Exit Strategy by Steve Hamilton

Title: Exit Strategy, Author: Steve Hamilton Exit Strategy.  Finished 1-29-20, 4/5 stars, thriller, pub. 2017

Unabridged audio read by Ray Porter.  6 CDs.

Book 2 in the Nick Mason series (1-The Second Life of Nick Mason)

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.    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. 

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.   fromGoodreads

I listened to the first Nick Mason book last month and liked the way Nick, a low level criminal turned killer, was portrayed as a man making bad decisions based on wanting to live another day.  I’m not sure sympathy is the best word, but definitely some feeling of understanding kept me listening.  In this second book with Nick, one that starts about a month later, the bigger picture becomes clearer and his luck with women goes from bad to worse to the worst.  I think at least one of those could have been left out.

Somehow, Nick has become this uber assassin and I was a little confused about how he obtained all of these skills in such a short amount of time, but once I just accepted it as fact the story became more fun.  Well, as fun as killers hunting killers and leaving lots of dead bodies in wake can be.  Again, once accepted the entertainment value goes way up.

I like Nick Mason and this series, improbable as it may be, and am looking forward to the next book.

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