Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Prodigal Son (An Orphan X Novel #6 of 6) by Gregg Hurwitz

ISBN-10 : 1250252288  Hardcover $ 27.99
Publisher : Minotaur Books; 1st Edition (January 26, 2021), 432 pages.
Review copy courtesy of Minotaur Books and NetGalley. 

The blurb:  As a boy, Evan Smoak was pulled out of a foster home and trained in an off-the-books operation known as the Orphan Program. He was a government assassin, perhaps the best, known to a few insiders as Orphan X. He eventually broke with the Program and adopted a new nameThe Nowhere Man—and a new mission, helping the most desperate in their times of trouble. But the highest power in the country has made him a tempting offer—in exchange for an unofficial pardon, he must stop his clandestine activities as The Nowhere Man. Now Evan has to do the one thing he’s least equipped to do—live a normal life.
But then he gets a call for help from the one person he never expected. A woman claiming to have given him up for adoption, a woman he never knew—his mother. Her unlikely request: help Andrew Duran—a man whose life has gone off the rails, who was in the wrong place at the wrong time, bringing him to the deadly attention of very powerful figures. Now a brutal brother & sister assassination team are after him and with no one to turn to, and no safe place to hide, Evan is Duran’s only option. But when the hidden cabal catches on to what Evan is doing, everything he’s fought for is on the line—including his own life.

My Review:  Even though I've read every Orphan X novel over the past few years,  it took reading Prodigal Son to remind me just how much I missed the character Evan Smoak.  I'm a bit of thriller/mystery fiend and these Orphan X novels are a bit like stepping into a righteous James Bond scenario.  Except in Prodigal Son you peek into just how awful things were for young Evan as an orphan growing up in the system.  When this is juxtaposed against his incredible physical and mental skills and his sense of justice, it is hard to stop reading. 

In this last installment, Evan has won a pardon which can be revoked if he undertakes to save another person as Nowhere man.  Evan has started to live a normal life - meeting people, relaxing, appreciating his gorgeous condo, etc. Just as he was starting to relax he gets a call for help from someone claiming to be his birth mother. She asks him to step back out as Nowhere Man and to save someone in a dire situation.  The victim has had all sorts of bad luck but has been trying to do right by his young daughter.  Incurred all sorts of debt but is up to date on his child support, etc. As Evan weighs the consequences of helping versus walking away, we can't help but be so upset at the unfairness of life and drawn into the story.

I should have been working on my taxes, tidying up our home, getting ready for our move, etc. but all I wanted to do was read Prodigal Son.  So, if you're looking for a satisfying escape - grab this book. If you have tons of things you need to get done ASAP, you'll be hard pressed to put this book down.

About the Author:  GREGG HURWITZ is the New York Times bestselling author of more than a dozen novels, including the #1 international bestseller Orphan X, the first in a series of thrillers featuring Evan Smoak. He has also written young adult novels: The Rains and its sequel, The Last Chance. Hurwitz's books have been shortlisted for numerous literary awards, graced top ten lists, and have been translated into twenty-eight languages.

Hurwitz is also a New York Times bestselling comic book writer, having penned stories for Marvel (WolverineThe Punisher) and DC (Batman). Additionally, he has written screenplays for many major studios and written, developed, and produced television for various networks.

Hurwitz resides in Los Angeles with two Rhodesian ridgebacks.

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