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review SPOILER ALERT! 2020-03-04 16:31
Evan Smoak last mission as Nowhere Man before retirement
Into the Fire (An Orphan X Thriller) - Gregg Hurwitz

Evan Smoak wants the normal peaceful life. Preferably with his neighbor Mia. 


One last mission. 


Max is the cousin of Grant, the smart accountant. Max was given by Grant a key before he was killed by some bad guys. Now the bad guys are chasing after him too. 

Max was desperate. And someone found him being distress, told him to find Nowhere Man.


Now Evan is on the mission. He found out that the secret of the key Max has given. He also solicit help from another program escapee Joey, a teenage girl with world class hacker skill. 


Evan found out the hard way the bad guys was just lower management on a bigger organization. 


Once Evan is on the mission. He is determined. He didn't back down or found it too hard to accomplish. He know it is hard and do it anyway. 


The motivation is odd. It is not redemption. It is empathy. Evan know how it feel to have no choice, to feel helpless as the opposing force is just too big and ugly. 


To be put into a situation that is doom from the start. 


Evan knows how it feel and so did Joey. 


In the middle of this, Evan rescue a dog. Now he need Joey not only for the hacking skill but as dog sitter.  Joey seems not to care for the dog at first. But it is good for her to have the company of a dog who would love them unconditionally. 


Side story also make Mia angry at Evan. Ida, the old lady in the building was robbed.  Her necklace was stolen. It was a gift from her late husband. It is not only the violence that upset her. It only humiliated her, make her feel helpless. 


Of course Evan is going to find out who did it. Mia is also on the case. And when the robber confessed to the crime and the necklace returned to the owner in an envelop under her door. Mia knew that Evan has got involved and she confronted Evan. She was upset as he seems to work outside of the law.  Nice setup for what's next. 


More danger and action is in for Evan. the situation seems to be hopeless. And it is a bit like mission impossible at time. 


Interesting read. Nice character development. The plot is a bit surreal but it is all good fun.


Looking forward to the next one. 




After a good night sleep. I still think about Evan and his life. He was very unlucky to be born and abandoned by his parents. He was adopted but that didn't work out. He was then live in an uncertain state until he was legally declared abandoned and go into the foster system. Being taken by Jack to be trained as an assassin is not great but still give him the stability. 


The hard thing to do is to stay human. That is the lesson learned here. When we are ordered to do something, or it is part of our job. How staying human would help other human to stay human too. 


Evan is in a state also from longing to have human relation, so much so that he fears it. Fear to get too close. Fear that other person would find out who he is and not like him.  Mai said she finally knows him. I really hope that's true. 



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review 2020-01-16 02:29
{Unfair review} Nate last adventure
The Survivor - Gregg Hurwitz

Nate is trying to jump off a building and commit suicide. 


That was interrupted by a bank robbery. As he really has a death wish, he risked his life and confronted those who are in progress of opening the bank vault and stopped five of them. Only one escape. 


He ended up not badly injured and carried a little girl out of the bank and become a hero. 


In his personal life, he is a mess. His wife is going to divorce him, and a new guy already moved in his house. His daughter was angry at him for disappearing on her for nine months. 


He stayed away because he has ALS. And he didn't wanted his family to suffer through his illness. But now he become involved in stopping a bank heist, he has to tell his own family in his own words. 


That's the beginning of the book. 


I said is unfair as the book take a turn when the sixth man found him and threatened his daughter. They wanted him to pay for being there and spoiled their plan. 


I skip a lot at this point because it is late and I'm sleepy. And I wanted to know if it is a sad ending or not. 


So... I skip to the end and found out. Now that I know, I have to put this away and let me forget part of this before I could pick it up again.


I would mark this as finished and be back in a year.


Overall, it is a good book on how a person could gain some clarity at the end of life and confronted with a timeline toward death. Why waste time to please others when the outcome is not good for neither party. Why not spend more time with those he really care about. A lot of regrets that come too late. 


The other good part is how he has to fight the bad guys while gradually losing control over his own body. This is what is scary and hard to read. 


The not so good bits is the motivation of the bad guys. Why take the risk and wasted resource on a guy that might not be that good in helping them. This blackmail driven part is not really that logical. 


Overall, a 4 stars read. 


It is still unfair as I did skipped over chapters. 

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review 2020-01-14 09:21
Tim is back to get a woman out of a cult
The Program - Gregg Hurwitz

Tim is back to work. A man in position is asking the Marshall service to get her daughter out. 


Leah is in a cult. The book go through the strategy of recruitment and how they attacked a person self-esteem. 


The scary part is that I have similar experienced in an Evangelical church before when I was still in university. Religion and cult is the same thing if they are trying to control human behavior and bring down a person esteem to worship a monster as deity. The "Life Boat" exercise echoed my experience for being put down and pressured into joining. 


The rest is pretty good. How Tim is being turned into a mark and joining the retreat. How the "Teacher" has all the power and sexual abuse young women. 


I stayed up for this. Read too fast as I wanted so much to read the ending. This is going to be re-read and enjoyed again. 


Dray is there and very supportive. Tim is not really having a lot of character developments in this one beside being protective and could endure physical attacks. 


Nicely done. 4.5 stars. 


I missed Booklikes for a few days as it was offline. Glad to be back. 



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review 2019-12-23 08:07
If You Tell by Gregg Olsen
If You Tell - Gregg Olsen

I received a complimentary Kindle copy of If You Tell by Gregg Olsen in an Amazon promotion. It is a horrifying true-crime story.


That did not change my opinion for this review. I gave this book four stars.


"For years, behind the closed doors of their farmhouse in Raymond, Washington, their sadistic mother, Shelly, subjected her girls to unimaginable abuse, degradation, torture, and psychic terrors."


Link to purchase: https://www.amazon.com/If-You-Tell-Unbreakable-Sisterhood-ebook/dp/B07Q5TL9SQ

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review 2019-12-13 11:00
Door 15:  International Human Rights Day (Book Task)
The Kill Clause - Gregg Hurwitz

International Human Rights Day


Book: Read a book featuring a strong female character (or characters), by an author from any minority group, a story about a minority overcoming their oppressors, or revolving around the rights of others either being defended or abused, a book set in New York City, or a book originally written in a language other than English and / or your mother tongue or by anyone not Anglo-Saxon.


Tim Rackley is a marshal who is married and has a daughter. His world fall apart when his daughter was raped and killed by someone who escaped justice before. 


Now a shadow group approach him and said they got tips that his daughter's killer has an accomplice.  This group is into vigilantism and want to recruit him to be the executioner. 


That's the start of the story. It is about defending others people, especially from those why preyed on them. To defend someone is hard, especially justice depends so much on evidence and how professionally law enforcement agents do their job. 


It explored the idea of this and go further to see how grief has changed the person. 


It is because of human rights that know that we have to accept that some bad persons might escape justice, even with the best of efforts. It is the good people who watch out for other people that we admired. It is not necessary those who wear any form of uniform. Tim acted out not as a marshal but as a person, a father, a husband and a person who insist on doing the right thing. 


4.5 stars read. 


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