Evan Smoak lives by his own code. As a boy he was taken from a foster home to be raised and trained as an off-the-books government assassin codenamed Orphan X. Then he broke free to live in the shadows as the Nowhere Man, using his unique skills to help those in desperate need. But all good things must come to an end. He'll take on one last mission then go out on a high note. Clean, neat and tidy, just the way he likes it. And then he met Max Merriweather.
Max Merriweather hasn't got much left to lose. Bad luck and trouble have seen off his marriage, his home and his career. On the face of it he's the last guy you'd expect to be trusted with a deadly secret. Which is exactly why his cousin gave him an envelope with the instruction: 'If anything ever happens to me, call the number inside.' Now his cousin is dead and Max's own chances of survival look bleak. On the run and stalked by death, he meets the one man who might save him: Evan Smoak.
But with Max now under his protection, Evan realizes that the forces ranged against them pose as daunting a threat as he has ever faced. He'll be lucky just to get through it alive . . .