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The Second Life of Nick Mason

(Nick Mason #1)

3.72  ·  Rating details ·  4,581 Ratings  ·  663 Reviews
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 cel
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published May 17th 2016 by G.P. Putnam's Sons
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Jan Changing publishers delayed publication, originally scheduled for Sept 2015, until next May. Some of the information from the old publisher had not…moreChanging publishers delayed publication, originally scheduled for Sept 2015, until next May. Some of the information from the old publisher had not been deleted. Everything should be updated now with the new publisher's information.(less)

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Jennifer Masterson
Apr 29, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio
This book is a 5 Star Audio!!! The narration is phenomenal! Ray Porter can do different voices like no other!!! Then why did I give this 4 Stars? Well, because at times it felt a little cliche.

Nick Mason, a man from Chicago, had a wife and a 4 year old daughter until one day he is involved in a large crime. This crime would have set him up financially for life, giving him 125k! It goes wrong, very wrong and he is sent to prison for 25 years.

The novel begins right after Nick Mason has served 5
Shelby *trains flying monkeys*
Nick Mason is serving a twenty year term. He started his criminal career as a car thief. He then worked his way up to robbing some drug dealers and a variety of other crimes he deemed okay. He has to make a better life for him and his wife Gina and young daughter. He is approached for the 'big job' that could make him set and Gina has laid the rules down that he has to go straight. Even though his gut tells him that there is something off about the job he goes ahead with it anyways. And ends up ...more
Aug 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
The Secret Life of Nick Mason by Steve Hamilton is a 2016 G.P. Putnam’s Sons publication.

I’m always curious when an author steps away from his bread and butter series and starts a new one or writes a stand alone. I know Steve Hamilton from his Alex McKnight series, which is very enjoyable, so I felt confident the author would meet those standards no matter how far off the beaten path this story was by comparison.

Nick Mason receives a ‘get out of jail free’ card, but it comes with a hefty price
Larry H
Apr 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: first-to-read
Five years ago, Nick Mason went to prison, expecting to serve a 25-year sentence. He tries to live day by day and stay out of trouble, and dreams of what his life used to be like with his ex-wife and his young daughter.

One day he is summoned by Darius Cole, a fellow inmate whose power within and outside the prison has never ceased despite the double-life sentence he is serving. He calls the shots and lives a fairly pampered existence, and he takes a liking to Nick because of his ability to keep
Jun 01, 2016 rated it did not like it
Shelves: ucbc
There's a scene in a classic Seinfeld episode where the George character finds success in doing the exact opposite of anything that makes sense in any situation, including introducing himself to a pretty lady..

"Hi, I'm George, I'm unemployed and I live with my parents"

She of course is enamored...

"I'm Victoria," (interested) "Hi!"

Halfway through this book there's a scene reminiscent of this, only unlike the TV episode that's supposed to be funny, unfortunately in this book I guess we're supposed
Apr 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
As a big fan of Steve Hamilton's novels, and especially his Alex McKnight series, I looked forward to this book. However, there was turmoil in Hamilton's professional life that greatly delayed this book's publication. And now it's finally available.

Nick Mason grew up in the poorer part of Chicago. He and his friends were petty criminals. Upon his marriage, Nick promises his wife he is out of that life. He works, he and his wife have a child, and life seems good. Then he and his friends are prese
Apr 21, 2016 rated it liked it
I really liked this book. Clearly the first in a series I will continue to read. Well written but overall the story was really rushed and not given space to breathe. Nick Mason and Quintero are interesting as reluctant allies. Sandoval is too cliched as the righteous cop. The women need more time and space to be actual people with inner lives. Worth a look.
Linda Strong
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 .
Oct 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
I can’t write about this book without first saying that I’m a huge fan of Steve Hamilton. His new books are always an automatic read for me. I’ve been reading the Alex McKnight series for years and I simply love him those books. When I found out that Hamilton had a new book coming, and once I got over the soul-crushing news that it would not be an Alex book, I was really looking forward to it. The wait was long.

