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Publisher's Summary

In the stunning follow-up to the New York Times best-seller 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 men who put his boss, Darius Cole, behind bars for life, and kill them.

But first he has to find them - they're ghost prisoners locked down around the clock in classified "deep black" locations by a battalion of heavily armed US marshals charged with protecting them - and the clock is ticking. Cole is appealing his conviction, and these witnesses are either his ticket to freedom or the final nail in his coffin. If they testify, Darius Cole will never step foot in the outside world again. If they are killed, he will walk out a free man.

As he risks everything to complete his mission, Mason finds himself being hunted by the very man he replaced, the ruthless assassin who once served, then betrayed, Darius Cole. Rather than waiting to be Mason's next victim, he has escaped witness protection to hunt down and kill Mason himself.

In an action-packed journey that leads from a high-security military installation in the Appalachian Mountains to a secret underground bunker hidden far below the streets of New York City, Nick Mason will have to become, more than ever before, the lethal weapon that Darius Cole created.

©2017 Steve Hamilton (P)2017 Penguin Audio

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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ready for the next one

I really enjoyed both the first and second book. I'm looking forward to the continuation of the series. the narrator Ray Porter is one of my favorites.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Bob
  • Takoma Park, MD, United States
  • 07-19-17

Great listen that stretches credulity

The first Nick Mason book was a blast, a wonderful premise, powerful, action-packed story, well-written and well-narrated. What a bold departure from Hamilton's first series character.
But I did wonder how you could push this great idea past one book and keep the reader/listener buying in to the premise and maintaining our connection to the main character. Right from the outset of the first book, Nick is teetering on the edge of an impossible dilemma. We root for him to succeed and break out of the bind he is in. I enjoyed Exit Strategy, it kept me riveted even while the odds mounted. But with each plot twist and bigger obstacle thrown in his path, it grew harder to suspend my disbelief. On one hand, it is the way, as in too many action stories and films, the protagonist bounces back from vicious beatings, shootings and explosions to continue vanquishing foes like an immortal ninja. On the other, it is how the web of evil stretches further and farther from the 'simple' drug gang mastermind to something more pervasive and more mysterious. And harder to buy. The thought rose that Hamilton, a good writer, was taking the 'easy' way out by turning to the fantastic instead of more subtle, artful plot developments. I still like the series and will surely listen to book three - I hope Quintero returns simply so I can enjoy Ray Porter voicing his character - but the fresh edge is gone.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • John
  • tallevast, FL, United States
  • 07-01-17

I blame myself

After listening to the first book in the series, I thought I was done with Nick Mason. At least I know I am now - for sure

It's not just the level of absurd scenarios that this guy gets placed into. It's also the non-explanation of how he gets away with it.

I guess this is a world without DNA evidence as he leaves his blood everywhere. Or the fact that his fingerprints are probably on everything he leaves at the scene. Not to mention that there must be no video cameras where he goes to record his face while he's breaking into high security places..

He's also got to be the dumbest guy to not figure out what's going to happen if he does one thing or another without there being consequences. As stupid as I am for deciding to give this series one more shot.

Only Rat Porter kept me listening through this train wreck of a book..

Stupid is as stupid does. It is - So I does

3 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Could have been great

Lots of action, and interesting characters in this installment. After listening to the first Nick Mason book I immediately bought and listened to this book. Although the narration was fantastic (as usual for Ray Porter) and the story had elements of a good book, there were just too many times I asked myself "What?!?!" Without adding spoilers, I'll just have to say the instant development of Mason's skills didn't make sense, the loss of other characters was extreme, and the ending was wholly unsatisfying. Unfortunately disappointing.

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Two thumbs up!

Great story and awesome narration. I look forward to the next addition to the series!

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Started strong but ended weak

The story started strong and full of suspense. But it seems like it ran out of ideas towards the second half and all the writer could think of was killing characters off.
The narrator was very good.

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Solid!

Recommend book one first so this one makes more sense. One can never go wrong listening to any book narrated by Ray Porter!

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an ambivalent hero

So the hero is in a bad spot, trapped, so he has to do awful things . . . so he's not really a hero or an anti-hero, just a guy who has to do bad things. So he's fighting back here, and tings get messy, and there's some good action. And the ending opens out nto another book. But I've already forgotten the first book, so I wonder if this one too will just vanish like too many forgettable bits of mind candy. It's hard to care about a guy who's responsible for so much bad stuff, even though he has attributes of a hero . . .

The narrator's OK, but he could use a few more voices . . .

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Eh....lacks personality

I wanted to like Nick Mason, or at least root for him....but I just can't. There is so little that is redeeming, I just skipped to the I satisfying ending so I could be done with the book.