HELLBENT  by Greg Hurwitz


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Bodies pile up in the third entry in the Orphan X series (Nowhere Man, 2017, etc.).

Orphan X, now Evan Smoak, is the Nowhere Man. People, usually strangers, can call him on his untraceable phone to ask for help if they are in desperate trouble. So his father figure, Jack Johns, calls him shortly before stepping out of a flying helicopter to his death. Then Evan receives Jack’s posthumous note about a “final mission” to get a “package” that turns out to be Joey, a testy teenage girl and fellow Orphan who at first tries to kill him. Meanwhile, Charles Van Sciver, Director of the Orphan Program, is hellbent on his own mission. His “top priority [is] to stamp out wayward Orphans,” especially Orphan X, the one who escaped from the program. Evan obsesses about killing Van Sciver and everyone else who helped kill Jack, so rivers of blood surge toward a showdown. Joey becomes Evan’s sidekick, but she might become an “inconvenient aggravation at the very moment that Evan’s universe would compress down in the service of a single goal—the annihilation of Charles Van Sciver.” There’s the hint of a sequel with Van Sciver’s taunt to Evan—“You have no idea, do you? How high it goes?” That’s thriller-talk for Someone Living on Pennsylvania Avenue. And that Someone also wants Evan dead. All this slaughtering keeps him too busy for a love life, although he has an almost-girlfriend, DA Mia Hall. Another woman hits on him, but he “needed to get food, and then he had people to kill.” Priorities, you know. Some characters will be familiar to readers of the series, such as Van Sciver and the voluptuous but deadly Candy McClure. Most colorful, though, is the gangster named Freeway, who has—oh yeah!—a tattooed eyeball.

As well-done as the rest of the series and bloody good fun.

Pub Date: Jan. 30th, 2018
ISBN: 978-1-250-11917-9
Page count: 416pp
Publisher: Minotaur
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15th, 2017


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