Author: Gregg Hurwitz

Publisher: Minotaur Books
ISBN: 978-1-250-11917-9

Gregg Hurwitz, author of Hell Bent, is a multi-striated writer. He has penned nineteen novels, produced television shows, written comic books and screenplays. (2017, inside back cover) His works have garnered him finalist in two International Thriller Writer’s Best Novel prize, as well as, finalist in The Crime Writers Association’s Steel Dagger award. The Orphan X novels, of which there are now three, have been translated into twenty-two languages around the world. Hurwitz lives in Los Angeles, California.

This spectacular novel opens up with a car chase, but not just a car chase since there is a person locked in the trunk of the car. From the first page I was on the edge of my seat captivated by the words on the page. Orphan X, whose real name is Evan, has just received a call from his pseudo-father, Jack. Jack is in dire trouble, but wanted to let Evan know that the best part of his life was Evan. Perplexed Evan sets out to locate and kill the person or people responsible for killing Jack.

Jack is nothing if not savvy and well connected. He has left Evan a series of clues that if followed will lead Evan to who murdered Jack. The plot takes many twists and turns and has a number of setbacks and plan B’s that need to be considered as the story moves forward briskly. Jack mentioned in one of his skillfully executed secret messages to Evan that there is a package he needs to locate.

Evan sets out in search of this package that ends up being a young teenage girl. Joey as she is called has previously been a government black ops asset, as was/is Orphan X aka Evan. Joey washed out where Evan shined much to the chagrin of a man called Van Shiver. Van Shiver has held a grudge against Evan for eons. Joey may have washed out of the government controlled program, but she is far from a slouch. She has finely honed reflexes making her difficult to pin down, physically and emotionally and stupendously amazing computer hacking skills. Jack saw something in her and he wanted her protected. He trusted Evan to do that for her as he did for Evan many years ago.

Evan is not initially keen on having Joey around as he believes she will slow him down and make him easier to follow, should his ex-handlers be onto his quest to avenge the death of Jack. However, team up they do. During the course of this search and extinguish operation Joey and Evan become like father and daughter. Their skills complement one another and help them to stage a pretty impressive plan to lure the killers to them for one final ass kicking.

Will Joey and Evan prevail? Can they locate and x-out these killers before they themselves become xed-out? Only time will tell.

I so enjoyed this book that I was genuinely sorry to see it end. I’ve not read the other Orphan X novels (The Nowhere Man and Orphan X), but I will seek them out and his others too. Thanks Gregg Hurwitz for a very well written novel. Great plot, well developed characters, and lots of action!