Category Archives: Dark Horse

Review: Dark Horse by Gregg Hurwitz

Title: Dark Horse by Gregg Hurwitz
Orphan X Series Book Seven
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Genre: Contemporary, Action, Suspense
Length: 422 pages
Book Rating: B+

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley


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.


Dark Horse by Gregg Hurwitz is a multi-layered novel that is full of tension. Although this latest release is the seventh installment in the Orphan X series, it can be read as a standalone. However, I recommend all of the novels in this terrific series.

Evan Smoak’s latest adventure as The Nowhere Man involves infiltrating a drug cartel in order to rescue Aragón Urrea’s eighteen-year-old daughter Angelina. Evan wrestles with his conscience before agreeing to work for Urrea since he is an “unconventional businessman” who is also on the wrong side of the law.  Evan is surprised by how much he likes Aragón but The Nowhere Man will walk away if his prospective client does not agree to his terms. They are sometimes locked in a battle of wills, but Urrea’s love for his daughter means he will do anything to ensure her safe return.

Since Evan is far from home, he relies heavily on Joey Morales’ mad computer skills for a deep dive on Urrea and the cartel leader, Raul “The Dark Man” Montesco. Evan bluffs his way into Montesco’s trust but rescuing Angelina will be a delicate operation with little room for error. He comes up with an audacious but extremely dangerous plan to bring Angelina safely back home.

Evan is at odds with Joey who wants to stretch her wings but only with his approval. He is also very worried about his neighbor and romantic interest, Mia Hall. Evan does not want to make promises he cannot keep nor does he want to become even more emotionally involved with her and her wonderful nine-year-old son Peter. Despite the danger he is facing while rescuing Angelina, he is quite reflective about his personal life. Will what he discovers about himself help Evan make a decision about Mia and Peter during an unexpected crisis?

Dark Horse is a thrilling novel that is action-packed. Evan puts the skills he learned from his mentor and the Orphan program to good use during his daring rescue attempt. He and the regular cast of characters retain their appeal as they continue to grow and evolve.  The secondary characters are well-developed even though many of them are impossible to like. With Evan’s bold rescue plant set into motion, Gregg Hurwitz brings this nerve-wracking novel to a bloody yet satisfying conclusion. The jaw-dropping epilogue will leave old and new fans of the Orphan X series impatiently awaiting the next installment.


Filed under Action, Contemporary, Dark Horse, Gregg Hurwitz, Minotaur Books, Rated B+, Review, Suspense