Monday, March 16, 2020

Book Review: Into the Fire by Gregg Hurwitz (Orphan X #5)


Stars: 5 out of 5
Pros: Well defined characters in page turning thriller
Cons: None
The Bottom Line:
Evan on last case
Characters are still so great
Page turning action




Evan Heads Into the Fire for His Latest Client

I always look forward to the newest book from Gregg Hurwitz.  Yes, he writes thrillers, but he infuses his books with real characters we can’t help but care about.  Into the Fire is the latest in his Orphan X series, and it is another phenomenal book.

If you haven’t yet met Evan Smoak, aka Orphan X, he is an ex-operative from a highly classified government program.  Trained as an assassin, Evan eventually escaped the program and uses his skills to help those in truly desperate situations.  The last book in the series ended a multi-book story arc, so if you are new to the series, you can easily jump in here.  There are some recurring characters and a few references to past adventures, but everything you truly need to know is explained here.

As this book opens, Evan is planning to retire.  He is going to take on one last case to help someone in trouble, but then he is out.  Now, it’s just a matter of waiting for a phone call from his new client.

That phone call comes from Max Merriweather.  Max’s cousin Grant was just brutally killed, but he left Max with a mysterious envelop that should only be opened if Grant has died.  The problem is, someone else knows that Max has the envelope, and now they are after Max.  Evan uses his usual tricks to find out who is after Max, but will his final case be that simple?

Thrillers, especially movie thrillers, have a reputation for emphasizing action over character.  That’s not the case here at all.  Evan is an extremely complex character, and we get to watch him grow in each book.  That makes us care even more about the outcome of the cases he takes on.  The rest of the people who populate Evan’s world are just as complex and compelling, and it is fun to check in with them again in each book.  Max and the characters he brings with him as just as complex.  I think Max is one of the strongest of Evan’s clients so far in the series, and I enjoyed watching him grow as well as a result of the action of the book.

But make no mistake about it, this book is a thriller.  The action starts quickly and moves forward quickly until we reached the end.  I got caught up in these actions scenes and kept turning pages to find out just how Evan would get out of his current predicament.  The climax resolves things, and I felt completely satisfied when I set the book down.

Well, the book does have a small cliffhanger that is leading into the next book, but as far as this book goes, everything is resolved.  And I can’t wait to find out where Evan goes next because this is definitely not the final book in the series.

The book does include more language and violence than my normal reading choices do.  It’s a thriller, I expected that when I picked it up.  Just know that going in, and you’ll be fine.

What I hadn’t expected was the humor.  There are some very funny scenes, usually involving Evan trying to interact with his neighbors.  Yes, we’ve had lighter moments in earlier books, but I thought these scenes were the funniest in the series to date.  They helped relieve the tension of the main plot without ever slowing things down.  They also helped us see another side of Evan that made him even more human.

Into the Fire is nothing short of superb.  If you enjoy thrillers and haven’t pick up any books from Gregg Hurwitz yet, you are truly missing out.  If you are already a fan, you won’t be disappointed in a page of this new novel.

Missing Evan’s other adventures?  Here are the Orphan X thrillers in order.

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