Author: Gregg Hurwitz

Publisher: Minotaur Books

ISBN: 978-1-250-06785-2

I have to admit I never read a Gregg Hurwitz thriller before picking up a copy of THE NOWHERE MAN and I now understand why he is a two-time finalist for the International Thriller Writers' Best Novel prize and a finalist for the Crime Writers' Association's Steel Dagger. Incidentally, he is also a screenwriter, TV producer and comic book writer, all of which were put to go use in his crafting of THE NOWHERE MAN.

Hurwitz's protagonist, Evan Smoak is a combination of Rambo and Superman created by the Orphan Program, a deep-black project buried inside the Department of Defense. The program consisted of identifying the right kind of boys who were living in foster homes, covertly culling them and training them to do what the U.S. government could not officially do in places it could not be. Technically, Orphans didn't even exist and they were expendable. Evan was known as Orphan X and was given a substantial bank accounts in non-reporting countries and was called upon several times to perform difficult tasks and was rarely sighted or captured and was given the name The Nowhere Man.

During his time in the program he was under the tutelage of his handler Jack Johns who was like a father to him. However, Evan wanted out and he eventually quit and was no longer being Orphan X but he continued to work pro bono as the Nowhere Man helping people in need of his assistance if they were fortunate enough to have his phone number. One such person was a seventeen-year Alison Siegler who was a victim of a human trafficking and was about to be shipped off in a container to Jacksonville, Florida.

Evan had sixteen days to rescue her and as we read, these were the most dangerous he probably ever encountered in his life. During this period he found himself captive, taken to a secret location and tortured by a very powerful and devious man, René Peter Cassaroy who had at his disposal an army of ruthless men. René knew that Evan held assets worth twenty-seven million dollars in an account in Zurich and he wanted Evan to transfer the funds to him. The rest of the yarn comprises one thrilling scene after another, some of which are quite bloody, that are filled with all kinds of attempts on the part of Evan to stay alive and survive the immense pain at the hands of René and his goons.

And not only was Evan a prisoner at the hands of René but he also learned that even though the Orphan Plan had been discontinued it was still in operation and was taken over by a nasty person, Charles Van Sciver, who was a merciless orphan and he and the other orphans were after Evan as he contained too many secrets.

I have to applaud Hurwitz to have crafted a highly compelling fluid, snaky thriller of great momentum that will probably give you nightmares and keeping you awake long in the night. A splendid thriller on all counts.