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Full Name: Smoak, Evan
Series Name: The Nowhere Man
Codename: Orphan X
Nationality: American
Organization: None
Occupation Other - Helper

Creator: Gregg Hurwitz
Time Span: 2016 - 2024


Evan Smoak is a helper.

For many years, too many for his conscience, he was an agent for the government working for an organization with no apparent name comprised of agents with no real past. His name was taken from him though if he were honest with himself he could not say it had ever been his real name. He was an orphan from before he could remember so whatever he was called, it might have been given to him at birth or sometime later. After he was taken from the orphanage at age twelve, he was asked to create a new name. He accepts the suggestion given him and he becomes Evan Smoak. More importantly for the group who trained and then employed him, he was Orphan X.

Through his teen years, learned all that his instructors could teach about pain - giving it and receiving it. He learned how to work through the agony and despite agony and he learned that if he could do it, others could, too. He discovered that many others had been taken down at the last moment by a defeated foe. He learned not to give them the chance.

It was a man named Jack who took him from the orphanage and started his training. It was Jack who was his instructor in many things and his conduit to other teachers for even more. It was Jack who became a cold father figure as well as nurse when injured. It was Jack who taught him the numerous Commandments that would help him survive when training led to doing. First and foremost of these rules was "Assume Nothing". It would save him more than once and chastise him when he forgot it. It became a vital part of his entire way of life.

When his training was over, if it ever really was, he went into the field and used those skills he had so dearly paid to acquire and he caused a good number of bad people to cease breathing forever. After a time, though, no matter how bad the people were, what he was doing ate enough of him away that he knew he needed to stop. More than that, he needed to give back. Not, of course, to those he killed. They deserved it. And not to himself for he had no self-pity. To others.

So he left his work and became the Nowhere Man, a nickname given because he came from nowhere, did what needed doing, and went back there. He did not ask for money or glory or even thanks. He just came to those who were beyond help from others and did what he could to save them and then left.

It might have been better for the Orphan program if they had just let him go.


Number of Books:9
First Appearance:2016
Last Appearance:2024

1 Orphan X Orphan X
Written by Gregg Hurwitz
Copyright: 2016

The Nowhere Man was becoming a legend - a man who came from nowhere to help those with nowhere to turn. Now, though, someone is hunting him and using those he tries to help as bait to lure him in and kill him. That someone is also an Orphan
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2 The Nowhere Man The Nowhere Man
Written by Gregg Hurwitz
Copyright: 2017

Being drugged and kidnapped by a psychopath would usually mean the death of the victim. When that person is Evan Smoak, the Nowhere Man, though, the tables are sure to turn.
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3 Hell Bent Hell Bent
Written by Gregg Hurwitz
Copyright: 2018

It was Jack who took an orphan and trained him to be the incredible killing machine that Orphan X has become and it was Jack's death that make Smoak decide to leave the program and start a new line as the Nowhere Man. It is Jack now on the phone talking about the government out to kill him (again).
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4 Out Of The Dark Out Of The Dark
Written by Gregg Hurwitz
Copyright: 2019

The man who started the Orphan project so many years ago is now wanting to erase all traces of it to cover his tracks. Considering the fact that he is now the President of the U.S., he is likely to succeed except he has now made an enemy of Orphan X and that is not a healthy situation for either.
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5 Into The Fire Into The Fire
Written by Gregg Hurwitz
Copyright: 2020

Max needs help. His cousin was murdered. He left Max an envelope with just a key in it. Max does not know what the key is for but someone must because someone is trying to kill him for it. For that needed assistance, he appeals to the Nowhere Man, Evan Smoak, aka Orphan X.
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6 Prodigal Son Prodigal Son
Written by Gregg Hurwitz
Copyright: 2021

Evan Smoak had been living in an orphanage when at age 12 he was pulled out to begin his training in the government's ultra covert Orphan program. Now many years after he had left the program and started his Nowhere Man program, he receives a call asking for help - from a woman claiming to have been his birth mother.
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7 Dark Horse Dark Horse
Written by Gregg Hurwitz
Copyright: 2022

"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."
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8 The Last Orphan The Last Orphan
Written by Gregg Hurwitz
Copyright: 2023

