Exit Strategy (Nick Mason, #2)
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.

Exit Strategy (Nick Mason, #2) Details

TitleExit Strategy (Nick Mason, #2)
Author
FormatHardcover
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseMay 16th, 2017
PublisherG.P. Putnam's Sons
ISBN0399574387
ISBN-139780399574382
Number of pages304 pages
Rating
GenreFiction, Thriller, Mystery, Crime

Exit Strategy (Nick Mason, #2) Review

  • Faith
    March 31, 2017
    In this second book of the series, Nick Mason has become a killer but he is not the only assassin in this book. He and his handler Quintero both work for Darius Cole, a crime boss who runs his Chicago criminal operation from prison. That's where Nick met him and the price Nick paid for his early release was 20 years worth of indebtedness to Cole. Nick wants to exit this arrangement. Strangely, he never contemplates suicide, which would have both solved his problem and lessened the number of dead In this second book of the series, Nick Mason has become a killer but he is not the only assassin in this book. He and his handler Quintero both work for Darius Cole, a crime boss who runs his Chicago criminal operation from prison. That's where Nick met him and the price Nick paid for his early release was 20 years worth of indebtedness to Cole. Nick wants to exit this arrangement. Strangely, he never contemplates suicide, which would have both solved his problem and lessened the number of dead bodies, but also would have shortened the book series. "Before Gordie could reach for his Ruger, Burke swung the toolbox, shattering both the radius and the ulna bones in the big man's forarm, then quickly closed in on him in the confined space, broke two of his fingers and took the gun away. He hit him in the face with it until his nose cartilage was pulverized and several of his teeth were lying on the bathroom floor." That's what you get in this book. If it isn't what you want, move on to another book. This should be a movie, and probably will be, but it just wasn't my kind of book. I found the first book entertaining, but the unbelievability factor was ramped up too high for me this time and it was just nonstop action and brutality with an extremely high body count. This book was more cartoonlike and less plausible than the first book. After Nick has been bleeding on his girlfriend's floor for a while, and he then tries to send her away because someone is going to kill her, she actually says to Nick "but what about us" (they have been together for maybe 2 weeks) and he, of course in his manly way, replies "there is no us". If this were a movie, at that point the entire audience would be laughing hysterically. However, I am sure there is an audience for both the movie and this series, which I assume will continue after this book. It just wasn't for me. I received a free copy of this book from the publisher.
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  • The Real Book Spy
    March 23, 2017
    Read this review and more at www.TheRealBookSpy.com Several months ago, Nick Mason made a life-altering deal with Darius Cole, the kingpin of a vast criminal organization. Terms were simple–Cole would help secure an early release for Mason, who still had twenty years left on his prison sentence for past crimes, in exchange for his services remaining on Cole’s payroll for the next two decades.In theory, the deal sounds pretty good. Especially when you add in that Mason gets ten thousand dollars a Read this review and more at www.TheRealBookSpy.com Several months ago, Nick Mason made a life-altering deal with Darius Cole, the kingpin of a vast criminal organization. Terms were simple–Cole would help secure an early release for Mason, who still had twenty years left on his prison sentence for past crimes, in exchange for his services remaining on Cole’s payroll for the next two decades.In theory, the deal sounds pretty good. Especially when you add in that Mason gets ten thousand dollars a month deposited into a secret bank account for him to use. He also gets to live in a beautiful, luxurious townhouse that overlooks Lake Michigan on the north side of Chicago, and access to an unlimited supply of fast, expensive cars.Mason took the deal, in part, to be close with his wife and daughter, and walked out of jail after the police officer who testified against him had a sudden change of heart and changed his story, thanks to the “urging” of Cole’s crew. However, while he may be out of prison, Nick Mason is far from a free man. In fact, he’s anything but…Mason simply traded in one sentence for another and now lives imprisoned to Cole and the tasks he assigns, which are becoming increasingly more dangerous. What started as carrying out petty crimes soon blossomed into breaking and entering, stealing, and, eventually, killing.A former career criminal on Chicago’s south side, Cole tabbed Mason to be his new muscle, and with a single phone call sends Nick off to handle various problems as they