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Dark Horse: Orphan X #7    by Gregg Hurwitz order for
Dark Horse
by Gregg Hurwitz
Order:  USA  Can
Minotaur, 2022 (2022)
Hardcover, CD, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Dark Horse is the seventh (following Prodigal Son) in Gregg Hurwitz's outstanding thriller series featuring Evan Smoak. He was selected as a child for a U.S. black program and trained as an assassin. Evan deserted to become the legendary Nowhere Man, using his training to help people in desperate need - his form of penance for his previous work.

Lately, he's tried to live a more normal life, without much success. Dark Horse opens on the eighteenth birthday party of Anjelina Urrea, beloved daughter of South Texas drug lord Aragon Urrea, a complicated man who does much good, as well as bad, in the world. He's devastated when Anjelina is kidnapped from Eden, South Texas by a vicious rival cartel and taken to their well guarded headquarters in Mexico.

Evan has been rebuilding his penthouse base after a horrific attack in the last episode. His relationship with Mia is progressing, and sixteen-year-old Joey continues to work on his humanity. She also tests him by saying she plans to go on a road trip. The last thing he wants is a new mission, but he finds himself drawn in anyway. Joey asks him, 'Can you save a bad man?', a question he ponders every single day.

What follows is the usual Hurwitz rollercoaster action ride, with a constant volley of violence and surprises, not least from Anjelina herself. It ends with Evan having made a close new friend, one very like himself - and with Joey getting her road trip. However, the episode does end on the usual cliffhanger, seeding what's to come.

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