Crime & Beyond Wiki

Crime & Beyond met in June to discuss Hellbent by Gregg Hurwitz. Summer is in full swing and we had a small turnout, but still a great discussion.

Hellbent is the third book in the Orphan X series. In book one, Orphan X, we met Evan Smoak and learned about the Orphan program. In book two, The Nowhere Man, Evan faced off against his nemesis, Van Sciver, and spent the whole book trapped in a compound with a creepy guy who was trying to stop the aging process by taking the blood of young people. We didn’t like book two quite as much as book one because we got tired of the compound—thank god for poisonous mushrooms. In book three, Hellbent, Evan is back on the streets. Jack is dead and Evan has been tasked with keeping a package safe. The package, as we all know, is Joey, a sixteen year old orphan program reject that Jack was trying to hide from Van Sciver, who is not surprisingly STILL set on killing Evan. Candy makes an appearance, as does her evil, murderous personality. But we also see a little bit of a soft side from her.

The scores were pretty high for this book. We gave it: three 9s, four 8.5s, one 8, one 7.5, two 7s, one 5+ (the NBA finals were on and Pat just didn’t have time to read) and one no score (because Allie kept falling asleep).

The good scores stemmed from our enjoyment of not only Joey, but Evan interacting with Joey. We loved her addition to the storyline. Kim could actually see her rolling her eyes at Evan and thought that Joey made him more human. Evan was a bit more vulnerable in this book and we liked to see that side of him. Evan’s character was definitely fleshed out more in book 3. The general consensus is, however, that Joey served her purpose and won’t be back for another appearance. Stephanie liked that Candy became “The Tart With a Heart.” I wonder what would happen if she came up against Bosch in a Bra?

Some liked that the book was a fun, quick read. Gail wanted Evan to get together with Mia, but they seem to still be doomed not to connect. Sharon L. added a point to her score because he killed off Van Sciver and we all agreed he needed to die and Evan needed to move on to other foes, you know, like the President.

Amy pointed out that the whole Nowhere Man part (where Evan takes a call on his Rum Zone and helps the person on the other end. (You have to understand that I only listen to these, so I have no idea what the phone is called, but it sounds like the narrator is saying Rum Zone. [It's RoamZone -ed.]) The Nowhere Man call in this book was the man who wanted to get his kid away from a gang. It kind of seemed like the author added that part in order to use the tracker to kill the gang members and wipe out Van Sciver’s men at the same time. A version of Daisy, perhaps. We did like how he calmly ate a Snickers bar to start the tracker and then brought in the assassins to kill the gangbangers, but it was a bit contrived...cause it IS fiction after all!

Jay thought the torture of the guy who was hiding the Smith kid was gratuitous and Kelly noted that Evan lost a father figure in Jack and then became one to Joey. We all loved the notes he sent her in sealed envelopes at the end. So I will end on that Awwww moment, brought to you by Hallmark.

We chose our next 6 books, but I don’t have their order yet. Terri is looking at library copies and holds to help me determine when might be a good time to read them. None of the ones we chose had less than 20 copies, so we shouldn’t be any worse off than we normally are. They are listed below so you can get a jump on finding your own copy if that’s what you do. I bought 5 copies of the Christmas book and will be giving those away as prizes. This month we will have a fun contest, but you’re going to have to show up to find out what it is. Why just pull numbers from a hat when you can test the crime knowledge of book club members?

Our books for Sept-Feb:

  • The Hush by John Hart
  • Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz
  • Bring me Back by B.A. Paris
  • The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn
  • The Fallen by David Baldacci
  • December: Christmas Crimes at Puzzel Manor by Simon Brett

We will meet to discuss Tess Gerritsen’s I Know a Secret on Monday, July 23. I will lead and Kim is bringing snacks, so you know they will be good!


Written from the beach with this view: