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The Second Life of Nick Mason

by Steve Hamilton

Series: Nick Mason (1)

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3022063,683 (3.69)30
"Nick Mason is out of prison. After five years inside, he has just been given the one thing a man facing 25-to-life never gets, a second chance. But it comes at a terrible price. Nick Mason is out of prison, but he's not free. Whenever his cell phone rings, day or night, he must answer it and follow whatever order he is given. It's the deal he made with Darius Cole, a criminal kingpin serving a double-life term who still runs an empire from his prison cell.Forced to commit increasingly more dangerous crimes, hunted by the relentless detective who put him behind bars, and desperate to go straight and rebuild his life with his daughter and ex-wife, Nick will ultimately have to risk everything--his family, his sanity, and even his life--to finally break free"--… (more)

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» See also 30 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 20 (next | show all)
Great start to a new crime series. ( )
  ThomasPluck | Apr 27, 2020 |
3.5/5 stars ( )
  Charrlygirl | Mar 22, 2020 |
This was great! Full of action and unsuspecting turns! I'm sure this is going to be a popular series about Nick Mason and I can't wait to see where he goes in his "second life." I don't always like "crime" stories but this is more like, the bad guy is the hero. Nick is trapped in this life where he has more rules to follow than he did in prison but he's going to do the best he can while making sure the real bad guys get punished.

Thanks to First to Read for providing me with and ARC to review. ( )
  vickimarie2002 | Feb 19, 2020 |
Best marketed to someone who grew up playing Grand Theft Auto.
  AnnaHernandez | Oct 17, 2019 |
An Antihero Minus the Hero

The Second Life of Nick Mason is the story of, you guessed it, Nick Mason, who agrees to an unspecified contract with criminal mastermind, Darius Cole, in exchange for getting released from prison 20 years early. The subsequent requirements of that agreement, however, push Mason to actions he never thought he would commit.

Steve Hamilton, the author, is a great storyteller. Over the first third or more of the book, he recounts how Mason came to know Cole and why Cole chose him as the individual he would spring from prison to do his bidding. He also describes the events that led to Mason’s imprisonment with Cole, slowly building the suspense and tension.

But for me, the plot starts to go awry beyond that point. Mason, as an antihero, if that is what he is meant to be, never quite fits. Most antiheros are morally ambiguous, but Mason seems morally bankrupt. He seems willing to be carried further and further into depravity. He knows it’s wrong to steal cars, but it’s a life. He knows it’s a bad idea to expand into robbery, but he does. He knows he should not be working with partners who carry guns and tend to panic, but they are his friends. And when he is caught, sent to prison, and sprung by Cole, he continues his descent at Cole’s direction, while making excuses and lamenting the loss of his life and his daughter. He seems rather pathetic.

Hamilton also seems to shift ground a bit. Early in the book, Cole is portrayed as extremely powerful, as evidenced by the way he gets Mason out of prison. But later, when a new threat arises (I’ll leave that threat unnamed to avoid a spoiler), Cole is seen as somewhat weak, as he only has Mason and one other to do his bidding. Then at the end, Cole becomes all powerful again. It all seems pretty thin, the way power seems to shift with little more than the exchange of threats.

Nick Mason may emerge as an antihero we can get behind, but for now, he's not there yet. ( )
  BMPerrin | Sep 17, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 20 (next | show all)
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Nick Mason's freedom lasted less than a minute.
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"Nick Mason is out of prison. After five years inside, he has just been given the one thing a man facing 25-to-life never gets, a second chance. But it comes at a terrible price. Nick Mason is out of prison, but he's not free. Whenever his cell phone rings, day or night, he must answer it and follow whatever order he is given. It's the deal he made with Darius Cole, a criminal kingpin serving a double-life term who still runs an empire from his prison cell.Forced to commit increasingly more dangerous crimes, hunted by the relentless detective who put him behind bars, and desperate to go straight and rebuild his life with his daughter and ex-wife, Nick will ultimately have to risk everything--his family, his sanity, and even his life--to finally break free"--

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