Author: Gregg Hurwitz
Publication Date: 2021
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Source of Book: NetGalley
Forced into retirement, Evan Smoak gets an urgent request for help from someone he didn’t even suspect existed.
As a boy, Evan Smoak was pulled out of a foster home and trained in an off-the-books operation known as the Orphan Program. He was a government assassin, perhaps the best, known to a few insiders as Orphan X. He eventually broke with the Program and adopted a new name – The Nowhere Man―and a new mission, helping the most desperate in their times of trouble. But the highest power in the country has made him a tempting offer – in exchange for an unofficial pardon, he must stop his clandestine activities as The Nowhere Man. Now Evan has to do the one thing he’s least equipped to do – live a normal life.
But then he gets a call for help from the one person he never expected. A woman claiming to have given him up for adoption, a woman he never knew – his mother. Her unlikely request: help Andrew Duran – a man whose life has gone off the rails, who was in the wrong place at the wrong time, bringing him to the deadly attention of very powerful figures. Now a brutal brother & sister assassination team are after him and with no one to turn to, and no safe place to hide, Evan is Duran’s only option. But when the hidden cabal catches on to what Evan is doing, everything he’s fought for is on the line– including his own life.
(Source of Blurb: Author Website)
Review: “Prodigal Son” is another entertaining thriller by Gregg Hurwitz. The protagonist, Evan Smoak, is a likeable, capable character, full of quirks and flaws that add to his allure. There are a few character quirks that I still don’t understand after reading two “Orphan X” books, like his obsession with vodka and his use of a “floating bed”, but these make the protagonist even more interesting. Smoak is sort of a superman with a lot of human baggage. The real strength of this book is the scenario that seems far-fetched, but becomes more plausible and more terrifying as the story unfolds. This excellent story features a heavy dose of technology that is well-researched and well-explained. The author also provided a good deal of backstory, so a reader new to the series will enjoy the story as well.
The author explores a lot of Evan Smoak’s human baggage in “Prodigal Son”. Relationships are an underlying theme. They help define the protagonist and help readers identify with him as a fellow human. Overall, I enjoyed this exploration of Smoak’s softer side, but some readers might find it overdone. I also find his “friends”, including a quirky but competent computer hacker and an inventive weapons supplier, make it a little too easy for him to escape from difficulty.
Overall, this is a very good read, with colorful characters and a well-constructed, twisty and frightening plot.
I would like to thank NetGalley and Minotaur Publications for providing me with an ARC in return for providing an honest review.
Rating: 4.0 /5.0
Link to Author’s Website: https://gregghurwitz.net/