The Short Drop
by Matthew FitzSimmons
2015 / 395 pages
read by James Patrick Cronin – 11h 54m
rating: A++ / thriller crime – political/techie
Ten years prior to the main story line Senator Benjamin Lombard’s daughter Suzanne went missing and hasn’t been seen since then. She left some seriously grieving people and the whole country was on the lookout but no matter – she was never found but there was some fallout.
Now Lombard is Vice President and running for President and the missing daughter story has come up in the news again – Suzanne, or her body, must be found. Oh yes, the Senator’s office and others have been looking for years, in fact there is a special group looking, but …
Then one day via computer geekdom up pops someone who seems to know something about Suzanne.
Gibson Vaughn was a childhood friend of Suzanne’s and the son of a Lombard’s chief of staff. His father committed suicide as a result of the case And Vance has a fair amount of computer expertise so now that he’s out of the military he offers his services to the group which has been hunting her anyway. There’s a nice smattering of of geeky stuff involved. And a bunch of characters on one, the other or unknown sides. Paying attention is crucial because things happen fast and rather than spelling every nuance out for the reader, FitzSimmons writes to intelligence.
There are also numerous questions to keep the reading going past bedtime. The questions start with what happened to Suzanne, but also who all wants her found and why as well as to what lengths do others want to prevent this – and why. There’s lots of guesswork for the reader (although that’s not necessary – sometimes I just let the story unfold).
FitzSimmons develops the tension perfectly through high-end motives, past crimes and the underlying fear of immediate violence, surprising plot twists plus enough guns and chase scenes to justify it – a bit of graphic violence (not that much).
Good book – kept me going for all 11 hours broken only by sleep, I think. The reading of James Patrick Cronin takes awhile to get used to, but after awhile he’s is perfect – the story really doesn’t need more tension than is written into it.