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Plague Kindle Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 81 customer reviews

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Length: 252 pages Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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"The Short Drop" by Matthew FitzSimmons
Meet the assassin The Washington Post calls "a doozy of a sociopath" in this debut thriller from Matthew FitzSimmons. Available on Kindle and in paperback.

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Product Details

  • File Size: 747 KB
  • Print Length: 252 pages
  • Publisher: Bell Bridge Books (September 4, 2012)
  • Publication Date: September 4, 2012
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B009CD14NI
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #206,408 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author


H. W. "Buzz" Bernard is a best-selling, award-winning novelist.

His debut novel, EYEWALL, which one reviewer called a "perfect summer read," was released in May 2011 and went on to become a number-one best seller in Amazon's Kindle Store.

His second novel, PLAGUE ("One of the best thrillers of 2012″--novelist Al Leverone), came out in September 2012, and won the 2014 EPIC eBook Award in the suspense/thriller category.

His third novel, SUPERCELL ("Races along with the speed of a twister"--novelist Michael Wallace) was published in late 2013 and became a best seller on Kindle as well as the winner of the 2015 EPIC eBook Award in the suspense thriller/category.

His most recent novel and the third in his "weather trilogy," BLIZZARD ("A terrific book"--novelist Deborah Smith) was released in February 2015.

Before becoming a novelist, Buzz worked at The Weather Channel as a senior meteorologist for 13 years. Prior to that, he served as a weather officer in the U.S. Air Force for over three decades.  He attained the rank of colonel and received, among other awards, the Legion of Merit.

His "airborne" experiences include a mission with the Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunters, air drops over the Arctic Ocean and Turkey, and a stint as a weather officer aboard a Tactical Air Command airborne command post (C-135).

In the past, he's provided field support to forest fire fighting operations in the Pacific Northwest, spent a summer working on Alaska's arctic slope, and served two tours in Vietnam. Various other jobs, both civilian and military, have taken him to Germany, Saudi Arabia and Panama.

He's a native Oregonian and attended the University of Washington in Seattle where he earned a bachelor's degree in atmospheric science; he also studied creative writing.

Buzz currently is vice president of the Southeastern Writers Association. He's a member of International Thriller Writers, the Atlanta Writers Club and Willamette Writers.

He and his wife Christina live in Roswell, Georgia, along with their fuzzy and sometimes over-active Shih-Tzu, Stormy. Buzz is represented by Jeanie Loiacano of the Loiacano Literary Agency.

Buzz's Website can be found at

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is simply awful. I have a weakness for apocalyptic scenarios, and plague is certainly a subset of this genre. It has been done many times, sometimes brilliantly (Andromeda Strain and The Hot Zone come immediately to mind). This rather weak effort clocks in at about 250 pages, but every trick in the book has been used to stretch it to that length. It has dozens of chapters that leave of mid page. The margins are large, as is the type. The chapter headings take up half a page, buttressed by large, bold recitals of dates and locations, even though the events of the story take place over the course of two days, all in Atlanta, Georgia. Boiled down, what we have is an incredibly thin story that can be read in four hours, easy.


The scenario is ridiculous. An Islamic terrorist has somehow gained total control over the Level 4, biohazard containment facility of a domestic biotechnology firm. How could this possibly happen? Who knows, the author glosses over this as if it were a common occurrence. He is on the verge of releasing an airborne Ebola strain that promises to wipe out millions of Americans. Our hero, an interim CEO who steps in after all upper level management are murdered by our terrorist friend, cracks the case within 48 hours, saving the world from certain destruction.

The characters in the book are as one dimensional as you could possibly imagine. The dialogue is laughably atrocious. I promise, you will wince at some of the things that come from the characters' mouths. The events in the book, designed to promote an increasing level of suspense, instead left me rolling my eyes.

This is not good.
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Format: Kindle Edition
I received a galley of Plague from Netgalley and Belle Bridge Books in exchange for an honest review.

A terrorist is targeting the United States (specifically Atlanta). His weapon isn't a bomb, a gun or an airplane. It's Ebola. Specifically a variety of Ebola that is airborne. CDC doctors, the FBI, a corporate CEO and even Mossad are working to stop him before it's too late.

This is a tough book for me to rate. The high level story is very interesting and scary. If terrorists really do get the ability to use germ warfare, we will be in a world of hurt. But, there were certain things about the writing style that didn't allow it to flow. There were several sections with sentences that were too long and the result was too many commas in a section. It wasn't consistent throughout the book but when I hit one of these paragraphs, it was frustrating.

There were some plot issues that bothered me as well. I won't spoil them here but character motivations are important to me. It is hard to believe certain actions are attributable to bright, successful people without more backstory. I also dislike it when things happen to help the protagonist and they are too convenient and not realistic.

The author is a former meteorologist. So, he used several cloud names including cumulonimbi which, again, just seemed liked overkill. The word "cauliflowering" was used as a verb. He also used the phrases "mushroom treatment" and "rock and a hard spot" which felt out-of-place and somewhat outdated. None of these word usages were awful but they did keep me from enjoying it more.

I did enjoy the references to native trees and flowers in Atlanta - living in the south, I see most of these every day. Plus, I lived in Oregon for several years and was excited to see Cannon Beach (one of my favorite places) referenced.

Overall, it was a good book but not great. 3/5 stars.
Comment 13 of 15 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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By tmtrvlr on February 12, 2013
Format: Paperback
Terrorism is frightening enough without the thought of a terrorist attack by a deadly airborne Ebola-type virus. The story starts out strong as the first victims fall ill and the doctors realize what they are facing. The main character, Richard Wainwright, steps in as a temporary CEO of a bio-tech company after the entire administration was killed in an airplane crash. He soon finds himself in more trouble than he can handle.

I did have a few problems with the book. While the character of Richard was likable, he didn't seem very competent in his position, and some of his actions just didn't make sense. One character in the book came across too much like a cartoon ninja character. Then there was Richard's love interest, an odd, not very devout Methodist minister.

I enjoyed the beginning of the book, but it seemed to go down too many rabbit trails before it found its way back. I would have liked more medical and fewer escapades.
Comment 9 of 10 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Paperback
I really wanted to like Plague. Descriptions of the book certainly caught my attention and had me anticipating a fast-paced thriller. A "lone-wolf terrorist" was ready to set loose a deadly plague of the Ebola virus on Atlanta. Having read books with similar plots, I was primed and ready for an exciting edge-of-my-seat read.

Author Buzz Bernard gets the story underway in fine fashion. A trial release of the deadly virus in a balloon on a golf course infects two early-morning golfers. The fear and agony one of these victims suffers as the horrible disease spreads through his body grabs the reader and, frankly, frightens the wits out of him. Fright is exciting, especially so when the scenario seems not far-fetched at all. It is all too easy to imagine this kind of thing actually taking place in 21st century America.

The novel's main character, a retired corporate executive named Richard Wainwright appears on the scene when he is persuaded to become the temporary CEO of an Atlanta bio-technology firm after the company's management team perished in a plane crash. Wainwright discovers a mysterious building on the corporate campus and learns that it is off-limits even to him. Curiosity killed the cat and it almost kills the inquisitive CEO.

Somehow the story gets diverted from the terrorist plot to infect metropolitan Atlanta with a deadly virus to Wainwright's adventures as he tries to get a grasp of the goings-on inside his new company. Eventually, the threads of the plot do come together again, but only after the reader feels distracted and maybe even a little bored.
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