By now, most thriller fans are familiar with Nick Mason, Steve Hamilton’s new series protagonist. Additionally, most readers know the story of Hamilton’s split with his old publisher, Minotaur Books, just weeks before they were to release The Second Life of Nick Mason.
With help from his agent, Hamilton was able to get out of his contract. The finished book was then shopped to various publishers and, after a bidding war, Hamilton signed a four-book deal with G.P. Putnam’s Sons.
The Second Life of Nick Mason finally hit bookstores everywhere on May 17, 2016, and debuted at #15 on the New York Times bestsellers (Hardcover Fiction).
Nick Mason was a hit, and for good reason.
A quick recap
(skip this portion and skip right down to the plot details for Exit Strategy if you don’t need a fast refresher on Hamilton’s first Mason novel.)
The story was centered around a career criminal turned family man (Mason), who got talked back into the life of crime for one big, high-paying last job. But after the job went wrong, one of the guys in Mason’s crew shot and killed an innocent man. Nick ended up going down for everyone’s sins and was sentenced to more than twenty years in prison.
His wife and daughter stopped visiting him, then they stopped writing to him, before finally, they decided to move on with their lives.
Then, suddenly, Nick Mason walks out of prison more than two decades early. But he wasn’t a free man. He simply traded in one sentence for another.
He simply traded in one sentence for another.
To get out early, Nick made a deal with a drug and crime boss named Darius Cole. Upon agreement, Cole had Nick released from prison (through a process that involved strong-arming a cop into changing his testimony after several years) and taken to a lavish, high-priced home on the rich side of Chicago.
Nick was given a nice car, money, and everything else he needed to get by. His new upscale life was almost too good to be true, and that’s because it was. Cole also made sure Nick was given a cell phone, which is where the fine print to Mason’s seemingly sweetheart deal gets murky.
Whenever the phone rings, Nick must answer it. Day or night, it doesn’t matter. And then, immediately following the phone conversation, he’s to follow whatever instructions he’s been given.
As the phone starts ringing more often, and the jobs he’s told to do become more dangerous and violent, Nick Mason realizes just how imprisoned he is in his new life. Worse, he knows that at the rate he’s going, it’s only a matter of time until he’s caught by the authorities and sent back to jail.
If Nick ever wants to get his family back, he’ll have to win his freedom once and for all. But that task is easier said than done, especially with the police officer who originally put him behind bars, taking a renewed interest in his whereabouts and activity.
Following the pulse-pounding conclusion of The Second Life of Nick Mason, it sure sounds like Steve Hamilton has a few more tricks up his sleeve for the follow-up novel.
Aptly titled Exit Strategy, Hamilton’s second novel in this new franchise continues with Nick Mason trying to find a way out of his arrangement with Darius Cole. Unfortunately for Nick, though, it sounds like winning his freedom will be harder than anyone originally thought.
Scroll down to check out the awesome plot details for Exit Strategy, Steve Hamilton’s explosive new novel that’s set to hit bookstores on May 2, 2017.
From the publisher:
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.
Like we said, it sounds awesome.