Featured Review: ‘Out of the Dark’ by Gregg Hurwitz


Out of the Darkness

It was always going to come to this. 

Evan Smoak, aka Orphan X (when he’s not going by the Nowhere Man), has spent years searching for the man who gave the order to have him terminated–after he broke from the off-the-books government program that made him a killer–hellbent on burning their operation to the ground.

Likewise, those in charge of the Orphan Program have been looking for Evan, the only asset to ever walk away, in an effort to tie up the exceptionally lethal loose end.

Over the years, Evan’s decision to retire as a government assassin has cost him dearly. From being forced to live a nearly hermit-like lifestyle in his tricked-out penthouse, unable to form any real, normal relationships with others, to seeing the few people he does care about killed because of his past, Evan longs for revenge. Now, he finally knows who’s behind everything after unmasking Jonathan Bennett as the highest predator on the Orphan food chain, and Evan has vowed to kill him. There’s just one problem . . . 

Jonathan Bennett is the president of the United States of America. 

Decades before occupying the Oval Office, the horribly corrupt Bennett was the undersecretary of defense for policy at the Department of Defense. The Orphan Program was his brainchild, and he gave the mission orders, including an assignment in 1997 that proved to be especially problematic once his political career took off. In an attempt to erase any trace of that mission–and the Orphan Program as a whole–Bennett, who has strategically placed layers of insulation between himself and the operation, ordered the killings of anyone with direct knowledge, making Evan enemy number one. 

As if taking out the most heavily guarded man on the planet wasn’t hard enough, things become more difficult for Evan when his RoamZone rings and a man named Trevon indicates that he needs help from The Nowhere Man, Smoak’s crime-fighting alter ego, after finding his entire family murdered. Unable to turn his back on Trevon, a fascinating new character who will steal reader’s hearts, Evan attempts to carry out both missions at once, splitting his focus and complicating things considerably. Also standing in his way is Naomi Templeton, the Secret Service agent in charge of protecting President Bennett. And readers will finally get to meet Orphan A, who, it turns out, has his own score to settle with Evan.

Still, none of that will stop Orphan X from attempting to carry out his mission. 

Bennett has the advantage. Evan has plenty of motivation. Bennett is virtually inaccessible. Evan is highly trained. Bennett has the full command of the United States military at his disposal. Evan is a one-man army. 

It’s a heavyweight fight for the ages, and the stakes couldn’t possibly be any higher. 

For those who haven’t read the previous books in the series, there isn’t another character quite like Evan Smoak in print today. Equal parts Jason Bourne and The Punisher, Gregg Hurwitz has managed to merge elements from both the crime and political thriller genres, creating a hybrid category that no other writer can seem to master. Taken from a group home when he was twelve-years-old and trained as part of the top-secret Orphan Program, Evan Smoak was raised, like the other assets, to kill. Unlike the other assets, Smoak’s handler also raised him to have a conscience, paving the way for him to eventually become the hardened vigilante who comes to the aid of those who are otherwise helpless. He’s deeply flawed, making him relatable, and Hurwitz continues to carefully develop him here, peeling back more layers as the story unfolds. 

Everything that’s happened over the last three books has been building towards this, and Hurwitz delivers with a stunning, action-packed plot that will leave readers breathless with anticipation and begging for more. 

Out of the Dark is the best thing Gregg Hurwitz has ever written and the kind of game-changing thriller that’ll have people talking about it long after turning the final page. When it’s all said and done, this is the book Hurwitz will be remembered for.

Book Details

Author: Gregg Hurwitz
Series: Orphan X #4
Pages: 400 (Hardcover)
ISBN: 125012042X
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Release Date: January 29, 2019
Book Spy Rating: 9.0/10




Praised as “one of today’s finest book reviewers” by New York Times bestselling author Gayle Lynds, Ryan Steck (“The Godfather of the thriller genre” — Ben Coes) has “quickly established himself as the authority on mysteries and thrillers” (Author A.J. Tata). He currently lives in Southwest Michigan with his wife and their six children.


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