Gregg Hurwitz’s novel, Orphan X, is narrated by Scott Brick, and just over eleven hours of listening in the unabridged audiobook format. Book one in the Evan Smoak series and released in early 2016 by Brilliance Audio.

Although not specifically defined, the ‘orphan’ program is a covert operation that takes place modern day. Orphans, from disparate circumstances, are trained to be elite operatives. These people are called upon by the federal government for black-ops missions – assassination, murder included. The orphan program has been disbanded and now Orphan X takes it upon himself to become a Robin-Hood-man-of-steel savior for those who need help. Think Michael Connelly’s Jack Reacher or Brad Thor’s Scot Harvath – a self deprecating, handsome, type A good-guy-lone-wolf. This is the Evan Smoak character, Orphan X. 

Evan Smoak was the ‘best’ at his job, the best marksman, best fighter, best at everything. Even though this is all in the past, Orphan O is still pissed about being second best. O is on the hunt for X, using X’s clients as bait. There ya, go – the plot of Orphan X.

Thrilling moments sprinkle the pages, and if you like a tough-guy-with-a-tender-heart lead character, you’ll love it. More than a ‘Who-done-it?’, Orphan X is a ‘Who can be trusted?’ mystery. Great concept for a series – a modern day savior of the little guy – a Superman with no super-powers. I’m anxious for Evan to develop/grow as a character and Orphan X is a good foundation.

A little sex, but nothing gratuitous or explicit, no foul language.

Narration is fine. Scott Brick is a good choice for the crime thriller even though he does over emote a bit. If you’re familiar with Brick, you know what I mean. This is an enjoyable listen, a page turner. If you like the genre, this one is a keeper.


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