Into the Fire
by Hurwitz, Gregg

Helping a murder victim's cousin who is being violently pursued for a mysterious key, Nowhere Man Evan Smoak eliminates a series of dangerous threats before discovering that he is being personally targeted. By the author of Out of the Dark.

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.

Evan Smoak, the former assassin also known as Orphan X or the Nowhere Man, has finally destroyed the secret U.S. government agency that spent years trying to kill him. He's made the American president pay for his role in hunting Evan. With his purpose fulfilled, Evan wonders if it's time for the Nowhere Man, who's repeatedly risked his own life to help protect innocent lives, to retire. Will his current mission, to help a man figure out who killed his cousin and to keep his family safe, be Evan's last? In Smoak, Hurwitz has found a hero whose tortured history, internal struggles, and razor-sharp intelligence are perfectly suited to his own strengths as a novelist. It's as if Hurtwitz's previous fiction, which includes several best-selling stand-alone thrillers, was preparing him for tackling the story of a ruthless assassin who learns, slowly, what it is to be a "normal" person. While the book certainly reads like the final installment of the Smoak series, a last-second, out-of-left-field plot twist gives the reader hope that the series will continue. Don't miss this one. Copyright 2019 Booklist Reviews.

This fifth in the Orphan X series (Out of the Dark, 2019, etc.) features one deadly crisis after another for a killer who'd really just like to retire and become human. In a spectacular opening scene, a man who has supposedly rescued rich businessman Grant Merriweather from a car crash and brought him to an urgent-care facility pulls out a gun and murders him along with the doctors who helped him regain consciousness. Now the bad guys are after Merriweather's downtrodden cousin Max, whom most of his family doesn't like and "no one would miss." Meanwhile, Evan Smoak is Orphan X, or the Nowhere Man. He was raised and trained as a killer for a secret government program but has been entirely on his own for years. A desperate person who calls his secret number, 1-855-2-NOWHERE, will hear him say, Do you need my help?" Then, if he so chooses, he will take any risk to help that stranger. Evan receives technical help from smart-mouthed 16-year-old genius geek Joey, who can hack into anything and even control surveillance cameras. The plot unfolds in the same pattern as the first four in the series: Evan slays bad guys with uncanny skill, but, like a bloody game of whack-a-mole, the threats keep popping up. What makes this mission different is that he wants it to be his last. The government has been trying to eliminate him—lots of backstory there—and now retirement is beckoning. If only he could sit in his elaborate condo and sip CLIX vodka while he heals from his numerous concussions. Evan is devoid of social skills, and it's fun to watch him dodge small talk with his homeowners association. Other men had once chosen his life and molded him into a killer. Now he'd like "a life of his own making," but "without the Nowhere Man, who the hell was Evan Smoak?" Give him a day with his boring neighbors and he'll un-retire in a hurry. Kudos to Hurwitz for creating this series. Let's hope the Nowhere Man's phone rings again. Copyright Kirkus 2019 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.

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