arise. That’s the catch, really, to Mason’s new life. The Darius Cole-issued phone is to be on his person at all times, no excuses. When it rings, he’s to answer and then immediately follow any instructions, day or night, no questions asked.After the events of last year’s novel, The Second Life of Nick Mason., which features Nick running errands for Cole while also taking on a unit of dirty cops and trying to get his wife (who has since moved in with another man) back, Steve Hamilton raised the stakes considerably in his latest thriller.This time around, Cole–who, thanks to a technicality, was just awarded a new trial after previously being sentenced to two life terms–tasks Mason with tracking down and eliminating the three men scheduled to testify against him in court. The catch is that each man is currently being protected inside the WITSEC program, which has never been infiltrated before.Wasting no time to draw readers in, Exit Strategy opens with a bang as Mason goes after the first witness. But, once the good men and women of the Federal Witness Protection Program put the puzzle pieces together and realize Cole’s plan, they harden down security for the remaining two witnesses, securing them in a pair of off-the-books military bases guarded by both U.S. Marshalls and armed military personnel.With the odds stacked so firmly against him, Mason’s assignment is nearly impossible. Failure to succeed would mean bad things for his ex-wife and daughter, though, who Cole keeps under surveillance and promises to harm should Nick ever fail to follow orders, get caught by the police, or try to run from their agreement.While making plans to take out the highly-guarded witnesses, Mason also starts developing an exit strategy, determined to leave his life as Cole’s criminal errand boy behind and to keep his family safe once and for all.Hamilton brilliantly weaves Mason’s personal life with his professional life, and while he’s an anti-hero, the author still finds ways to make readers root for his main character. We’ve all done things we regret, making it easy to connect with that side of Mason. But what if your mistake led to you going to prison for nearly thirty years, wrecking your family and hurting everyone you love in the process?To most, Cole’s offer would seem like a lifeline worth grabbing hold of, which Mason does, only to find out it puts the very people he so badly wants to win back in danger. Nick’s heart is in the right place, but he can’t catch a break, which will make readers long for his freedom and family nearly as much as he does. Written with blazing-fast pacing, Exit Strategy is Hamilton’s most gritty, action-packed novel so far. Between the many blood-pumping action sequences and relentless suspense, the pages practically turn themselves as Hamilton will have readers racing to see if Nick Mason can actually pull off the impossible–leading up to a shock ending that will have fans begging for the next novel.Whatever you’re looking for, Exit Strategy has a little something for everyone and delivers enough thrills to keep even the pickiest crime fans happy. Circle the date on the calendar, Steve Hamilton’s latest one-night-read is not to be missed!Book DetailsAuthor: Steve HamiltonSeries: Nick Mason #2Pages: 304 (Hardcover)ISBN: 0399574387Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Release Date: April 4, 2017Order Now: http://amzn.to/2mHLBIi
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  • Kathi Defranc
    March 27, 2017
    What an exciting story this is, with action packed verse and complete characters that you want to follow! This is my first book by this author but I will definitely be going back to read his other one and any that follow! This story pulled me in immediately. The main character is Nick Mason, a man who had a wife and daughter before going to prison, where he meets Darius Cole, a man who gets him released from prison early. Of course this is not free, he now is 'owned' by Cole,and must be his hitm What an exciting story this is, with action packed verse and complete characters that you want to follow! This is my first book by this author but I will definitely be going back to read his other one and any that follow! This story pulled me in immediately. The main character is Nick Mason, a man who had a wife and daughter before going to prison, where he meets Darius Cole, a man who gets him released from prison early. Of course this is not free, he now is 'owned' by Cole,and must be his hitman on the outside. This is a deal Nick is finding very hard to keep and remain human. His ex-wife and daughter are used to threaten him, and all the targets he is sent to kill are men who are going to reveal all about Cole in court and are under witness protection. This book moves very quickly, I could not put it down when I started reading until I hit the end. I thank Netgalley, publisher Putnam's Sons and author Steve Hamilton for the chance to read this story, as I become a fan of this author's work!