"The last survivor of the off-the-books programme that raised and trained him, Evan Smoak was sent around the world to do his government's dirty work. Until he escaped. Now once again in need of his particular skill-set, the President tracks him down and offers him a deal: kill a man she deems too dangerous or be executed himself. Evan must decide whether to accept. He's spent years trying to atone for his former life. But if by taking on the mission he must betray the very principles he now lives by, what is left?"
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9 Lone Wolf Lone Wolf
Written by Gregg Hurwitz
Copyright: 2024

"Now struggling with an unexpected personal crisis, Evan goes back to the very basics of his mission - and this time, the truly desperate is a little girl who wants him to find her missing dog. Not his usual mission, and not one Evan embraces with enthusiasm, but this unlikely, tiny job quickly explodes into his biggest mission yet, one that finds him battered between twisted AI technocrat billionaires, a mysterious female assassin who seems a mirror of himself, and personal stakes so gut-wrenching he can scarcely make sense of them."
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Number of Stories:3
First Appearance:2016
Last Appearance:2020

1 Buy A Bullet Buy A Bullet
short story
Written by Gregg Hurwitz
Copyright: 2016

This is the first case Orphan X took after he decided to use his formidable skills to help others. Just finishing a sanctioned assignment in the Bay area, Evan Smoak comes across a woman literally in the grips of a billionaire who likes to hurt the ones he 'loves'.
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2 The Intern The Intern
Written by Gregg Hurwitz
Copyright: 2018

Taking place immediately after the events of Hell Bent and the fight with the gang leader, Freeway, a young female reporter intern is placed in danger by her "macho" mentor and needs the help of someone like Orphan X.
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3 The List The List
Written by Gregg Hurwitz
Copyright: 2020

Joey Morales is the teenage girl that Orphan X rescued from the Orphan program and set up at a nearby college. She tries to stop a young woman from committing suicide but fails. When she learns the girl did it because of a document called The List put out by boys in a fraternity, Morales decides to use her skills to get vengeance for all the girls they had hurt.
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Oh, my! I was so absolutely hooked by the series from the first words spoken. Well, I was grabbed by the premise detained in the blurbs about the book and knew I had to get it. I got it two ways - ebook and audio. I cannot say why both except that I was looking for something different for the ride to and from work and this "sounded" good. It was at times a bit too good. I would get to work and just sit until a chapter ended. I got home and waited in the car for a scene to finish. I wanted to know how the whole thing ended and worried when it was getting close to the end.

There have been many authors who had that effect on me. Lee Child. Dick Francis. James Clavell. Jonathan Maberry. Daniel Silva. John Maxim. Tom Wood. And many more. Gregg Hurwitz is a welcome addition to that impressive list. Evan Smoak, Orphan X, is a character I will be following for as many years to come as the author chooses to give me. I hope it will be many.

What I liked about the character, as well as the delivery and the presentation and the plotting, all of which are excellent, is the fact that he is so darn good and still so very fallible. He is no super agent but he is superbly talented. He knows one of his Commandments is to not make it personal and he is human enough to fail at it.

I think you will like Orphan X as well and I hope you give him a shot.


My Grade: A+

Your Average Grade:   A+


dzappa A+ 2018-02-16

I have to agree that this series is absolutely awesome!! I was hooked early in the first book & the series has proceeded to get better with each installment. Whether referring to the books as Evan Smoak, Orphan X or The Nowhere Man, I give them near perfect marks across the board & encourage you to enjoy them as I know I have!

RappFan32 A+ 2018-10-23

Absolutely amazing!!!! I can’t wait for Out if the Shadows in January ‘19

MonsieurH A++ 2019-02-16

I''m halfway through the fourth novel. My interest in this series is solely based on my enjoyment of the first novel. As well the consecutive novels have not disappointed me. Now the fourth novel, OUT OF THE DARK, is a veritable masterpiece. Hurwitz has crafted a confluence of plots that threaten to interfere with the primary plot. The tension and the thrills are building up well. Thsi is only halfway though!!!

morris00 A+ 2020-12-01

Different sort of protagonist. Great stories,solid action.

dbuhler A 2021-02-13

Evan is a somewhat different flavor than so many of these superheroes among the assassins and spies of fiction. He is likable and the action sequences are a kick. A pinch of Jack Reacher, a dash of Jonathan Grave, and a smattering of Court Gentry, mix well, and you have Evan Smoak.

Audiblereader A+ 2021-04-04

How does Jack die by stepping out of a helicopter in one book and dies in a house in another? What did I miss?

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