Monday, May 30, 2016


    A second chance?  Who among us hasn’t at one time or another wished for a second chance?  Nick Mason didn’t ask for or expect one, but he gets a second chance at an unimaginably terrible price.

    Author Hamilton grabs us with a one sentence opening paragraph, “Nick Mason’s freedom lasted less than a minute.”  He’s a criminal who was involved in a botched robbery that included the death of a federal officer, and was given 25 years in prison.  However, after serving just five he is suddenly released and barely has a chance to breathe free air when he’s hustled into a black Escalade by a driver he doesn’t know.  Turns out that the driver is Quintero and he’s to be Nick’s literal keeper.  We learn that Nick is to do whatever Darius Cole, a crime boss still in prison, tells him to do upon pain of death.  Instructions come from Quintero via a cell phone that Nick must carry at all times.

    Well, Nick doesn’t much care for this arrangement but he has a daughter whom he hardly knows and would like to see her grow up.  Besides, the upside is he’s taken to a posh townhouse where he is to live.  His new home has everything a man could want including a beautiful co-dweller.  Nick has little time to enjoy his surroundings before he receives his first order - to kill.

    Nick knows he has to get out from under Cole’s orders, but how?  As if this weren’t enough to deal with he’s up against a bunch of crooked Chicago cops, an honest detective who wants to send him back to prison, a young daughter who doesn’t know him and an ex-wife who doesn’t want him to darken their doorstep.

    The Second Life Of Nick Mason is a gripping, suspenseful tale perfectly narrated by Ray Porter who seems to be right in tune with Nick as he attempts to not only survive but reinvent himself.

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