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  • Writer's pictureJudith D Collins

Dark Horse

Series: Orphan X (7 of 7)

By: Greg Hurwitz

ISBN: 9781250252302

Publisher: St Martin's Press

Publication Date: 02/08/2022

Format: Other

Narrated by: Scott Brick

My Rating: 5 Stars (ARC)

Gregg Hurwitz's New York Times bestselling series returns when Orphan X faces his most challenging mission ever in Dark Horse.

Evan Smoak is a man with many identities and a challenging past. As Orphan X, he was a government assassin for the off-the-books Orphan Program. After he broke with the Program, he adopted a new name and a new mission--The Nowhere Man, helping the most desperate in their times of trouble. Having just survived an attack on his life and the complete devastation of his base of operations, as well as his complicated (and deepening) relationship with his neighbor Mia Hall, Evan isn't interested in taking on a new mission. But one finds him anyway.

Aragon Urrea is a kingpin of a major drug-dealing operation in South Texas. He's also the patron of the local area--supplying employment in legitimate operations, providing help to the helpless, rough justice to the downtrodden, and a future to a people normally with little hope. He's complicated--a not completely good man, who does bad things for often good reasons. However, for all his money and power, he is helpless when one of the most vicious cartels kidnaps his innocent eighteen year old daughter, spiriting her away into the armored complex that is their headquarters in Mexico. With no other way to rescue his daughter, he turns to The Nowhere Man.

Now not only must Evan figure out how to get into the impregnable fortress of a heavily armed, deeply paranoid cartel leader, but he must decide if he should help a very bad man--no matter how just the cause.


"A crackerjack thriller that briskly enhances the legend of Orphan X." Kirkus Reviews

Greg Hurwitz Books

"Hurwitz proves to be a master storyteller as he uncouples this riveting barnburner of a thriller. Dark Horse is exquisitely plotted with unexpected twists and deceptions, laced with cinematic fight scenes, brimming with violence and suspense."

--Mystery & Suspense

"Excellent...this series just gets better!" Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"One of thrillerdom’s most compelling characters... another sure-fire hit."


"Gregg Hurwitz has outdone himself this time. The many followers of Orphan X will get whiplash from the unexpected turns and surprises. It was only a matter of time until his Evan Smoak took on the drug cartels. That the main villain is a fully rounded character is unexpectedly moving. The action strikes like lightning."

--Luis Urrea, Pulitzer Prize finalist for The Devil's Highway

My Review


Greg Hurwitz returns with a favorite series (Orphan X), DARK HORSE, with a famous leading man. This seventh installment in the series may be Evan Smoak's (Nowhere Man) most emotional, and challenging case yet.

Full of heart, action, and thrills.

Since the first book, I have been a fan and would not miss an episode.

If you have read the previous books in the series, you know Orphan X was a government assassin for an Orphan Program. After leaving the program, he changed his name to The Nowhere Man to help those in need with a devoted phone number. 1-855-2-NOWHERE - A way to give back on his journey to redemption.

"When the devil wants to dance with you, you better say never."

—Immortal Technique

Hurwitz has cleverly pitted Evan against a complex man who darkly resembles himself with a mix of good and evil.

This time around, he comes in contact with a South Texas drug lord, Aragon Urrea. His eighteen-year-old daughter, Anjelina, has been kidnapped by the Mexican cartel.

He is on the fence, trying to decide if he wants to help this criminal. However, even though this man is evil, he also helps people in need, somewhat like his past.

Aragón Urrea is a complicated man. This mission is very personal for Evan. Should he get his daughter back? This is a question he often has asked of himself. So we have the "Dark Man" (kidnapped the daughter), Aragon, and Evan.

This Dark Man is highly dangerous, and he has the girl.

DARK HORSE delves into the underbelly of humanity with drug pins, drugs, opioids, cartels, and the big and greedy pharmaceutical companies.

Evan has to do a lot of soul-searching about his past and present while involved in this adrenaline-fueled suspense thriller that packs a punch. Evan has kept people at a distance and tried not to allow himself to love or care. Evan has maintained his humanity since the beginning despite his arsenal of lethal skills, as confusing as it sometimes is for him, which makes you root for him.

As always, I love Mia (neighbor) and the district attorney and single mother to Peter he has been involved with, who faces a life-threatening surgery. They are not aware of his past. There are also others in his life, such as the hacker, Joey (recruit), that has become like a daughter.

Lines are blurred. Evan has learned to keep up his wall. However, here are those too with who he feels close. Those who need to be saved. What would they think of his past? This mission is making him think and fear.

Evan is pulled in with struggles from evil and good and its extremes. His dark past and the people he has learned to care for. He also has OCD tendencies, antisocial behavior, and his need to have control over his world, but at the same time, he has to separate business and personal struggles in his life.

Due to its complex emotions, which are deeply felt, this series sets itself apart from other crime action series. Beautiful prose, Hurwitz keeps this series fresh with engaging content while adding to his leading man's action, suspense, and deeply felt emotions.

This series appeals to a broad audience, both male and female readers. You learn to care about Evan and hate to see him struggling with his extreme emotions. Another cliffhanger looks like there will be more Orphan X, and I look forward to the next MISSION in this superb and gripping series!

As always, Scott Brick delivers an outstanding performance as the audiobook narrator. Spellbinding and engaging—highly recommend.

Any reader who enjoys intelligent crime thrillers with substance, both plot and character-driven; Greg Hurwitz's Orphan X has it all!

A special thank you to #Minotaur #MacmillanAudio and #NetGalley for an ARC e-book and audiobook.

#JDCMustReadBooks | @JudithDCollins

My Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Pub Date: 02/08/22

About the Author

GREGG HURWITZ is the New York Times bestselling author of more than a dozen novels, including the #1 international bestseller Orphan X, the first in a series of thrillers featuring Evan Smoak. He has also written young adult novels: The Rains and its sequel, The Last Chance. Hurwitz's books have been shortlisted for numerous literary awards, graced top ten lists, and have been translated into twenty-eight languages.

Hurwitz is also a New York Times bestselling comic book writer, having penned stories for Marvel (Wolverine, The Punisher) and DC (Batman). Additionally, he has written screenplays for many major studios and written, developed, and produced television for various networks.

Hurwitz resides in Los Angeles with two Rhodesian ridgebacks. WEBSITE







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