You kill one person, it changes you.
You kill five . . . it's not about changing anymore.
It's who you are
If that's the case, Nick Mason is definitely in a second life that has very little to do with his old one. This is the book's thesis, whether or not it's true is up in the air for most of the book. Certainly Mason's, um, employer and supervisor believe this to be the case.
Mason's trying to deny it, he can't admit it to himself (at least early on in this book),
anyway. Part of Mason's attempts to deny this change hinges on him removing himself and everyone he cares about from Darius Cole's control. Cole is on the verge of being released during a retrial, and he enlists Mason to keep the witnesses from testifying. So you've got Nick hunting down some of the most protected federal witnesses in the nation while attempting to get under from Cole's thumb.
That's about all I can say -- almost nothing happens in this book that I didn't figure would happen at one point or another -- but I assumed we were talking book 4 at the earliest for most of these developments. I can't say more than that.
If you liked The Second Life of Nick Mason, you're going to go gaga over this. That's a really all I can think to say. The action/fight scenes are great -- dynamic, intense, and each one is so unlike the ones that have gone before that you breathe a momentary sigh of relief that Hamilton's not going to give us reruns before reading on (frequently reading through your fingers because you aren't sure you want to see what's going on -- a tactic that worked much better as a kid watching TV/movies than it does with books). How is an assassin so poorly trained, so seemingly unlucky, so successful -- not to mention still breathing?
When it comes to straight-forward, adrenaline fueled, white-knuckling thrillers, it doesn't get better than this. Hamilton took everything he did right in the first book (which was just about everything) and amps it up. I may have to increase my blood pressure mediation before the third book comes out. Don't miss this one, my friends.