In the stunning follow-up to the New York Times bestseller 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 an battalion of heavily armed U.S. 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.
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.
All violence, no character depth
Thrillers and mysteries need stories that offer a resolution. This bloody and often ludicrous novel leaves us hanging. We are forced to wait for the next book to continue the story.
Additionally, how much excessive punishment can one man's body take? How many beatings and being shot make sense? We're not talking about Superman here. The violence becomes silly.
The characters are cliches, and the Chicago setting owes more to Google Maps than to any imaginative thinking from the author.
With its thin story and repetitive action, Exit Strategy is a dull and meandering tale of a hitman who robotically follows orders and leaves a ridiculous amount of blood and bodies in his wake.
This is not a good novel. I guess the writer wants the uninteresting Nick Mason to be a continuing character. Forget it. It's time to move on.