The Second Life of Nick Mason

The Second Life of Nick Mason

by Steve Hamilton


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An NPR and Kirkus Reviews Best Book of the Year
A Library Journal Best Thriller of the Year

“A gamechanger. Nick Mason is one of the best main characters I've read in years.”—Harlan Coben

From New York Times-bestselling, two-time Edgar-award-winning author Steve Hamilton comes an unforgettable new hero, a man who will walk out of prison and into a harrowing double life that is anything but free.

Nick Mason has already spent five years inside a maximum security prison when an offer comes that will grant his release twenty years early. He accepts—but the deal comes with a terrible price.

Now, back on the streets, Nick Mason has a new house, a new car, money to burn, and a beautiful roommate. He’s returned to society, but he's still a prisoner. Whenever his cell phone rings, day or night, Nick must answer it and follow whatever order he is given. It’s the deal he made with Darius Cole, a criminal mastermind serving a double-life term who 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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780399574344
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 04/18/2017
Series: Nick Mason Series , #1
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 205,453
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Steve Hamilton is the New York Times-bestselling author of twelve novels, most recently Die a Stranger and Let It Burn.  His debut, A Cold Day in Paradise, won both an Edgar and a Shamus Award for Best First Novel. His standalone novel The Lock Artist was a New York Times Notable Crime Book and won an Alex Award and the Edgar Award for Best Novel. He attended the University of Michigan, where he won the prestigious Hopwood Award for writing, and now lives in Cottekill, NY, with his wife and their two children.

