Book review: 'Into the Fire' by Gregg Hurwitz is at times brutal

  • "Into the Fire" by Gregg Hurwitz.

    "Into the Fire" by Gregg Hurwitz. Associated Press/Minotaur

By Jeff Ayers
Associated Press
Posted2/11/2020 6:00 AM

"Into the Fire" by Gregg Hurwitz; Minotaur; 392 pages

Evan Smoak, the man formerly known as Orphan X, decides to retire after one more mission to help someone. But the call he receives throws him into the most difficult and life-threatening case of his career in Gregg Hurwitz's latest thriller, "Into the Fire."


Max Merriweather learns that his cousin has been killed. Max is already devastated by the loss of his wife, and he's barely squeaking by. His cousin gave him an envelope that he asked Max to pass on to a local reporter if something happened to him. When a huge guy arrives in his apartment and begins to rip apart the place clearly looking for something, Max realizes that the envelope contains something very important. Fearing for his life, he decides to call the phone number that Smoak answers.

Since this is the last mission he's going to take, Smoak figures this will be relatively easy. When the reporter is found murdered, it becomes clear that this is bigger than he originally thought. What seals it is when he thinks he's eliminated the main threat for good, but then another person comes into play and the attacks continue. The organization Smoak is fighting is like a giant sweater, with him only pulling out a thread at a time, but the garment is still big and whole.

The story is brutal at times and Smoak has to dig deep and fight not only unseen enemies but also his physical body as the injuries begin to pile up. And when these villains track him down, everything he holds dear is at risk.

Hurwitz has a stellar series with Orphan X, and the stories get better with each installment. Throwing the main character literally into the fire showcases how truly heroic Evan Smoak is. He's the man you want in your corner when justice is needed.

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