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  • Justin Pinkley
    March 25, 2017
    This was the first title I’ve read by Hamilton, and I must say, he has a new regular reader.The main character, Nick Mason, is a bad ass. In Exit Strategy, we follow Mason as he eliminates three men scheduled to testify against Mason’s owner, Darius Cole, in an upcoming retrial.Yes, Mason’s owner.Darius Cole helped Mason get an early release from prison. But Mason must now serve as Cole’s hitman on the outside.Oh yeah, and the witnesses he must eliminate are in the federal Witness Protection Pro This was the first title I’ve read by Hamilton, and I must say, he has a new regular reader.The main character, Nick Mason, is a bad ass. In Exit Strategy, we follow Mason as he eliminates three men scheduled to testify against Mason’s owner, Darius Cole, in an upcoming retrial.Yes, Mason’s owner.Darius Cole helped Mason get an early release from prison. But Mason must now serve as Cole’s hitman on the outside.Oh yeah, and the witnesses he must eliminate are in the federal Witness Protection Program (WITSEC).Nick Mason was once a free man. A normal man. A man with a wife and a daughter. But that all ended when he was sent to prison.Mason isn’t happy with Cole’s deal because he realizes he simply traded one form of imprisonment for another. As he pursues his targets, he also begins planning an exit strategy to get out from Cole’s grasp. But such a thing isn’t possible when Cole threatens to kill Mason’s ex-wife and daughter, who Cole keeps under surveillance. Even Mason’s roommate, Diana, for whom he has developed feelings, isn’t safe from Cole’s wrath despite also being owned by Cole.Mason’s mission is all but impossible: Kill protected witnesses while preventing everyone he cares about from being killed. Yet failure results in death. But not his. His family’s.Hamilton’s writing is pedal to the metal all the way, making this thriller easily readable in a couple days. The suspense, alternating points of view, and plot threads were woven seamlessly, making the novel flow like water and the pages turn almost automatically.This sucker was action-packed, and I loved it: Raw, fast-paced action, an intriguing character, and even some legal thriller elements.I just discovered Steve Hamilton, so I plan to go back and read the first installment in the Nick Mason series, and then continue reading each subsequent volume as it is released. This title somewhat reminded me of Don Pendleton’s Executioner series with a little John Grisham thrown in, if you’d like a point of reference.Special thanks to NetGalley and Penguin Group Putnam for giving me the opportunity to preview this title.
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  • Bent Hansen
    April 4, 2017
    I really liked Steve Hamilton's first installation in his new series about Nick Mason (The Second Life of Nick Mason), small-time criminal and ex-con turned reluctant hitman for an incarcerated Chicago crime boss. This sequel is just as dark and action-packed as the first book, and Mason's rage and desperation are great drivers for the plot that had me hooked from cover to cover. Mason is no unbeatable superman, and Hamilton's way of beating his protagonist up in all kinds of painful ways (both I really liked Steve Hamilton's first installation in his new series about Nick Mason (The Second Life of Nick Mason), small-time criminal and ex-con turned reluctant hitman for an incarcerated Chicago crime boss. This sequel is just as dark and action-packed as the first book, and Mason's rage and desperation are great drivers for the plot that had me hooked from cover to cover. Mason is no unbeatable superman, and Hamilton's way of beating his protagonist up in all kinds of painful ways (both physical and non-physical) earns many points in my book.As in the first book, there are elements in the story that strike me as less credible, but I forgive Hamilton because I am sure he cuts a few corners in order to avoid super complicated technical descriptions that would have made many readers fall asleep.I wasn't quite as blown away by this book as I was after reading the first book, but I was very much entertained and hope to read more about Nick Mason in the future. Once again, Hamilton ends the book with a cliffhanger that could suggest that Mason's troubles are far from over...[An ARC of this book was generously provided by the publisher through the First to Read program in exchange for an honest review]
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  • Ted Hinkle
    April 17, 2017
    Steve Hamilton's Exit Strategy is the second in a series of Nick Mason crime thrillers. This high-octane, tension filled novel takes place in Chicago involving high end gangsters and the federal WITSEC program. Exit Strategy was an entertaining page turned I received as an ARC from Barnes and Noble.
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  • S.J. Francis
    April 14, 2017
    I must admit that despite all my reading, I have never heard of author Steve Hamilton or His books. I’m so glad I learned about the author and his books now. Exit Strategy begins strong and takes the reader on a roller coaster ride in this “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 is a man who had I must admit that despite all my reading, I have never heard of author Steve Hamilton or His books. I’m so glad I learned about the author and his books now. Exit Strategy begins strong and takes the reader on a roller coaster ride in this “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 is a man who had a wife and daughter before going to prison, where he meets thug, Darius Cole. Cole gets him released from prison early but Mason is not really free, because now he finds himself owned by Cole, as his hitman on the outside. Of course, Mason is finding very hard to keep the deal. Cole uses Mason’s ex-wife and daughter to keep him in line. This new mission Mason must complete is to kill all the men that will testify again Darius Cole. Unfortunately, the targets are all in the Witness Protection program.It is an Interesting, quick read, though way fictional to believe. I found the plot to be a bit over the top and unbelievable. More cartoonish than believable, for me anyway. Those facts aside, the book was well-written and overall an enjoyable read. If you’re into action adventures, you should enjoy this one.Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from First to Read in exchange for a fair and honest review. Thank you!
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