cover image The Second Life of Nick Mason

The Second Life of Nick Mason

Steve Hamilton. Putnam, $26 (304p) ISBN 978-0-399-57432-0

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)