurwitz does a fabulous job allowing readers into the complex mind of his highly-trained operative.

With tons of buildup and a great supporting cast, the author saves his best work for the ending, which delivers in a big way. Thriller fans will be reading pages faster than they can turn ’em, captivated by the story’s blazing-hot final act.

Gregg Hurwitz isn’t just on the top of his game, he’s struck solid gold with The Nowhere Man, a hard-hitting, near-perfect thriller that starts fast and never lets up.

Book Details

Author: Gregg Hurwitz
Series: Evan Smoak #2
Pages: 368 (Hardcover)
ISBN: 1250067855
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Release Date: January 17, 2017 (Order Now!)

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