Hurwitz delivers yet again with another action-packed and detailed thriller.
By the conclusion of the previous Orphan X novel, central character Evan Smoak had destroyed his enemies, leaving him safe from being hunted down. It concluded the main thrust of the past couple of novels and opened the story to refocus on new adventures.
In book five, Hurwitz delivers yet again with an action-packed and detailed thriller that catches The Nowhere Man off guard when a simple job turns into a much bigger and dangerous situation. For the first time, our anti-hero has a faceless enemy, pairing off against a cabal of evil-doers.
The adventure opens when investigator Grant Merriweather is murdered. He’s left evidence of his work with lowly cousin Max, who no-one should ever think to track down but when Max is found by his cousin’s killer, he turns to The Nowhere Man for help.
With retirement on his mind after this final job, Smoak underestimates the enemy, leaving him severely concussed and disadvantaged as the true scale of the beast begins to come clear. He’s forced to turn to his own allies and even a former client for help.
The usual quality of Hurwitz’ storytelling doesn’t falter, providing superb characterisations and detailed descriptions to set the scene and add authenticity to The Nowhere Man’s lifetime of experience as a professional assassin. Enough context and history is provided for new readers who are yet to enjoy the first four books in this ongoing series.
There’s a nice ebb and flow to the action with quieter moments showing the comical and romantic misadventures of Smoak trying to blend into a normal life – the ex-girlfriend, the annoying neighbours, and other relationships which flesh out the character and make him more relatable.
The action scenes are often lengthy with a tense build-up to each explosive showdown. Into the Fire is another page turner from start to finish and acts as a bridge between the last and next chapters of Smoak’s high-octane existence. The next phase of his life is about to begin, providing further fodder for Hurwitz’ active imagination. Unlucky for Smoak, but very lucky for the fans.
Reviewed by Rod Lewis
Distributed by: Penguin Books Australia
Released: February 2020