By: Matthew FitzSimmons
The Gibson Vaughn Series #1
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer
Publication Date: 12/1/2015
My Rating: 5 Stars
Top Debut Political Thriller
Top Books of 2015
A decade ago, fourteen-year-old Suzanne Lombard, the daughter of Benjamin Lombard—then a senator, now a powerful vice president running for the presidency—disappeared in the most sensational missing-person case in the nation’s history. Still unsolved, the mystery remains a national obsession.For legendary hacker and marine Gibson Vaughn, the case is personal—Suzanne Lombard had been like a sister to him.
On the tenth anniversary of her disappearance, the former head of Benjamin Lombard’s security asks for Gibson’s help in a covert investigation of the case, with new evidence in hand.Haunted by tragic memories, he jumps at the chance to uncover what happened all those years ago. Using his military and technical prowess, he soon discovers multiple conspiracies surrounding the Lombard family—and he encounters powerful, ruthless political players who will do anything to silence him and his team.
With new information surfacing that could threaten Lombard’s bid for the presidency, Gibson must stay one step ahead as he navigates a dangerous web to get to the truth.
A special thank you to Thomas & Mercer and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review. (Also a Kindle First pick)
Matthew FitzSimmons delivers a solid debut, THE SHORT DROP — crossing many genres: a riveting action crime thriller--psycho, political, techno, and mystery, packed with suspense and wit, hooking you from the first page to the last; an intense page-turner!
Based in Virginia, Gibson Vaughn (loved his character) a computer hacker, is in search of his childhood friend, Suzanne Lombard--the daughter of the American vice president. Her disappearance has haunted Gibson since he was a troubled teenager. Now, nearing the tenth anniversary of her death, he has been offered a chance to help solve the mystery.
George Abe, with a consulting group, who once worked for Lombard, is now working on his own and wants Gibson’s help. In addition, there is also an ex-CIA and an ex-LA police detective to make things even more interesting. Of course, there is also a professional hired killer always running in the background, and another person sending out clues.
Suzanne, well liked, an avid reader-- was only fourteen years old when she went missing. Even the $10MM reward (offered by godmother) was never claimed. All leads turned cold. While in high school he hacked into the Senator’s computer to bring down a conspiracy which proved costly for his entire family.
Gibson has a past, as his dad was Lombard’s right hand man and chief of staff. The children grew up together and spent time at each other homes. There is a history which ties into the storyline of the past, and Gibson becomes obsessed with drawing out the killer. Who kidnapped her, and is she still alive? While viewing old videos, he feels she was trying to leave him a clue.
WR8TH, the faceless guy who befriended Suzanne in a chat room before she vanished, has resurfaced online. However, nothing is as it appears. Gibson proves a hero, and one step ahead of his team. (loved his diner office).
From hidden dark secrets, politics, hangings, power, cover-ups, ruthless killers, hackers, a pedophile, chat rooms, danger, murder, betrayal, and a race against time chasing another hacker with clues to Gibson. From twists, turns, revenge, and past crimes to the present, with sophisticated technology and plenty of Wow factor!
I loved Gibson’s character, a father, and lover of his daughter and a supportive ex-wife. Cannot wait for the next book, and more from the main man. Stay tuned for the second book in this exciting new series, coming Sept 6, 2016. Poisonfeather (The Gibson Vaughn Series Book 2).
WOW, FitzSimmons can write--hard to believe this is a debut! If this is a debut, cannot wait to see what comes next. Fans of Daniel Palmer, Michael Connelly, and David Baldacci will enjoy this mix of complexity—a well-written plot; character-driven emotional suspense-- political intrigue thriller.
A fantastic Kindle First Pick. Would love to hear an audio version narrated by Peter Berkrot!
Buy the Book
“Writing with swift efficiency, FitzSimmons shows why the stakes are high, the heroes suitably tarnished, and the bad guys a pleasure to foil.”
“Beyond exceptional. Matthew FitzSimmons is the real deal.”
—Andrew Peterson, author of the bestselling Nathan McBride series
“The Short Drop is an adrenaline-fueled thriller that has it all—political intrigue, murder, and suspense. Matthew FitzSimmons weaves a clever plot and deftly leads the reader on a rapid ride to an explosive end.”
—Robert Dugoni, bestselling author of My Sister’s Grave
About the Author
Matthew FitzSimmons, an American boy from Illinois, grew up in London in the 1970s under the baleful eye of the Kings Road punks. His otherwise idyllic childhood was shattered by the traumatic experience of seeing Star Wars on December 27, 1977 in Leicester Square, listening to his father sleep through what was clearly the greatest cinematic achievement of all time, and fearing he was adopted.
For college, he attended Swarthmore College where he earned a B.A. in Psychology but lived largely in and for the theater.
After several years in New York City, and having learned he wouldn’t do absolutely anything to make it, he absconded to China. There he wrote a first novel (the less said about which the better), played center back for a foreigner’s soccer team, sparked a near riot and was forced to write a ziwo pipan (self-criticism) by the University of Nanjing—his first work of political fiction.
He now lives in Washington, D.C., where he taught English literature and theater at a private high school for over a decade. He cohabitates with a pair of old boots, collects bourbon and classic soul LPs, and wonders if he will ever write anything half as good as the first sentence of James Crumley’s The Last Good Kiss.
Connect with Matt: Website Twitter Goodreads
Stay tuned for the second book in this exciting new series, coming Sept 6, 2016. Poisonfeather (The Gibson Vaughn Series Book 2) Cover coming soon!