Out of the Dark by Gregg Hurwitz: Book Review

 

Out of the Dark By Gregg Hurwitz
Published: Jan 29, 2019 by Minotaur Books
400 Pages
Affiliate Link: Buy on Amazon

From Publisher: Taken from a group home at age twelve, Evan Smoak was raised and trained as part of the Orphan Program, an off-the-books operation designed to create assassins. Evan was Orphan X. He broke with the Program, using everything he learned to disappear and reinvent himself as the Nowhere Man, a man who helps the truly desperate when no one else can. But now, someone at the very highest level of government has been trying to eliminate every trace of the Orphan Program by killing all the remaining Orphans and their trainers

My Thoughts: If I’m ever in trouble, I hope someone calls Evan Smoak for me! Orphan X is back in the 4th installment of this fast paced, fun thriller series and he’s going after his most hated opponent yet, the President of the United States. The prologue shows us a very interesting scene in Russia in which Evan is out on his first solo mission as a trained assassin for a dark black ops program the US government formed.  I really enjoyed getting a glimpse of Evan as a young man because, cut to current day, he’s now in what I guess to be his late 30s and he’s no longer in the program. He now spends his days being The Nowhere Man, carrying out his own brand of vigilante justice for those who call his super secret line and are in dire need of help. The two storylines run parallel to each other and the author pulls them off brilliantly.

While Evan is doing some serious scouting of the President’s agendas, day to day security details, life in and outside The White House , etc we are privy to some fascinating details about the life of The President which I’m assuming are true (at least most) and which seem very thoroughly researched. This was one of my favorite parts of the book actually! While Evan is deciding on his best course of action to assassinate the President, the President has called in Evan’s arch rival, Orphan A, to kill Evan. It’s all very cut throat, fast paced, and tension filled.

Along with these 2 main storylines, we also have Evan’s ongoing romantic involvement with his neighbor, single mom and prosecutor Mia, who, accurately enough, suspects that Evan isn’t living the most law abiding lifestyle (she has no idea how right she is) so she won’t allow herself or her son to become too invested in him. I love how Hurwitz has weaved this thread of Mia and Evan throughout all 4 books.

If this sounds like a lot going on in one book, it is but it all works. I’ve said it before, the Orphan X novels remind me of the Jason Bourne movies so if you like that type of fast paced, action filled thriller with a very smart good guy to root for, who let’s face it, seemingly can’t be killed and almost never sleeps, this is for you. Do you have to suspend disbelief in parts? Of course, but who cares because this story and these characters are just so well done.

I will say, I highly recommend starting with book 1, Orphan X, in order to get the full backstory of these characters but if you choose to start here, Hurwitz does a great job of providing just enough info about important events from the previous books so you won’t feel completely lost. If you’re in the mood for an action packed thriller, you can’t go wrong with this series and good news…. I read that there will be 3 more Orphan X books in the future so you have plenty of time to catch up!

Thanks to Minotaur Books via Netgalley for my copy in exchange for an honest review 

WINTER READS 2018

winter reading 2018

2018 is here and the excitement of a new reading year brings many, many potentially amazing reads for us all to discuss and share. I love scouring all the various lists and putting together my own little rundown of the winter reads I’m excited about. I can’t wait to see what books will become my new favorites! I’ve put together some of my top picks for this winter and I hope you’ll find some that you’d like to preorder, add to your wish lists and/or request from your library before everyone else does. I’d love to hear which ones stand out to you!

JANUARY  

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The Immortalists (Jan 9, G.P. Putnam’s Sons)

Four siblings seek to answer the question..If you were told the date of your death, how would it shape your present?

**I’ve read and loved this one, review coming soon**

 

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The Girls in the Picture  by Melanie Benjamin (Jan 16, Delacorte Press)

Hollywood, 1914. Frances Marion, a young writer desperate for a break, meets “America’s Sweetheart,” Mary Pickford, already making a name for herself both on and off the screen with her golden curls and lively spirit. Together, these two women will take the movie business by storm. *I’m becoming more interested in old Hollywood historical fiction after loving The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo *

 

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Need to know  By Karen Cleveland (Jan. 23, Ballantine Books)

In pursuit of a Russian sleeper cell on American soil, a CIA analyst uncovers a dangerous secret that will test her loyalty to the agency—and to her family.  *lots of positive buzz for this one*

 

FEBRUARY

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How to Stop Time  by Matt Haig (Feb 6, Viking)

A love story across the ages – and for the ages – about a man lost in time, the woman who could save him, and the lifetimes it can take to learn how to live *I’m drawn to love stories with time elements & this is getting awesome ratings on Goodreads*

 

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An American Marriage  by Tayari Jones (Feb 6, Algonquin)

A unique marriage story…a happily married, successful young couple are torn apart when Roy is convicted and sent to prison for a crime he didn’t commit…his wife moves on (with his best friend), then he gets out! *Love the premise & this publisher*

 

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The Great Alone  By Kristin Hannah (Feb 6, St. Martin’s Press)

Alaska, 1974. Untamed. Unpredictable.
And for a family in crisis, the ultimate test of the human spirit. *I recently read & loved The Nightingale so I HAD to read this one*

 

 

 

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Sunburn By Laura Lippman (Feb 20, William Morrow)

A novel about a pair of lovers with the best intentions and the worst luck: two people locked in a passionate yet uncompromising game of cat and mouse. But instead of rules, this game has dark secrets, forbidden desires, inevitable betrayals—and cold-blooded murder. *Positive early buzz, I love the premise & the cover*

 

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The Liar’s Girl by Catherine Ryan Howard (Feb 27, Blackstone Publishing)

Alison Smith falls in love with attractive, charming Will Hurley at an elite college in Dublin. What follows: Will is found to be Ireland’s most notorious serial killer and is put in a psychiatric institution. Fast forward 10 years and Alison is pulled back into his orbit. *Last year I read & loved Distress Signals and this sounds equally unputdownable*

 

MARCH

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Bachelor Nation by Amy Kaufman (March 6, Dutton)

The first definitive, unauthorized, behind-the-scenes cultural history of the Bachelor franchise, America’s favorite guilty pleasure *Guilty pleasure alert, I just might be most excited about this book! Outside of Reality Steve, I don’t think anyone has attempted to go behind the scenes of this hush hush show and I for one can’t wait to read Amy’s take on it. If she narrates I’m definitely going with the audio

 

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The Eight Mountains By Paolo Tognetti (March 20, Atria Books)

A modern Italian masterpiece, The Eight Mountains is a lyrical coming-of-age story about the power of male friendships and the enduring bond between fathers and sons. *I really like coming-of-age stories and I like that this examines male friendship and is set in Italy. I saw somewhere it’s described as a saga which was how my fav book of the year The Heart’s Invisible Furies was described so I’m sold!*

 

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Tangerine by Christine Mangan (March 27, Ecco)

Tangerine is a sharp dagger of a book—a debut so tightly wound, so replete with exotic imagery and charm, so full of precise details and extraordinary craftsmanship, it will leave you absolutely breathless. *This very much seems to be a friendship gone wrong novel and I like the sinister sound of it and also the Moroccan setting sounds fantastic*

 

Many of my most anticipated mysteries/thrillers are sequels and you can find those on my Most Anticipated Sequels list…

I’d love to hear what winter reads made your most anticipated lists!