“Out of the Dark: an Orphan X Novel” (Minotaur), by Gregg Hurwitz
Evan Smoak was trained to be Orphan X, and his first assignment over 20 years ago seemed to be successful. Now the other elite team members of that mission have been eliminated one by one. Evan investigates and realizes that the man who started the Program that turned him into an assassin is cleaning up and having the other orphans killed as well. Rather than wait for the inevitable, he decides to go on the defensive and take out the man who started the orphan Program. Why is his former superior now taking out these operatives? Nonetheless, it will take more than meticulous planning and skill to succeed, since this man is the most heavily guarded person in the world: the president of the United States.
The president knows he has to fight back, so he pulls his very first recruit, Orphan A, out of a federal penitentiary. Orphan A has no moral values, and his first job is to murder all potential witnesses before he kills Orphan X. With the help of two fellow inmates who find pleasure in inflicting pain on others, Orphan A knows exactly how to get Orphan X once and for all.
Evan always tries to do the right thing, and he goes out of his way to help others who are dealing with insurmountable odds. He usually levels the playing field by his skill set, but this time he might be outmatched.
“Out of the Dark” by Gregg Hurwitz takes the reader on a journey that covers a wide range of emotions from potential love to outright terror. The relentless action and detailed mission planning make the tale both clever and smart. Hurwitz continues to profile this stellar character and improve with each new installment. It’s only the end of January, but this novel will be remembered as one of the best thrillers of the year.