cover image Exit Strategy: A Nick Mason Novel

Exit Strategy: A Nick Mason Novel

Steve Hamilton. Putnam, $26 (304p) ISBN 978-0-399-57438-2

Edgar-winner Mason’s sequel to 2016’s The Second Life of Nick Mason falls short of his usual high standard. In Second Life, Mason, a nonviolent thief incarcerated for felony murder after a fellow conspirator took a life in the course of a robbery, made a deal with the devil. In exchange for arranging for Mason’s early release from prison via false, exonerating testimony, criminal kingpin and fellow inmate Darius Cole exacted a promise that Mason would “do whatever was asked of him.” Cole now orders Mason, who’s already murdered one man at Cole’s insistence, to take out Ken McLaren, who was once Cole’s chief accountant. A key witness against Cole, McLaren is under heavy federal protection in Chicago. Despite the obstacles, Mason succeeds in breaching the government’s Witness Security Program. The plot follows familiar lines, Mason’s transformation into an unstoppable killing machine is unconvincing, and he and the other characters lack depth. Author tour. Agent: Shane Salerno, Story Factory. (May)