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Excerpted from "The Second Life of Nick Mason"
by .
Copyright © 2017 Steve Hamilton.
Excerpted by permission of Penguin Publishing Group.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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The Second Life of Nick Mason: A Novel 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 17 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Interesting new character. Different type of story, not same old thing, inenjoyed it. I hope there will be more in a series about Nick.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hard to put down. Can't wait to see Mason and Alex join up.
Andrew_of_Dunedin More than 1 year ago
One mistake. One mistake can cost a man his entire lifetime, if not his life. Except … Nick Mason, riding out a 20 year sentence, is given a chance to get back on the streets, his conviction expunged. The price for this freedom may turn out to be a second mistake that costs him a lifetime all over again. In “The Second Life of Nick Mason”, we visit a man who took part in one last questionable job, helping to drive two trucks from the Chicago shipyards to Michigan. All he had to do was drive, until the DEA stopped to ask questions. And the cops showed up, and there was shooting, and a DEA agent lay dead. While in prison, Nick is taken under the wing of one Darius Cole, who simply moved his base of operations from Chicago to the federal penitentiary in Terre Houte. The warden may have been in charge of the prison, but it was obvious that Cole actually RAN it. He wanted Nick to be his man on the outside, and arranged for it to happen. Author Steve Hamilton uses both Darius Cole AND Nick Mason to cause the reader to think about, “What is ‘freedom’?” Is it a freedom of location, or of action, or what? AND, whatever our circumstances, how free are we REALLY? He does his job well enough that at times, this book made me feel quite uncomfortable – and I don’t know if that was the author’s intent or not? RATING: The book was well written, and made me think – and was tough to put down. I’m tempted to downgrade it a little because it sometimes gave me the willies, BUT darn it, that’s what an author is SUPPOSED to do! 5 stars.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I’ve already read the second book in the nick Mason series. Cannot wait for the third! Loved the story, could not put the book down.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was so good that i bought the Ebook version and pre ordered the new book on Amazon and im definetly going to buy the Ebook for the sequel when it comes out Sincerly Steven
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this book very much! Will purchase the sequel
gloriafeit More than 1 year ago
From the publisher: A career criminal from Chicago’s South Side, Nick Mason got his start stealing cars and quickly graduated to safe-cracking and armed robbery. But he left that life behind when he met and married his wife and settled down with her and their young daughter – until an old friend offered him a job he couldn’t refuse. That fateful night at the harbor landed him in prison with a 25-to-life sentence and little hope of seeing his wife or daughter ever again. When Nick is offered a deal allowing his release twenty years ahead of schedule, he takes it without hesitation or fully realizing the consequences. Once outside, Nick steps into a glamorous life with a five-million-dollar condo, a new car, ten grand in cash every month, and a beautiful roommate. But while he’s returned to society, he’s still a prisoner, bound to the promise he made behind bars: whenever his cell phone rings, day or night, Nick must answer it and follow whatever order he is given. It’s the deal he made with Darius Cole, a criminal mastermind serving a double-life term who still runs an empire from his prison cell. Whatever Darius Cole needs him to be - - a problem solver, bodyguard, thief, or assassin - - Nick Mason must be that man. Forced to commit increasingly dangerous crimes and relentlessly hunted by the detective who brought him to justice in the past, Nick finds himself in a secret war between Cole and an elite force of Chicago’s dirty cops. 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. How does Nick resolve this second life he is now forced to live? The manner in which he does so is revealed in this fascinating novel by Steve Hamilton, and the suspenseful way he accomplishes it is typical of what we have come to expect from this author, in this newest page-turner, just the first in a new series. It goes against anything Nick had believed in: Although admittedly involved with several kinds of illegal acts, he had never – and believed he never could – taken another man’s life. But after five years and twenty-eight days in prison, and with the hope of re-starting his life with his beloved Gina and their little girl, he would do almost anything. The book opens with quotes from two very different sources: Nathaniel Hawthorne and Bruce Springsteen. But expect the unexpected from this wonderful author. I was delighted to learn that the next book in the series, Exit Strategy, will be published by Putnam in May, and I can’t wait to read it! The Second Life of Nick Mason is, you will have guessed, highly recommended.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
As someone from Chicago it was fun to read of familiar settings. The story was fast paced. An enjoyable read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Beyond entertaining!
booklover- More than 1 year ago
Nick Mason has served 5 years of a 25 - to - Life term in prison. Although he wasn't holding the gun, he was with the man who was when a Federal Agent was shot and killed. Darius Cole is a dangerous man .. serving 2 life terms at the same prison. Cole is one of the most powerful men in ..and out ... of prison. He's running his empire from behind the walls. He has politicians, cops, businessmen, drug cartels all under this thumb. And Darius wants something from Nick. Darius makes a deal with Nick ... he gets a mansion, a Mustang, and $10000 each and every month. They will tell him where his ex-wife and daughter are. All he has to do is answer the phone when it rings .. day or not ... and do exactly what he is told. A call might come in tonight or tomorrow or maybe in 6 months. But his phone will never be busy, never be unavailable a very high cost. Wanting out of prison to start a relative new life and wanting to see his family, he agrees. And then the phone rings ......... This book takes us through Nick's younger years when he and his friends robbed drug dealers, stole cars, and then moved into the big time. The author paints a very dismal picture of how someone who is intelligent can make some really unintelligent choices .. and pays the price. Now he's learning that although not in prison, he is still not a free man. He must do whatever Darius Cole or his representative demands ... or his family may pay the penalty. This is a well-written crime thriller. The characters are believable. There is a bit of predictability that the reader is asked to overlook, but not enough to ruin a good read. I have read the Alex Knight series (or some of them) and found them more to my taste. Many thanks to the author / Penguin Group Putnam / NetGalley who provided a digital copy in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.
Duells More than 1 year ago
Amazing Book! This is my first Steve Hamilton. I loved it hopefully this becomes a long series. Nick Mason is bad guy who goes to prison for twenty five years for a crime. While there he ends up making deal with a man for his freedom. The minute he gets out her realizes it's a mistake. He's had a handler who watches and keeps in contact with the man Nick made the deal with. He's ordered to do things he doesn't want too. Things get complicated when his family is dragged into it. I won't say any more but I finished this book in two days, couldn't put it down!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Gail-Cooke More than 1 year ago
A second chance? Who among us hasn’t at one time or another wished for a second chance? Nick Mason didn’t ask for or expect one, but he gets a second chance at an unimaginably terrible price. Author Hamilton grabs us with a one sentence opening paragraph, “Nick Mason’s freedom lasted less than a minute.” He’s a criminal who was involved in a botched robbery that included the death of a federal officer, and was given 25 years in prison. However, after serving just five he is suddenly released and barely has a chance to breathe free air when he’s hustled into a black Escalade by a driver he doesn’t know. Turns out that the driver is Quintero and he’s to be Nick’s literal keeper. We learn that Nick is to do whatever Darius Cole, a crime boss still in prison, tells him to do upon pain of death. Instructions come from Quintero via a cell phone that Nick must carry at all times. Well, Nick doesn’t much care for this arrangement but he has a daughter whom he hardly knows and would like to see her grow up. Besides, the upside is he’s taken to a posh townhouse where he is to live. His new home has everything a man could want including a beautiful co-dweller. Nick has little time to enjoy his surroundings before he receives his first order - to kill. Nick knows he has to get out from under Cole’s orders, but how? As if this weren’t enough to deal with he’s up against a bunch of crooked Chicago cops, an honest detective who wants to send him back to prison, a young daughter who doesn’t know him and an ex-wife who doesn’t want him to darken their doorstep. The Second Life Of Nick Mason is a gripping, suspenseful tale perfectly narrated by Ray Porter who seems to be right in tune with Nick as he attempts to not only survive but reinvent himself.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was hooked from the first sentence, definitely recommend it.
MasonCanyon More than 1 year ago
This isn’t one of those stories with a fairy tale ending. This is a story with realism and the glimmer of hope at the end. Narrator Ray Porter does a wonderful job giving distinct voices to each character. His tone and accents enhances the storyline. He brings out the characters’ emotions without sounding fake. The author has created the imperfect hero in his protagonist Nick Mason. He’s someone we should dislike, but can’t help pull for no matter what he does. The author gives readers/listeners someone that has done wrong, but wants to be a family man at his core. Readers/listeners get to know the character through his actions, thoughts and emotions. The story flows smoothly and at a good pace. With twists along the way, the suspense is always in the air. The detail descriptions places the reader/listener in the heart of the action. The characters are well-balanced with both good and bad traits readers/listeners can relate to. The dynamics of the core cast of characters is interesting and adds to the story’s depth. THE SECOND LIFE OF NICK MASON will have you pulling for the bad/good guy. This is a story that keeps you wanting more. A mesmerizing tale of how a life can spiral out of control even as you try and take control of it. FTC Full Disclosure – A copy of this book was sent to me by the publisher in hopes I would review it. However, receiving the complimentary copy did not influence my review. The thoughts are completely my own and given honestly and freely.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
See above
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved the Lock Artist by this author. This book had a lot of violence, a thin plot and a poor ending.