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Evan is The Nowhere Man, aka Orphan X. He was taken from an orphanage at the young age of 12 and placed in a secret government program where he learned to become a killing machine. Years later, after betrayals and lots of soul searching, Evan decided to leave the Program and retreat to his own personal purgatory, to give a kind of penance for all the people he killed over the years.
So he became The Nowhere Man, helping people at the end of their rope, people who had no one else to turn to.
Each person’s payment for Evan’s help is to simply give his phone number to someone else who is in dire need of help as well.
Now, we meet Evan once again getting the much-expected phone call. “Do you need my help?” This is how he usually answers his phone. However, there is a difference now. Evan feels he has done enough penance, and it’s time he starts living his own life for once. So he knows this call will be the last; this case will be his last as The Nowhere Man. At least, that’s what he’s telling himself.
Max Merriweather is on the other end of the line, and he needs Evan’s help. Badly. His cousin gave him an envelope recently and told him to bring it to some journalist in case he is killed. Which he is. So Max does just that. Except, things don’t go as planned, and now there are some people after Max who desperately want that envelope and want him gone for good.
I’ve read so far every single Evan Smoak book, and each became more and more action-packed. I was hooked on the series from the very first story, so when St. Martin’s Press approached me with an ARC copy, did I jump at the opportunity with both hands? Yes, I did! And the book not only didn’t disappoint, but it vastly exceeded my expectations.
The action wouldn’t stop from almost the first page. It was an absolute roller-coaster. There was always something going on, and at some point, I felt I was next to a Matryoshka doll, or an onion that just kept on peeling. As soon as Evan helped Max with is problem and they both thought the case was solved, there was another enemy that still needed defeating. And then another…and each was more dangerous than the last.
The situations Evan put himself into – often willingly and with full sanity, mind you, were close to the supernatural. And, in some cases, he was jumping in head first with no weapons on him whatsoever. Who knew that newspapers could be so deadly?
Despite his toughness, Evan is a good man with a deep and generous heart. A heart that can beat silly for the right woman, who happens to be Mia, his own neighbor and District Attorney. I was really glad that his personal situation with Mia came out in the open finally. But I won’t spoil it any further than that.
Another person I loved here was Joey, the youngest ever rectruit into the Program, whom now Evan has under his wing and protection. Sometimes she’s just like your regular spoiled teenager. Other times, she’s wise beyond her years.
While reading the book, I kept feeling a deep, lingering disappointment. It was clear that Evan wanted out. He wanted to stop helping people, which means the series might come to an end. But then, at the end, the author had just the remedy for my blues: a twist that I’m pretty sure nobody will have seen coming.
Overall, this was a fantastic read, and I can’t wait for the next installment, because the direction it will go towards should be quite an interesting and probably an unexpected one, too.