Exit Strategy by Steve Hamilton

Exit Strategy

In the follow-up to 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...

Title:Exit Strategy
Author:
Rating:
ISBN:0399574387
Edition Language:English
Number of Pages:289 pages

Exit Strategy Reviews

  • Maureen Carden

    I've been a long time fan of Steve Hamilton's Alex McKnight series, so I was intrigued when the first Nick Mason book, The Second Life of Nick Mason was published. Nick Mason went to Supermax for a crime he had committed but he came to the attention and then the protection of Chicago crime boss Darius Cole. Cole arranged for Mason's sentence to be vacated. The price large, Cole now owned Mason body and soul. He also owned the life of Nick's ex-wife and nine year old daughter.

    So here we are to th

    I've been a long time fan of Steve Hamilton's Alex McKnight series, so I was intrigued when the first Nick Mason book, The Second Life of Nick Mason was published. Nick Mason went to Supermax for a crime he had committed but he came to the attention and then the protection of Chicago crime boss Darius Cole. Cole arranged for Mason's sentence to be vacated. The price large, Cole now owned Mason body and soul. He also owned the life of Nick's ex-wife and nine year old daughter.

    So here we are to the second book. Which does not really do a great job of explaining the backstory. A bit more information would have made this a better read for those who are picking it up as a standalone. But please, don't let that stop you from picking up this thriller.

    Nick is now a hit-man for Darius Cole. Not a fun job to have on one's resume. Especially since he is going after Federally protected witnesses. Which puts him in direct conflict with the US Marshall's office. Not good. Besides having the of brains of not wanting an entire federal agency devote the rest of their lives to running him down, Nick has enough humanity left not to want to kill innocents.

    Hamilton does a fabulous job in putting us on Mason's side. Especially since the people against him are decent upright women and men. But yes, we are rooting for Mason to kill some folks. Good writing there.

    This is a book that tears along at break-neck speed. Exciting and action packed. It is the second book in a series that takes an unexpected direction.

    Thank you NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for a fair and honest review.

  • Brenda

    The first book in this new series by Steve Hamilton is

    . Someone has Nick in chains and he will do whatever they tell him to protect his ex-wife and daughter. His goal is to break free and get his old life back. Quoting from my review: “While I'm eager to see if he makes it, I have reservations.” With this second book’s title Exit Strategy, I hoped that's what Nick had found. Now I think Nick’s life is hopeless. He’s a killer, and I have no sympathy for him.

    Steve Ham

    The first book in this new series by Steve Hamilton is

    . Someone has Nick in chains and he will do whatever they tell him to protect his ex-wife and daughter. His goal is to break free and get his old life back. Quoting from my review: “While I'm eager to see if he makes it, I have reservations.” With this second book’s title Exit Strategy, I hoped that's what Nick had found. Now I think Nick’s life is hopeless. He’s a killer, and I have no sympathy for him.

    Steve Hamilton writes well, and I enjoyed his Alex McKnight series. For me, this new series is not as likeable. The pace was quick, but there wasn't a lot of tension. There are lots of dead bodies! Some of the situations were a bit cliched and maybe unbelievable. There was not much backstory from the first book, so it’s best to read these in order.

    I’ve tried to see where Hamilton can go with future books in the Nick Mason series. All I can see is more killing, more jerking of his chain, and more desperation. It feels like a dead end, literally. Maybe the next book will be titled Only One Way Out or Nick Mason Gives Up. I'm not sure I will read the next book.

  • Faith

    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.

  • The Real Book Spy

    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

    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,

    , 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,

    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,

    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!

    Author: Steve Hamilton

    Series: Nick Mason #2

    Pages: 304 (Hardcover)

    ISBN: 0399574387

    Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons

    Release Date: April 4, 2017

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  • Laertes

    Steve Hamilton knows how to write a thrilling, fast-paced crime novel. The 2nd installment of the Nick Mason series - 'Exit Strategy' - IS a fast-paced crime novel. These are the positive points.

