I spend a lot of time in my car. My husband and I share a vehicle, so I am the one who drops him off at work and picks him up. Then, of course, there’s running errands, going to the gym at least once a day, and other various escapades around town. It’s very easy for me to spend a good portion of my day alone in the car, going back and forth and around town. The radio isn’t always as entertaining as I’d like it to be (although picking apart the theology of various Christian songs is always fun!) so I have turned to audiobooks to make my time in the car more bearable. Some audiobooks are nice, slow rides (such as Allie and Bea), while others are suspenseful and packed with intrigue. The Short Drop by Matthew FitzSimmons was like the latter. It’s one of those books that you don’t realize you’re holding your breath while you listen until you realize you haven’t breathed in a hot minute.
Fourteen-year-old Suzanne Lombard disappeared without a trace. Well, almost without a trace. The only evidence related to her disappearance is a security tape in a gas station convenience store. Elizabeth is seen wearing a baseball cap and purchasing candy. She looks up at the camera for a moment, and then scurries out of the store.
Ten years later, Suzanne is still missing and presumed dead by her friends and family. Gibson Vaughn, her childhood friend and acting “big brother,” has not forgotten her. He still frequently wonders what could have happened to her. His life is currently in shambles. Recently fired from his job and divorced from his wife, he spends his days in the Nighthawk Diner searching for employment. Until he is approached by the former head of Benjamin Lombard’s (Suzanne’s father) security. He is convinced that Suzanne (known as Bear to Gibson) is still alive somewhere, and he has evidence backing his theory. Gibson (a legendary hacker) is employed to help with the undercover and unofficial investigation.
This story is utterly fascinating, intriguing, mysterious, and a perfect mix of slow- and fast-paced. It opens with what seems like a simple, run-of-the-mill kidnapping case. By the end, my mouth was quite literally hanging open at all of the twists and turns and surprises this story had. If you can, I highly encourage you to read it as an audiobook. I love being read to and this story reads very well out loud. However, whether you read the paperback or let it be read to you through the audio book, you will not regret picking up this book.
The only complaint I have with the book (without giving away too many spoilers) is with one specific character. As you go through the story, he turns out to be an important player and there is an intense scene between him and Gibson Vaughn. Unfortunately, from what I could tell, this character’s connection to the overall story is not revealed. Who knows? Maybe he’s brought up in the sequel!
Overall, I give The Short Drop 4/5 stars.
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