Friday, May 5, 2017

Book Review: The Nowhere Man by Gregg Hurwitz (Evan Smoak #2)



Stars: 4 out of 5
Pros: Wonderful writing, Evan’s development, action
Cons: One character over the top; captive plot pitfalls
The Bottom Line:
Evan is captured
Clock is ticking on escape
It’s page turning fun




The Nowhere Man Needs Rescuing Himself

Last year, Gregg Hurwitz introduced us to Evan Smoak, a former highly trained government assassin who now works freelance helping those who are caught up in impossible circumstances.  I was looking forward to returning to learn more about Evan in The Nowhere Man, this year’s follow up, and it is another mostly wild ride.

As the book opens, Evan has taken on a new client, a young woman who is being targeted by a human trafficking ring.  As Evan is attempting to wrap up the final lose ends, he is kidnapped and wakes up some time later in the middle of a room.  He has no idea where he is or even who has him.

Naturally, Evan plans to escape, but he must escape in time to help someone in need, that last loose end from the human trafficking ring.  However, his “host” appears to have thought of everything in order to keep Evan captive.  Normally, this is a situation that Evan would help someone out of, but, even if he could ask for help, who could he call?

If you aren’t familiar with Gregg and his work, he writes thrillers, definitely not the cozies I normally read.  I knew as a result that this would have more language and violence than my normal choices, so I was ready for it going in.

I also knew that this book would involve our main character being held prisoner.  I’m not normally a fan of stories where the main character is held prisoner and has to escape since they feel repetitive and slow down the pacing.  This one did have some interesting twists to that genre, but ultimately it fell into some of those traps.

And that’s not to say that I found the book boring overall.  The ticking clock on Evan needing to escape added a nice dimension to things that kept me turning pages.  The action scenes are fantastic, and the climax will definitely keep you glued to the book although it does have a weakness.  It’s just that the pacing was more uneven than the previous book.

Evan is a bit of a loaner.  We did meet a few of his neighbors in the first book, but given the plot of this book, we don’t get to see much of them.  We didn’t really need to see more of them because the character development we got to see in Evan alone was interesting and I can’t wait to see how it plays into future adventures.  We meet some strong new characters along the way, although I did feel one of them was over the top.

And I have to mention Gregg Hurwitz’s writing.  He does a fantastic job of bring the story to life.  We get description that increases the tension and pull us into Evan’s world.

The Nowhere Man is very different from what I normally read, but I enjoyed this break of sub-genres.  If you are looking for a fun book you won’t want to put down, I definitely recommend it.

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