    So if you are a lover of the genre and you like Hamilton's style, you should definitely give it a try.

    But after having finished the book today, there are some major issues I have with it:

    [Spoilers ahead! You have been warned!]

    It is totally unbelievable that Nick Mason has changed from a low-level car th

    Steve Hamilton knows how to write a thrilling, fast-paced crime novel. The 2nd installment of the Nick Mason series - 'Exit Strategy' - IS a fast-paced crime novel. These are the positive points.

    So if you are a lover of the genre and you like Hamilton's style, you should definitely give it a try.

    But after having finished the book today, there are some major issues I have with it:

    [Spoilers ahead! You have been warned!]

    It is totally unbelievable that Nick Mason has changed from a low-level car thief to a high-level assassin. Not just because it doesn't fit his character at all, which has slowly been developed in the first novel. But most of all because there is no way he could have learned all the skills necessary in such a short time. At one point, he literally performs a military (!) mission. On his own. Against half a dozen US marshalls in three cars, one helicopter, and a bunch of soldiers from a military camp. No. Fucking. Way.

    But even worse is the way Hamilton treats Mason's love interest, Lauren. After having developed their relationship in a believable and really beautiful way in the first novel, she is now disposed and never heard of again after the first few chapters. This is unworthy. And again not very believable for Nick Mason to act the way he does, beginning with his decision to drive to her house after having been severely wounded, and thus endanger her, ending with his decision to simply send her away.

    The next point is the abundance of - definitely interesting - characters who unfortunately don't have enough room to breathe and develop: Burke, Harper, Greenwod, and Eddy too! Hamilton should either have left them out, or he should have worked on them. The way it is, they are just empty plot devices with no soul.

    But the biggest flaw of all is the ending. I didn't fucking believe my eyes when I read it! This comes directly out of all the cheap tv shows I've learned to loathe over the course of the last years: Cole isn't the real boss, and the whole organization is much bigger and much more clandestine than we thought. This is not a twist, but a cheap plot device which has no other function than setting up the next part of the series - which will surely be even more over the top than this one. Sorry, Mr. Hamilton, but I actually feel insulted by this ending.

    All in all, this novel feels rushed, its characters are partly unbelievable, partly shallow, and never fully developed, its plot is far-fetched. Which is a pity, because I have liked all of Hamilton's novels so far - including the first Nick Mason which isn't a perfect book, but in contrary to its successor has a heart and a soul.

  • Kevin

    Nick Mason was released from prison to a situation where he is truly owned by Darius Cole, a crime boss that would make Al Capone blush. Cole controls what Mason does and who he sees, telling him that if he does not do what he's told his ex-wife and daughter will be killed. Mason has very specific skills as an assassin and Cole starts using those skills to get rid of witnesses prior to his retrial. But Nick believes he has found a way out of this life.

    I ran through the pages just hungering to f

    Nick Mason was released from prison to a situation where he is truly owned by Darius Cole, a crime boss that would make Al Capone blush. Cole controls what Mason does and who he sees, telling him that if he does not do what he's told his ex-wife and daughter will be killed. Mason has very specific skills as an assassin and Cole starts using those skills to get rid of witnesses prior to his retrial. But Nick believes he has found a way out of this life.

    I ran through the pages just hungering to finish this page-turner. Excellent writing, a cast of interesting characters and non-stop action make this book a keeper.

  • Tim

    After enjoying Nick Mason #1, I couldn't wait for #2...and what a disappointment! Multiple senseless deaths, kidnappings, white slavery, butcher killers, everyone under bribes or coercion. All topped off by one of the most dreadful of endings. So bad, this drops from 4-stars to a deserved 1. #3 can't be this dreadful! 2 of 10 stars

  • Glen

    I won an ARC of this novel in a goodreads drawing.

    After the events of the last novel, which I haven't read yet, Nick Mason finds himself at the beck and call of a Chicago crime lord. The results of this relationship are so heinous that Mason decides to escape, and that means killing his boss.

    Pretty good.


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