Book Review: Out Of The Dark by Greg Hurwitz
I bought Out Of The Dark when the hardback edition was first released, drawn in by the image of the White House on the front cover. Anything to do with American politics and I’m in. It was only when I got home that I realised that there were three books in the Orphan X series preceding this one. A quick Google and it became apparent that I needed to read them in order, so I put Out Of The Dark on the bookshelf and sourced book one.
Fast forward seven months and I am ready for the 4th installment of Orphan X, and the adventures of Evan Smoak. Out Of The Dark sent Evan on his biggest challenge to date, I mean, killing the President of the United States of America is a huge task for anyone, even arguably the greatest Orphan of them all. The reasons behind the mission were clear from the start, with motive and justification being added with every passing chapter.
What Greg Hurwitz doesn’t research for his books isn’t worth knowing, and the amount I now know about weapons and mission strategy are pretty impressive. Every single detail is covered, but never so it seems unnecessarily long winded. On the contrary, the information is vital in setting the scene and the ramifications of having this knowledge always pay off later in the story.
As an assassin and strategist at the absolute top of the game, emotions and relationships aren’t something Evan has much experience of, or need for most of his life. However, his clumsy romantic bond with Mia, and probably more so her son Peter, are fascinating to see develop, or not, and add humanising layers to his tough, unflappable character. Best of all though, is his relationship with Joey, the 16 year old Orphan in training who he rescued in the previous book. Awkward and untrusting at first, Evan has become a Father figure to Joey, and just the one face to face interaction they had in this whole book, was enough to tug at my heartstrings, hard. Of course I then I spent the rest of the book worried something might happen to her.
Oh, and as well as all this presidential assassination and emotional blundering, Orphan X also has his calling as The Nowhere Man, which in this latest installment sees him come to the aid of a troubled young man whose family have just been masacred, only leaving him alive as leverage and for future torment.
Out Of The Dark is my first five star book of 2020 and deservedly so. The action is unparalleled, the story one that is both believable and has you emotionally invested from the start, with twists and turns that come naturally, but shock to the core when needed. Greg Hurwitz’s Orphan X series stands alone at the top of the action thriller genre. With a fifth installment, Into The Fire, coming out in just eleven days, I’ve timed it perfectly to read another couple of books before getting stuck into another Evan Smoak escapade.