The Second Life of Nick Mason by Steve Hamilton

78%

16 Critic Reviews

With a terrific new hero built for the long run, Hamilton stands to gain new followers—especially if Hollywood's plans to adapt the book come to fruition.
-Kirkus

Synopsis

“Steve Hamilton amazes me. Every time I think he's going to zig he zags.”—Michael Connelly

“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.


From the Hardcover edition.
 

About Steve Hamilton

See more books from this Author
Steve Hamilton is the author of the Alex McKnight series as well as Night Work and The Lock Artist, which was named a New York Times Notable Book, received an Alex Award from the American Library Association, and then went on to win the Edgar Award for Best Novel, making him only the second author (after Ross Thomas) to win Edgars for both Best First Novel and Best Novel. He attended the University of Michigan, where he won the prestigious Hopwood Award for writing, and now he lives in Cottekill, New York, with his wife and their two children.
 
Published May 17, 2016 by G.P. Putnam's Sons. 300 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Crime, Literature & Fiction. Fiction
Bestseller Status:
icon20
Peak Rank on Jun 05 2016
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Weeks as Bestseller
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Critic reviews for The Second Life of Nick Mason
All: 16 | Positive: 14 | Negative: 2

Kirkus

Excellent
on Mar 03 2016

With a terrific new hero built for the long run, Hamilton stands to gain new followers—especially if Hollywood's plans to adapt the book come to fruition.

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Publishers Weekly

Excellent
on Aug 07 2016

Readers may not totally buy such plot-greasing elements as the stoic Nick’s quick transformation from midlevel crook to crack assassin, or his tentative romance with pet shop owner Lauren, but for the most part Hamilton guns it like Nick’s 1968 Mustang for a fast and furious ride.

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NY Times

Above average
Reviewed by Janet Maslin on May 16 2016

He has a fine premise, a vibrant setting, a charismatic antihero — and a cheerleading squad made up of Stephen King, Don Winslow, Michael Connelly, Lee Child and Harlan Coben. If “The Second Life of Nick Mason” faces any peril, it’s that of not living up to its megahype.

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NY Journal of Books

Below average
Reviewed by Thelma Adams on Jun 28 2016

Perhaps it is not fair to criticize a sensitive-yet-testosterone-driven book like this for the weakness of its female characters because it is the flatness of all the characters and their quests that are problematic. And yet a novelist must be able to draw all characters regardless of their gender...

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NY Times

Above average
Reviewed by Janet Maslin on May 16 2016

Though he flirts with some obvious clichés here, Mr. Hamilton uses them to his advantage. After all, chases and club scenes and daughter-loving dads wouldn’t be so popular if they didn’t work.

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RT Book Reviews

Good
Reviewed by Donna M. Brown on May 17 2016

Every character’s motivation is completely explored. Enjoy this book to the fullest while eagerly awaiting the next one.

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Booklist Online

Excellent
Reviewed by Don Crinklaw on Aug 20 2016

...the first in a projected series, and the book that launched a publishing scandal when the author took it back from its original publisher, charging lack of support—is one of his best. Industry squabbles aside, the novel is too good not to find an audience.

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Huffington Post

Above average
Reviewed by Thelma Adams on Jun 13 2016

Perhaps it is not fair to criticize a sensitive-yet-testosterone-driven book like this for the weakness of its female characters because it is the flatness of all the characters and their quests that are problematic.

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20Something Reads

Good
Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub on May 27 2016

I would tell you that it doesn’t get any better than this, but I am almost certain that Hamilton’s next book will prove me wrong on that account.

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Look At OKC

Above average
Reviewed by Jim Basile on Sep 13 2016

“The Second Life of Nick Mason” is generally a fast-paced and enjoyable crime caper, and one can easily envision it as simply laying the groundwork for future adventures in Mason's life.

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The Big Story

Good
Reviewed by BRUCE DESILVA on May 17 2016

The result is a suspenseful, fast-paced crime novel with the same heart, well-drawn characters and muscular prose that fans of his popular Alex McKnight series and his fine stand-alone novels such as "The Lock Artist" have come to expect.

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Esquire

Good
Reviewed by NATASHA ZARINSKY on May 19 2016

Time will tell where Mason will ultimately end up, but the next installment in this enthralling series is sure to be another Hamilton page-turner, and can't come soon enough.

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Crime Fiction Lover

Above average
Reviewed by ROUGHJUSTICE on May 15 2016

What’s missing is a little complexity of plot, and the resolution of Mason’s conflict with Cole doesn’t quite satisfy. It seems as if the author pulls away from having Mason do what needs to be done, saving it perhaps for a sequel. If that means we get a second book with Mason then maybe I shouldn’t complain.

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Reviewing the Evidence

Good
Reviewed by PJ Coldren on May 28 2016

SECOND LIFE is being marketed as the first in a new series for Hamilton. If the next book is as good as this one, Hamilton will have another winner on his hands.

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https://lareviewofbooks.org

Good
Reviewed by Steve Weddle on Jun 25 2016

The prose itself is solid and any problems are merely because of the high bar the book sets for itself.

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https://mysterypeople.wordpress.com

Good
Reviewed by Scott Montgomery on May 02 2016

The Second Life Of Nick Mason is the epitome of everything strong in the genre as it taps into those feelings we have about being trapped in our lives. It has well constructed reveals and vivid cops and criminals that could move on both sides of the law. You can not call yourself a crime fiction fan and not read this.

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Reader Rating for The Second Life of Nick Mason
73%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 254 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


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