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Exit Strategy by Steve Hamilton
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Exit Strategy

by Steve Hamilton

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Exit Strategy is the follow up of the Second Life of Nick Mason. Exit Strategy is a page turner I found hard to put down. It helps to have read the first book as it sets the characters and plot up. The ending either set was set up for another Nick Mason or the conclusion of the series-I'm not sure which is the case. ( )
  lewilliams | Jun 22, 2018 |
I absolutely loved this book. I happened across book 1 at the library and really enjoyed it. I love the character of Nick Mason. He is torn between doing the right thing and protecting the people he cares about. I am certainly a fan of this series and I hope there will be a third book!

I received a galley copy from First to Read. ( )
1 vote NikkiK94 | Mar 21, 2018 |
This is the follow-up book to The Second Life of Nick Mason where he is trying to take back control of his life from the crime lord who owns it.
I found this book to be action-packed from the first page to the last page. I liked it better than the first book and the ending was a complete surprise. The good characters are starting to grow on me and the bad ones I hate even more. I was glad to see that Cole got what he deserves and I am now looking forward to reading the third book in the series.
I find Steve Hamilton to be an excellent writer and I need to check out his Alex McNight novels. I would highly recommend this book to those who like action-packed thrillers. It's best to read them in order so start with The Second Life of Nick Mason. ( )
  EadieB | Jul 17, 2017 |
This well-constructed thriller will have your adrenaline pumping from the very beginning. This is apparently the second in a series about Nick Mason, and I did not read the first, but had no trouble catching on.

Nick Mason had been incarcerated for felony murder when a fellow robbery conspirator killed someone while the robbery was being committed. Mason got released from federal prison in Terre Haute after serving five and a half years, thanks to an unwritten contract he made with a very powerful prisoner, Darius Cole. Cole orchestrated Mason’s release so Mason could work for him on the outside. For getting his life back (in a way), Mason agreed to be on call twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, to do whatever was asked of him, “no matter what it was.”

In essence, and in spite of being opposed to murder, Mason became Cole’s “angel of death,” performing executions of those Cole wanted eliminated. But, “…even though Mason killed people, complete strangers, he lived by a code: No innocent victims.”

Another of Cole’s “employees,” Marcus Quintero, provides Mason with his assignments and the weaponry to carry it out. In the first operation we read about as the book opens, Mason has to get through between ten and twelve “high-end guys” to get to the target. This is considered to be not a problem for Mason, even though he was not an assassin prior to his conviction for robbery.

This target, as well as the second assigned to Mason, is set to testify against Cole in his upcoming retrial. Cole has no intention of letting these potential witnesses live to do that, in spite of their being very heavily protected. Somehow, with all Cole’s connections on the outside, he manages to find out where these men are and exactly how they are guarded. He also has a bead on every aspect of Mason’s life in order to keep Mason under his thumb. So, for example, when Mason is sent out on a job, if he doesn’t do what he has been told to do, Mason understands that Quintero’s job is to go take out Mason’s ex-wife and daughter, both of whom are the most important people in Mason’s life. It was to continue to see them and to protect them that Mason made the deal with Cole and continues to honor it.

Nevertheless, Mason keeps trying to come up with an “exit strategy” to get himself out of this situation. Cole’s tentacles are pretty deep, however, more so than Mason had imagined possible.

Discussion: This book has excellent discussions of the legal issues surrounding Cole’s retrial, and a fun look at the culture of Southside Irish Chicago. Hamilton is also to be commended for integrating into his story some important aspects of policing in Chicago, such as the much maligned honor code and the notorious secret detention and interrogation site at Homan Square.

But Cole’s success at infiltration and compromising people seems a little improbable, as does Mason’s success as an assassin against huge odds. Nevertheless, it makes for exciting reading.

Hamilton is also very good at making a killer (Nick Mason) sympathetic. This aspect helps offset the gritty, dark, and violent aspects of the story.

Evaluation: This thriller will definitely keep you on the edge of your seat. ( )
  nbmars | Jul 3, 2017 |
Exit Strategy] by Steve Hamilton
Nick Mason Series Book #2
4.5★'s

From The Book:
Nick Mason has been given a true mission impossible: Infiltrate WITSEC, the top-secret federal witness-protection program that has never been compromised, locate the three men who put his boss Darius Cole behind bars for life, and kill them. But first he has to find them—they’re ghost prisoners locked down around the clock in classified “deep black” locations by an battalion of heavily armed U.S. marshals charged with protecting them—and the clock is ticking. Cole is appealing his conviction, and these witnesses are either his ticket to freedom or the final nail in his coffin. If they testify, Darius Cole will never step foot in the outside world again. If they are killed, he will walk out a free man.

As he risks everything to complete his mission, Mason finds himself being hunted by the very man he replaced, the ruthless assassin who once served, then betrayed, Darius Cole. Rather than waiting to be Mason's next victim, he has escaped witness protection to hunt down and kill Mason himself.

My Views:
I had read Steve Hamilton's Alex McKnight series for years and was sorry to see that several years had past without more about Alex....so when I saw that Hamilton had produced another series about a reluctant assassin, Nick Mason, I was both excited and reluctant. How could an assassin be anything but an assassin by choice? The first book in the series... The Second Life of Nick Mason answered that question in spades.

Exit Strategy...the second book in the series finds Nick trying to balance his "new life" and stay alive at the same time. He wants to see his daughter but being anywhere near her presents danger. He wants to see justice done but all his attempts are met with violence at every turn. Can Nick survive and will he ever find freedom? As readers look for those answers we are thrown a monumental twist that will keep us eagerly awaiting the third book. Don't keep us waiting Steve. Get to writing. ( )
1 vote Carol420 | Jun 3, 2017 |
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To Julia

Again and always
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You kill one person, it changes you.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0399574387, Hardcover)

In the stunning follow-up to the New York Times bestseller The Second Life of Nick Mason, the remarkable hero fights to take back control from the crime lord who owns his life, as he races to complete a daring and dangerous new mission. . . .

Nick Mason has been given a true mission impossible: Infiltrate WITSEC, the top-secret federal witness-protection program that has never been compromised, locate the three men who put his boss Darius Cole behind bars for life, and kill them.

But first he has to find them—they’re ghost prisoners locked down around the clock in classified “deep black” locations by an battalion of heavily armed U.S. marshals charged with protecting them—and the clock is ticking. Cole is appealing his conviction, and these witnesses are either his ticket to freedom or the final nail in his coffin. If they testify, Darius Cole will never step foot in the outside world again. If they are killed, he will walk out a free man. 

As he risks everything to complete his mission, Mason finds himself being hunted by the very man he replaced, the ruthless assassin who once served, then betrayed, Darius Cole. Rather than waiting to be Mason's next victim, he has escaped witness protection to hunt down and kill Mason himself.

In an action-packed journey that leads from a high-security military installation in the Appalachian Mountains to a secret underground bunker hidden far below the streets of New York City, Nick Mason will have to become, more than ever before, the lethal weapon that Darius Cole created.

(retrieved from Amazon Fri, 31 Mar 2017 07:30:32 -0400)

"Nick Mason is given a daunting new mission -- to find witnesses under federal protection and kill them before they can testify against his master Darius Cole"--

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