Tuesday, February 23, 2021

From Fan to Fictionist

Three years after her husband, former president Bill Clinton, published his own debut political thrillerThe President Is Missing, co-authored with James Patterson—Hillary Rodham Clinton, the onetime U.S. secretary of state and ex-presidential candidate, is teaming up with mystery writer Louise Penny on her own novel, State of Terror, to be published jointly by Simon & Schuster and St. Martin’s Press.

Book Riot provides a brief synopsis of the plot:
State of Terror takes place just after a four-year presidential term that pulled America away from the world stage. A novice Secretary of State is appointed by her political rival, and shortly after, the country is rocked by multiple terrorist attacks. The Secretary must put together a team capable of finding the source of the attacks while also preventing the American government from crumbling.

Clinton’s political experience influences several aspects of the new novel. After losing to former President Barack Obama in the 2008 election, Clinton was appointed by Obama to serve as Secretary of State for four years.

The novel is also influenced by the Trump administration’s “America First” foreign policy tactics.
Hillary Clinton and Penny, author of the Chief Inspector Armand Gamache series (All the Devils Are Here), have apparently known each other for years. And the Clinton family has vacationed in Quebec, Canada’s Eastern Township as Penny’s guests. “Writing a thriller with Louise is a dream come true,” Clinton enthused in a statement. “I’ve relished every one of her books and their characters as well as her friendship. Now we’re joining our experiences to explore the complex world of high-stakes diplomacy and treachery.”

The New York Times quotes Penny as saying she “could not say yes fast enough,” when the idea came up of their writing a novel together. “Before we started, we talked about her time as Secretary of State. What was her worst nightmare? State of Terror is the answer.”

Their political thriller should arrive in bookshops by October 12.

By the way, a second novel by Bill Clinton and James Patterson, The President’s Daughter, is scheduled for release this coming June.

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