“Dark Horse”

One family damaged, one family dangerous, and one family facing the unthinkable

“Dark Horse” is the continuing story of Evan Smoak, better known as Orphan X, but new readers will find that everything they need to know is included in the current narrative. This is the story of the good, the bad and the very bad. Typically Evan, in his role as “The Nowhere Man,” is rescuing the good while fighting the bad. This time “The Nowhere Man” receives a call for help from Aragón Urrea, a “bad” man, the head of a cartel, someone very much outside the law; he is not worthy of Evan’s help but his daughter, Anjelina, is. This young woman is in the hands of a rival cartel; she needs his help.

The pace is fast, and the action takes place over just a few days, but it seems like a lifetime to Evan. He lives by his “Second Commandment” so how he does anything is how he does everything. He is constantly evaluating, looking ahead, assuming the worst will happen, and planning his response. He moves carefully and purposefully through this mission, while at the same time, repairs the damage to his apartment, assesses his relationship with his young protégé Joey and her dog named dog, and maintains his dual identities and the resulting complex relationships with residents of Castle Heights.

“Dark Horse” is about complex family dynamics, one family is damaged, one family is dangerous, and one family is facing the unthinkable. Evan advances, changes, and matures in every book; he reaches out a little more each time for the experiences, the emotions, the “normal” things that he has missed. I received a review copy of “Dark Horse” from Gregg Hurwitz, St. Martin’s Press, and Minotaur Books. This adventure, like every “Nowhere Man” adventure, is compelling, provocative, gripping, and entertaining.

I also listened to   “Dark Horse” as an audio book narrated by Scott Brick. Brick has a multi-dimensional voice that at various times is melodic, reassuring, matter of fact, cautionary, unsettling and alarming. There is urgency in the narration, a tone of anticipation and yet dread of what is to come. The audio version provides a very different experience, perhaps an even more absorbing involvement than in the printed book. Both are exciting with non-stop action and reaction.