I’m giving The Second Life of Nick Mason a rating of 3.5 stars but rounding up to 4
nick mason is a likeable crook who is released early from federal prison. he is released early after making a deal with a fellow inmate who controls his crime empire from prison. once released, all mason has to do is answer the phone & do whatever is asked in return for his freedom. this was a great start for a new series character and the first book i've read by this author. looking forward to reading his other books.
Mar 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
Nick Mason is released from prison after serving only five years of his 25 year sentence for felony murder of a federal agent. His release was arranged by Darius Cole, another prisoner who is still running his own crime operation in Chicago from his jail cell, with the aid of a bunch of crooked cops. Mason exchanges one form of imprisonment for another when he is forced to work for Cole.

This was a fast-paced and exciting thriller with various mobsters and both good and bad cops pitted against ea
Nov 06, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2016, ebook, fiction
After a botched robbery, Nick Mason is stuck doing twenty-five to life. After only serving five years, he’s approached by the prison’s most powerful inmate with an opportunity - if said inmate can get Nick out, he’d serve the remainder of his term as his hired hand on the outside. With the allure to see his daughter strong enough to make the decision for him, Nick soon comes to regret his choice when he finds out what his true purpose is.

From a structural standpoint, there’s nothing really wrong
Bonnie Brody
Mar 09, 2016 rated it did not like it
No matter how hard I tried to suspend belief, I just could not wrap my head around the premise of this book.

Nick Mason is a career criminal who, for some impetuous reason, decides to give up a life of crime and settle down with a wife, buy a home and have a child. His wife gives him an ultimatum - crime or her. He chooses her BUT an offer too good to refuse comes along and Nick finds himself in Terre Haute Prison for 20 to life.

Moving forward 5 years, the power behind the thrown at Terre Haute,
I received this from First-to-Read in exchange for an honest review, as well as receiving a hard-copy ARC in a Goodreads giveaway.

Pretty good first book in a new series starring anti-hero assassin Nick Mason. There’s nothing deep about this book, its characters or its plot. It’s a straight-forward noir-like storyline with crooked cops, an imprisoned bad guy behind the scenes pulling the strings, and innocent people caught in the cross-fire. The back story is interesting, too, laid out especially
Oct 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: men-s-adventure
I won the second book in this series in a goodreads drawing, and it was good enough that when I saw a copy of the first book in the series, I picked it up.

A guy in prison is sprung to be the hitman/errand boy of a crime lord who runs Chicago from jail. The guy's life is a mess, with an ex-wife, a daughter he's barely ever seen, and a host of temptations in his old neighborhood. His new, upscale neighborhood has its own temptations.

Between killings, he tries to straighten everything out. Pretty g
Nick Mason has been in prison for five years. After becoming friends with Darius Cole, a powerful Chicago drug lord, Mason’s second life begins when his conviction is overturned. Very quickly he realizes he may be out of prison but his life is now under the control of Cole. In exchange for his early release from prison, he now must carry a phone at all times, and do exactly what’s asked of him without question. Mason is smart enough to know what he’s signing up for and realizes this is probably ...more
Apr 14, 2016 rated it liked it
Okay, the premise is ridiculous, the characters are ridiculous (the deep down good felon, the drug lord clearly written for Samuel L. Jackson to portray, the bad cops, the earnest cop still wedded to morals and redeeming his disgraced partner, the adorable kid the protagonist wants to be able to see, etc.), the whole thing is a reeks of hollywood tripe, yet we listened to the whole book while on various long drives over the last several weeks. The women especially need to be more than victims, p ...more
This book has a decent premise but it all feels like it needs some fleshing out, both the plot and the characters...perhaps especially the characters. The female characters seem to barely exist as little more than the faintest of outlines and I frankly have no idea why two of them (out of three) are even in the story. Nick Mason, the anti-hero, is okay but I feel like his own lifetime of bad decisions has landed him in his current situation and so he sort of deserves the mess he's in. As for pac ...more
Brenda Ayala
Mar 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-to-read
This is much better than I expected it to be. Nick was a properly fleshed out protagonist, complete with desires and fears and smart decisions followed by stupid decisions. I had a great time rooting for him, and I love that he was so easily relatable. As a man given a new chance at life outside of prison, he seems to emulate it perfectly--the desire to pick up where he left off, to re-experience all the things he took for granted before he was put away. The way we flashed back and forth between ...more
Jill Hutchinson
Oct 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
I am usually a reader of British mysteries but my cousin loaned me this book which is based in Chicago and said he thought I might like it. I did.

