The Second Life of Nick Mason

The Second Life of Nick Mason by Steve Hamilton

The Second Life of Nick Mason by Steve Hamilton

After a botched robbery, Nick Mason is stuck doing twenty-five to life.  After only serving five years, he’s approached by the prison’s most powerful inmate with an opportunity – if said inmate can get Nick out, he’d serve the remainder of his term as his hired hand on the outside.  With the allure to see his daughter strong enough to make the decision for him, Nick soon comes to regret his choice when he finds out what his true purpose is.

From a structural standpoint, there’s nothing really wrong with this story.  Motivations make sense, characters do as they’re expected and it finishes with a somewhat satisfying conclusion.  My only problem is that this feels like crime fiction stock footage.  I found nothing particularly interesting about Nick Mason as he seemed like too much of a trope for me to invest in him.

  • Career criminal given second chance?  Check.
  • His wife remarried in his absence leaving him with an estranged daughter?  Check.
  • Regrets decision that led to his freedom with a desire to right the wrong thus reconnecting with his family?  Check.
There might be something there that the author could eventually develop as I’ve heard this is destined to become a series, but Mason came across as pretty par for the course this time around.  The Second Life of Nick Mason reads like a script to a forgotten Liam Neeson action movie.  If you like that, you’re going to be satisfied.  If you’re looking for plot complexity and a more diverse lead character, you’re going to be left wanting more.

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