Hurwitz continues to outdo himself with each subsequent book in this relentless action series.
The fourth instalment of Gregg Hurwitz’ magnificent Orphan X action series feels like a conclusion although a fifth book is due in March 2020. Like all good climaxes, the action is at its most intense as our anti-hero, Evan Smoak (Orphan X), faces off against his most powerful and connected foes across multiple fronts.
These are enemies that have been with us since earlier in the series – the incomparable Orphan A with a personal grudge, and the President of the United States himself, Jonathan Bennett, who is trying to wipe out his shady past and wrongdoings from when he was once in charge of the black-ops Orphan program.
Again, Hurwitz has excelled in his characterisations, not only of those characters we know and love (or love to hate), but the new line-up introduced, in particular Trevon Gaines, a high-functioning client on the spectrum who requires routine, and struggles to comprehend the deadly curveball thrown his way when his family is killed and he becomes the next target. The introduction of a client living with a disability adds yet another dimension to Smoak’s already-complex character.
The pace of Out of the Dark is exhausting. The relentless action switches between each front with barely enough time to catch one’s breath before the next onslaught of action. The point of view switches between characters as the scenes change, giving us a great insight into the minds of the heroes, villains and victims, and this all adds to the unbearable tension.
Hurwitz continues to outdo himself with each subsequent book, so it will be interesting to see where the series takes his protagonist next, in light of the explosive conclusions to so many plots and subplots. The Orphan X series remains one of the best action series on the market, not just for the thrills but for the depth of humanity found in his characters.
Reviewed by Rod Lewis
Distributed by: Penguin Books Australia
Released: August 2019