Orphan X by Gregg Hurwitz


Rating: 3 Stars ★★★☆☆

Evan’s twelve-year-old body is stiff in the cushy passenger seat of the black sedan as he is driven in silence.


‘Do you need my help?’
It was the first question he asked.
They called him when they had nowhere else to turn.

As a boy Evan Smoak was taken from an orphanage.
Raised and trained in a top secret programme, he was sent to bad places to do things the government denied ever happened.

Then he broke with the programme, using what he’d learned to vanish. Now he helps the desperate and deserving.

But someone’s on his trail.

Someone who knows his past and believes that the boy once known as Orphan X must die . . .


The idea behind Orphan X is great. Evan Smoak was trained from a young age to be the perfect agent and assassin. But he left the programme and now he uses his skill to help those in need.

On the drive home from the dark Virginia barn, Jack lays out some facts, serving them to Evan like a well-earned meal. “You are part of what is called the Orphan Program. You are exceptionally well adjusted and even-tempered in the face of the unknown, selected for the program precisely for these qualities. There are others like you. You will never meet them.” His blocky hands command the steering wheel, the vehicle, the road. “You will be trained impeccably for your profession.”

“What’s my profession?”

“Weapon,” Jack says.

To keep safe, he has to stay away from all true connections. His live is secret stacked atop secret. His name is false, his job is false and most of the things he tells his neighbours are lies. He has safehouses scattered across the city and always looks over his shoulder.

When he accepts a new client, things start to go terribly wrong. Soon he realizes that someone’s after him that knows who he is and what he’s capable of. And he doesn’t know if he can survive this one. He doesn’t even know if he ca trust his client.

A great idea and overall, I did enjoy it.

However, I had a problem with the style. There are just too many descriptions of terribly unimportant details. I mean, we get over a page of stuff on his gun (all those descriptions of his gun are never important in the story by the way).

The book, in many parts reads more like a movie. Or, put better: like instructions for the set designer. There’s so much detail devoted to descriptions of his apartment, its’s really annoying. I just wanted to get on with the plot!

He crossed now to the kitchen, his shoes tapping on the polished concrete. The one flare of whimsy and color came in the form of the so-calles living wall installed beside the stove. A vertical garden fed by a drip system, it grew everything from mint and chamomile for fresh tea to cilantro, parsley, sage, basil, and pepper for omelets.


Overall, an enjoyable, action-packed story. However, endless unimportant descriptions detract from the story.


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