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Hellbent: Book summary and reviews of Hellbent by Gregg Hurwitz

Hellbent

An Orphan X Novel

by Gregg Hurwitz

Hellbent by Gregg Hurwitz X
Hellbent by Gregg Hurwitz
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  • Published in USA  Jan 2018
    416 pages
    Genre: Thrillers

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Book Summary

Evan Smoak - government assassin gone rogue - returns in Hellbent, an engrossing, unputdownable thriller from Gregg Hurwitz, the latest in his #1 international bestselling Orphan X series.

Taken from a group home at age twelve, Evan Smoak was raised and trained as an off-the-books government assassin: Orphan X. After he broke with the Orphan Program, Evan disappeared and reinvented himself as the Nowhere Man, a man spoken about only in whispers and dedicated to helping the truly desperate.

But this time, the voice on the other end is Jack Johns, the man who raised and trained him, the only father Evan has ever known. Secret government forces are busy trying to scrub the remaining assets and traces of the Orphan Program and they have finally tracked down Jack. With little time remaining, Jack gives Evan his last assignment: find and protect his last protégé and recruit for the program.

But Evan isn't the only one after this last Orphan - the new head of the Orphan Program, Van Sciver, is mustering all the assets at his disposal to take out both Evan (Orphan X) and the target he is trying to protect.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. This is a great novel... do not miss this one." - Booklist

"The master killer hoping for redemption and struggling to relate to others emotionally may be a genre cliché, but such details as Evan's sleeping on a bed levitated by magnets are sure to please fans of the Roger Moore Bond films." - Publishers Weekly

"This one is personal... fans of the first two books will enjoy this nail-biting, twisty thriller." - Library Journal

"As well-done as the rest of the series and bloody good fun." - Kirkus

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Reader Reviews

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Cloggie Downunder

Excellent page-turners!
Hellbent is the third book in the Orphan X series by best-selling American author, Gregg Hurwitz. The one person that Evan Smoak does not expect to call his Nowhere Man line is his mentor, Jack Johns. And it turns out to be a call he would never want to receive. Soon after, he sees vision of Jack’s final moments. But Jack has left him a message and a mission.

Jack’s instructions are for Evan to “secure the package” and it takes him a while to understand that the package is a sixteen-year-old girl, an Orphan Program washout, a discard. His initial plan is to stow Joey somewhere safe while he gets on with his revenge mission, because for sure taking along a sixteen-year-old girl will be nothing but a burden. But it all turns out to be less about revenge than something else.

Joey is no ordinary sixteen-year-old girl, and it's entertaining to watch this lone wolf reluctantly working in tandem with a talented and resourceful teen who knows her way around more than just a computer. Perhaps Evan unintentionally slips on some of Jack's commandments occasionally, but now, with Jack's murder, #4 (never make it personal) is off the table. This time it's definitely personal.

While there are many serious moments, including when Jack dies (but cleverly, very cleverly), much of this installment is hilarious. The addition of this whip-smart young woman makes for many laugh-out-loud interactions, and Joey draws on that human part of him that Jack insisted on nurturing.

For novices of this series, the prologue already sets the tone with Evan Smoak, fight-torn, fleeing police pursuit in a stolen car when thumping begins from the vehicle's trunk. Some of the weapon description is likely to make the eyes glaze over, but again, it’s easy to picture this on the screen, big or small.

As usual, there is a high body count, predicted by the statement "Evan needed to get food, and then he had people to kill." All that going on, and then a Nowhere Man request that brings his in close quarters with a ruthless Salvadoran gang, the threat of which he disperses very elegantly. The Trojan Horse idea? ingenious! A quick short story (The Intern) follows, then it’s on to #4, Out Of The Dark. Excellent page-turners!

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Author Information

Gregg Hurwitz Author Biography

Gregg Hurwitz is the New York Times, #1 internationally bestselling author of 21 thrillers, including Into the Fire (January 2020), and two award-winning thriller novels for teens. His novels have won numerous literary awards, graced top ten lists, and have been published in 32 languages.

Gregg has written screenplays for or sold spec scripts to many of the major studios (including The Book of Henry), and written, developed, and produced television for various networks. He is also a New York Times bestselling comic book writer, having penned stories for Marvel (Wolverine, Punisher) and DC (Batman, Penguin). He has published numerous academic articles on Shakespeare, taught fiction writing in the USC English Department, and guest lectured for UCLA, and for Harvard in the United States ...

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