Praise for “[ The Second Life of Nick Mason The Second Life of Nick Mason] is so good, it legitimately stands shoulder to padded paranoid shoulder with the classics of the crime noir genre… There are so many terrific elements in this novel—Nick’s haunted character, a plot that never darts in the direction you expect it to, and a truly ingenious climax—that I could be here till Labor Day singing its praises.”—Maureen Corrigan, NPR Fresh Air “A high-octane, tension-filled novel that's received well-deserved praise from great authors.”— Huffington Post “[A] heart-pounding thriller with cinematic appeal...Hamilton cleverly imbues the narrative with myriad of twists and turns, allowing the intricate plot to unfold with stunning and extraordinary skill and suspense. From the honor amongst thieves, to the honor amongst those sworn to protect us, to the loyalty among childhood friends and beloved family, multiple worlds collide as Hamilton catapults us into Nick Mason's complex psyche.”—Esquire.com “As fertile as Chicago is for crime fiction, it isn't often that an outsider captures the underside of the local scene as memorably as Steve Hamilton does with The Second Life of Nick Mason, the terrific first installment in a projected series...The novel more than lives up to its hype.”— Chicago Tribune “In this edgy noir from a crime fiction maestro, an ex-con struggles with unexpected freedom, falteringly rebuilding his life while a depraved puppet master still behind bars pulls his strings.”— O Magazine “[A] reinvention of the noir thriller...Hamilton gives us a bad guy who is willing—and able—to do worse....Edgy and intelligent entertainment that hits with the force of a narrative bullet.”— Arizona Republic “Steve Hamilton’s new novel, The Second Life of Nick Mason, is every bit as good as Don Winslow and Harlan Coben and Michael Connelly say it is.”— New York Daily News “A captivating thriller...Hamilton's latest novel is ambitious in its criminal scope and it rises to the challenge of not only creating compelling three-dimensional characters, but also fearlessly confronting our classic perceptions of right and wrong, good and evil, as Mason desperately tries to escape his unholy bonds of criminal servitude, regain his autonomy and perhaps whatever's left of his humanity...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.”— Esquire “A suspenseful, fast-paced crime novel with the same heart, well-drawn characters and muscular prose that fans of [Hamilton’s] popular Alex McKnight series and his fine stand-alone novels such as The Lock Artist have come to expect.”—Bruce DeSilva, Associated Press “A fine premise, a vibrant setting, a charismatic antihero...it's a tight, gripping book about a man hellbent on reinventing himself against long odds.”— The New York Times “The sinner who gets a chance to start over is an archetypal figure in crime fiction. Steve Hamilton works a smart variation on it in The Second Life of Nick Mason.”—Marilyn Stasio, The New York Times Book Review “[An] intelligent thriller....The reader has a vulnerable underdog to root for: a loser who may yet be born to win.”— The Wall Street Journal “Fast and deadly.”— Sacramento Bee “Hamilton gets just about everything right in [ The Second Life of Nick Mason]. The narrative is spare, descriptions lean and settings authentic.”— The Arizona Republic “A tense, coiled thriller...It moves like a bullet train, told in a deceptively simple, gin-clear prose that all but sucker punches the reader....One of [Hamilton’s] best.”— Booklist (starred review) “Hamilton surpasses himself with Mason, who inspires storytelling of the leanest, most gripping sort...A terrific new hero.”— Kirkus Reviews (starred review) “[A] high-octane series launch...Hamilton guns it like Nick’s 1968 Mustang for a fast and furious ride.”— Publishers Weekly (starred review) “Trust Stephen King. This book is the real deal.”—Stephen King “Steve Hamilton amazes me. Every time I think he's going to zig he zags. As original as any writer I've ever read, Hamilton once again reinvents himself and the genre with another wonderful character and story. Get in on the ground floor with The Second Life of Nick Mason. It's a great read.”—Michael Connelly “A gamechanger. Nick Mason is one of the best main characters I've read in years. An intense, moving, absolutely relentless book—it will grab you from the first line and never let go.”—Harlan Coben “Stunning. A gripping non-stop thriller. An engrossing read from page one. Steve Hamilton has delivered a fascinating new character. A flat out terrific read. I could not put this book down.”—Don Winslow “Whatever he writes, I'll read. Steve Hamilton's that good.”—Lee Child “If this book were a bullet, it would blow a hole right through you. Once Steve Hamilton pulls the trigger, the action in The Second Life of Nick Mason never lets up. Hamilton's tale of a man released from one prison only to find himself trapped in another is told with all the style and power we expect from an Edgar Award-winning author. This is crime fiction at its finest.”—William Kent Krueger (2014 Edgar Winner for Best Novel of 2013)
[Hamilton] has a fine premise, a vibrant setting, a charismatic antihero…Mr. Hamilton gives this book a superb set of road maps, one for the Chicago Nick knows so well, another for the inner workings of Nick's mind. Because Nick is a first-time character faced with a terrible moral dilemma, his thoughts need to be grippingly complex, and they are…
The Second Life of Nick Mason kicks off this new phase of Mr. Hamilton's career at full gallop. It's a tight, gripping book about a man hellbent on reinventing himself against long odds. By a writer who knows whereof he speaks.
