This fifth in the Orphan X series (Out of the Dark, 2019, etc.) features one deadly crisis after another for a killer who’d really just like to retire and become human.
In a spectacular opening scene, a man who has supposedly rescued rich businessman Grant Merriweather from a car crash and brought him to an urgent-care facility pulls out a gun and murders him along with the doctors who helped him regain consciousness. Now the bad guys are after Merriweather's downtrodden cousin Max, whom most of his family doesn’t like and “no one would miss.” Meanwhile, Evan Smoak is Orphan X, or the Nowhere Man. He was raised and trained as a killer for a secret government program but has been entirely on his own for years. A desperate person who calls his secret number, 1-855-2-NOWHERE, will hear him say, Do you need my help?” Then, if he so chooses, he will take any risk to help that stranger. Evan receives technical help from smart-mouthed 16-year-old genius geek Joey, who can hack into anything and even control surveillance cameras. The plot unfolds in the same pattern as the first four in the series: Evan slays bad guys with uncanny skill, but, like a bloody game of whack-a-mole, the threats keep popping up. What makes this mission different is that he wants it to be his last. The government has been trying to eliminate him—lots of backstory there—and now retirement is beckoning. If only he could sit in his elaborate condo and sip CLIX vodka while he heals from his numerous concussions. Evan is devoid of social skills, and it’s fun to watch him dodge small talk with his homeowners association. Other men had once chosen his life and molded him into a killer. Now he’d like “a life of his own making,” but “without the Nowhere Man, who the hell was Evan Smoak?” Give him a day with his boring neighbors and he’ll un-retire in a hurry.
Kudos to Hurwitz for creating this series. Let’s hope the Nowhere Man’s phone rings again.