It begins with Nick Mason walking out of prison where he was serving a 25 years to life sentence. His record is cleared and he is free........or is he? He has exchanged his life on the inside for a life that is totally controlled by the man he met in prison who is responsible for his freedom. What that entails and how Mason tries to make a life for him
Dec 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Looks like the beginning of an excellent new crime fiction series by Steve Hamilton. He has such a clear and fluid way of writing, and I like his new main character, Nick Mason. I am looking forward to more.
Jun 23, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016
Despite a rather dark theme, and the main character being less than a hero, the story caught my attention and kept it.
Daniel Sevitt
Jun 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: part-of-a-series
Hmm... it's a good way to start a new series, I guess. I'm already all in on Steve Hamilton so this was fine and fun for me. If I was encountering him for the first time, I'm not sure I would have enjoyed this quite as much. Also "Nick Mason" is about the worst name for a convict turned samurai assassin that I can think of. It's bland, bland, bland.

There are some great set pieces and some weird bits left hanging. The speed with which Mason becomes a ruthless killer in order to ensure he can see
Jun 05, 2017 rated it did not like it
I could not finished this book because of the filthy language inside it. I do not recommend this book to anybody. I threw mine away.
May 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kindle
I've been meaning to read this for a year. I started it, loved it, and next thing I knew I was more than half through. Entertaining and compelling. Looking forward to the second.
Suzze Tiernan
May 29, 2015 rated it really liked it
Another great book by Steve Hamilton. I thoroughly enjoyed the character of Nick Mason and wonder if he will continue in another book. So glad Steve stood up to his non-supportive publisher, and that he was picked up by another one so quickly. If you have not read Steve Hamilton before, please make him a top priority.
Sep 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: crime-detective
Good stuff, though some of it's a stretch. I'll look for the next one.
May 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2017-reads
★ ★ ★ ★ 1/2 (rounded up)
This originally appeared at The Irresponsible Reader.
After listening to the hype around this book for a year, I finally got around to reading it. I'll admit, when this came out last year, I didn't think it was my cup of tea. I think I confused it with something else that came out about the same time. Because after a few pages, I was hooked -- it also didn't even come close to matching the kind of story I thought it was (I didn't read the jacket copy). I spent the next
Jul 07, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2016-reads
SETTING: Chicago
RATING: 3.25
WHY: Nick Mason is in prison with a 20-year sentence. He most misses his daughter, Adriana, and decides to take the opportunity to get out early offered by a kingpin named Darius Cole. He agrees to a contract with Cole that guarantees that he will be at his disposal to do whatever he asks. Things get pretty ugly, and he wants to extricate himself from the situation. Hamilton is one of my favorite authors, but this book just didn't do it for me.
Jun 06, 2016 rated it liked it
Disappointed, especially after The Lock Artist.

I can't say I've ever been a Hamilton fan, but, despite raves from the media, this largely really missed it for me,

That 'second life' turns a supposedly nice guy...a criminal, really...into a cold blooded killer. To some degree it's understandable because of the threat he's living under from prison, but I never got to relate to Mason in a positive way.

The book is largely cliched with cookie cutter characters and situations.

The best thing about it is
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Mystery/Thriller ...: * Group Read - The Second Life of Nick Mason no spoilers 11 29 Aug 03, 2016 10:17PM  
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DEAD MAN RUNNING, the long-awaited return of ALEX McKNIGHT, will be released on August 21, 2018!

Other books in the series

Nick Mason (3 books)
  • Exit Strategy (Nick Mason, #2)
  • An Honorable Assassin (Nick Mason, #3)
“This isn’t freedom. This is mobility. Don’t get those two things confused.” 0 likes
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