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Orphan X    by Gregg Hurwitz order for
Orphan X
by Gregg Hurwitz
Order:  USA  Can
Minotaur, 2016 (2016)
Hardcover, CD, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Gregg Hurwitz is a thriller author whose new books I look out for and open immediately once I get them in hand. He can always be counted on for a pulse-pounding read, as delivered in Don't Look Back and Trust No One. Now he brings us a new series, opening with Orphan X, dubbed by Robert Crais the 'most exciting thriller since The Bourne Identity'. Flipping the pages, it's very easy to visualize the inevitable movie.

The series lead is Evan Smoak, selected as a child to be part of a black box Orphan program, whose purpose was to train deniable assassins in all the arts they would need to do their wet work around the world. Evan was raised by his sole contact and handler, Jack, who became a father figure to him. But eventually, he questioned his life work. After he refused a task and saw Jack shot, Evan left the program to become the legendary Nowhere Man, using the wealth he had secreted in foreign banks.

Now he lives under the radar, taking on assignments from the truly desperate. All he asks of whoever he saves is that they find someone else in great need and give a single individual his number. It's a worthwhile life until it all begins to fall apart. Gradually, Evan finds himself pulled into the orbit of a neighbor in the apartment building he has made his fortified refuge - Mia Hall, the widowed mother of eight-year-old Peter. Mia is also a District Attorney, so a doubly dangerous connection for Evan.

While Evan tries hard to resist the allure of the kind of loving family he has never known, he begins to realize that someone is tracking and targeting him through those he has saved - he needs to find out who and why, while still helping his latest client. But two individuals have recently contacted him, desperate for help - which, if either, is the real one in need and which is a subterfuge? Can he do what he does, while avoiding a fatal trap?

Orphan X grabs the reader and holds on hard till the very last breathtaking page. And Hurwitz gives us a tantalizing glimpse of what's ahead for his hero, one that will delight conspiracy fans. Don't miss this brilliant new series and watch out for an Orphan movie!

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