The New York Times - Janet Maslin
The sinner who gets a chance to start over is an archetypal figure in crime fiction. Steve Hamilton works a smart variation on it in
The Second Life of Nick Mason…
The New York Times Book Review - Marilyn Stasio
Nick Mason, the hero of this high-octane series launch from Edgar-winner Hamilton (Let It Burn), makes a pact with fellow inmate Darius Cole, a Chicago crime boss, that springs him from prison, where he was doing 25 to life, headlong into a new incarnation as Cole’s no. 1 gun. But deals with the devil don’t usually play out well, as Nick soon learns. The luxurious Lincoln Park West mansion in which Cole sets him up in Chicago, with a mysterious female housemate already in residence, amounts to little more than a gilded cage, until Nick gets the next in a deadly string of assignments—which increasingly threaten the few people he cares about, including his nine-year-old daughter. 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. A movie adaptation is already in the works from Lionsgate with Nina Jacobson and Shane Salerno producing. Author tour. Agent: Shane Salerno, The Story Factor. (May)
[The Second Life of Nick Mason] is so good, it legitimately stands shoulder to padded paranoid shoulder with the classics of the crime noir genre… There are so many terrific elements in this novelNick's haunted character, a plot that never darts in the direction you expect it to, and a truly ingenious climaxthat I could be here till Labor Day singing its praises.
NPR Fresh Air - Maureen Corrigan
Steve Hamilton's new novel, 'The Second Life of Nick Mason,' is every bit as good as Don Winslow and Harlan Coben and Michael Connelly say it is. (5/22)
New York Daily News - Mike Lupica
[A] reinvention of the noir thriller... There are a number of ways Hamilton could have gone that would have turned his knockout premise into pandering. Instead of patronizing readers with a morality tale (criminal struggling against the dark pull of enterprise), Hamilton gives us a bad guy who is willing - and able - to do worse. The result is edgy and intelligent entertainment that hits with the force of a narrative bullet... Hamilton gets just about everything right in Nick Mason. (5/22)
As fertile as Chicago is for crime fiction, it isn't often that an outsider captures the underside of the local scene as memorably as Steve Hamilton does with The Second Life of Nick Mason, the terrific first installment in a projected series ... The novel more than lives up to its hype. (5/22)
[A] heart-pounding thriller with cinematic appeal ... Hamilton cleverly imbues the narrative with myriad of twists and turns, allowing the intricate plot to unfold with stunning and extraordinary skill and suspense. From the honor amongst thieves, to the honor amongst those sworn to protect us, to the loyalty among childhood friends and beloved family, multiple worlds collide as Hamilton catapults us into Nick Mason's complex psyche. (online review, 5/20)
The two-time Edgar Award winner kicks off a new series starring Nick Mason, out of prison after only five years of a 25-to-life term but beholden to a big-time criminal still behind bars. Originally scheduled for September 2015 with Minotaur and now, after Hamilton's headlines-worthy departure, being released by Putnam.
What a fascinating, complex audiobook! Nick Mason is a criminal with a conscience, but that doesn’t stop him from doing bad things. Nonetheless, we still like him in the way we rooted for Tony Soprano. Narrator Ray Porter may have a lot to do with that. His portrayal of a criminal who is fiercely loyal to his friends and family is outstanding. He conveys the constant pressure and tension felt by Mason with his speech patterns and a tone of raw emotion always held in check. Porter also breathes life into the sinister Darius Cole, who runs a Chicago crime family from his prison cell, where he’s serving a double life sentence. Cole manages to free Mason from prison, only to turn him into his personal enforcer. The ending is logical and satisfying. M.S. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award © AudioFile 2016, Portland, Maine
When hard-nosed Chicagoan Nick Mason is sprung from an Indiana prison after serving only five years of a 25-year-to-life sentence, he's hardly done paying for a killing he did not commit. When he gets out, Mason must do the bidding of Darius Cole, the feared inmate who used cartel-like connections to get his conviction reversed. A stoic along the lines of Lee Child's Jack Reacher, Mason agrees to the deal out of a fervent desire to see his ex-wife and young daughter before the girl is too old to remember him. A seasoned criminal before he was out of his teens, he had gone straight to raise his family only to be talked into taking part in one last heist. One dead Drug Enforcement Administration agent and one dead friend later, he was in a maximum security unit, refusing to name the fed's real killer. Now, set up by Cole in a swanky, fully stocked pad in Lincoln Park—a far cry from the Irish South Side neighborhood in which he grew up—Mason has barely settled in when he's directed to shoot a man in a motel room. That assignment goes better than a surprise visit to his family in the leafy suburbs, where his remarried wife won't let him see their daughter. Meanwhile, Mason is obsessively tailed by Sandoval, a cop with a checkered history of his own. Chicago has rarely served as a better backdrop for a crime novel, both with its diverse qualities and pervasive corruption. A consummate pro known for his Alex McKnight series (Let it Burn, 2013, etc.), Hamilton surpasses himself with Mason, who inspires storytelling of the leanest, most gripping sort. 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.