It’s hard to say which I liked more: the unlikely hero who is Nick Mason, or the setting in the back of the Yards. The Chicago Stockyards that is, a place which I know for a fact held many of the bravest, toughest, strongest men in the Midwest. My father, and my grandfather, were two of them. But they were cattlemen, not cops. Nor were they involved in a life of crime.
But Nick Mason, a guy I liked immediately much as I liked the Corleone family, has had a life of crime and had to pay. He began stealing cars with his best friends as a youth, and escaped each time until a deal went terribly wrong.
When we meet him, he is stepping out of prison a free man. Yet he is only a free man for a matter of seconds, because he has been set free by Cole, a man who will be incarcerated forever but still wields tremendous power from inside his jail cell. He has determined that Mason can do his bidding, which Mason does.
The Second Life of Nick Mason is a fascinating book, not only in story, but in looking at life’s questions. Are we stuck in the life that our choices have made for us? Are we free to decide for ourselves? And, is it possible to reroute a life path gone wrong?
I loved it, have already passed it to a colleague at school who cannot eat lunch without the book in his hands.