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The President Is Missing: A Novel Hardcover – June 4, 2018
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Praise for The President Is Missing:
"Ambitious and wildly readable... Clinton and Patterson's fictional commander in chief brims with humanity, character and stoicism."
―New York Times Book Review
"It's a go-to read. It maximizes its potency and fulfills its mission. There's a twist or two of which Frederick Forsyth might be proud. So, if you want to make the most of your late-capitalist leisure-time, hit the couch, crack a Bud, punch the book open, focus your squint, and enjoy."
―The New Yorker
"Harrowing . . . Mr. Patterson withholds details until the moment of maximum dramatic effect . . . beach reading of a high order."
―The Wall Street Journal
"Sure to entice millions of readers . . . the novel is fascinating . . . President Duncan for a second term!"
"The President Is Missing feels like the result of a strong collaboration . . . It's driven by star power and persuasive-sounding presidential candor . . . This book's a big one."
―New York Times
"An extraordinary event . . . the pages spark to DEFCON 1."
"This book moves like Air Force One. Big and fast. Clinton and Patterson are a dream combo. Two great storytellers, one inside and one outside, both at the top of the game. They've put together an undeniably gripping ride through the hidden passageways of power and politics. This book teaches as much as it entertains."
―Michael Connelly, #1 bestselling author of the Ballard and Bosch series
"The pages of The President Is Missing are filled with the classic tropes of a big commercial thriller . . . but the authors resist pure escapism . . . The pleasure of this book is in imagining the wild tales Clinton might disclose about his own years as President, if only he could."
"The plotting is immaculate... the writing is taut."―Sunday Times (London)
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Before getting into this review, please know that I am a Democrat. Despite that, I am going to tell you what I liked about this latest offering from Patterson, and what I did not like.
The opening is far better than I feared. Perhaps it is because it is written in first person POV. Maybe it is something the current occupant of the White House could have said. At any rate, the opening grabbed me fully and, despite the occasional stereotypical statement that felt a little worn, I found myself glued to the book. In reflection, the writing in this story is crisp and more fun than Patterson’s most recent novel, “Princess: A Private Novel.”
Oh, and by the way, I read it while listening to part of it, as I also bought the audible version. Yes, I know the description indicates it is in German, the copy I got is in English, narrated by Dennis Quaid, and others.
I’m going to presume that most of the book actually is written by James Patterson. I cannot, however, distinguish between Patterson and Clinton, in terms of the writing. Had it not billed Clinton as co-author, I probably would still have purchased this book, as I am a fan of this most prolific writer.
BLUSH FACTOR: Although there is a sprinkling of mild cussing, there are no profanities.
‘…hitting the fan, you’re the guy I want in charge.”
I let out air, nod my head.
“Hey.” Danny gets up from his chair and sits down next to me on the couch. He lightly punches my knee. “Being in charge isn’t being alone. I’m right here. Same place I’ve always been, no matter what your title is. Same place I’ll always be.”
“Yeah, I—I know.” I look at him. “I know that.”
“This isn’t about the impeachment [expletive deleted], is it? Because that’ll work itself out. Lester Rhodes? That boy’s so dumb he couldn’t pour piss out of a boot if the directions were on the bottom.”
He’s pulling out all the stops, dusting off another of Mama Lil’s greatest hits. He’s trying to take me back to her, to her strength. After Daddy died, she cracked the whip as hard as any drill sergeant I’d later meet, smacking me in the head if she heard a double negative or an ain’t, telling me I’d go to college or she’d tan my hide. She’d go to work early and come home in the afternoon with two Styrofoam cartons of food that would be dinner for Danny and me. I’d rub her feet while she checked our homework and interrogated us about our day at school. She always said, You boys aren’t rich enough to afford not to pay attention.
“It’s that other thing, isn’t it?” says Danny. “That thing that you can’t tell me, that’s had you canceling half your schedule for the last two weeks? The reason that you’ve suddenly become so interested in martial law and habeas corpus and price controls? Whatever it is that’s kept you quiet as falling snow about Suliman Cindoruk and Algeria while Lester Rhodes beats the snot out of you?”
“Yeah,” I say. “It’s that thing.”
“Yeah.” Danny clears his throat, drums his fingers. “Scale of 1 to 10,” he says. “How bad?”
“Jesus. And you have to go off leash? I gotta tell you, that sounds like a terrible idea.”
It just might be. But it’s the best one I have.
“You’re scared,” he says.
“Yeah. Yeah, I am.”
We are quiet for a long moment.
“You know when the last time was I saw you this scared?”
“When Ohio put me over 270 electoral votes?”
“When I found out Bravo Company was deploying?”
I look at him.
“When we were getting off that…’
Patterson, James. The President Is Missing: A Novel (Kindle Locations 842-863). Little, Brown and Company. Kindle Edition.
Great writing? No, this is not great writing. But it sure is a fun, easy read. It’s also terrific on Audible, so consider getting the audio format so you can listen while driving. I should note that I listened only to, say, 10% in Audible. I do intend to listen to it fully with my wife during our upcoming trip to Texas.
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President Duncan has Congress attacking him and threatening impeachment and cyber terrorists threatening the downfall of the USA. The President goes into a secure place in Virginia to work on a terrorist attack on the internet and the American way of life. He has been shot at and has been on the run until he can make his way to the stronghold in Virginia. Here he works with the most brilliant minds behind the coding of the government and American internet system.
You can see Patterson's work in the writing and Clinton's work in the believable scenarios in the book. I can almost hear Clinton giving the speech at the end of the book.
Charles A. Krohn
Author, The Lost Battalion of Tet
Honorary lifetime member, US Army Ranger Association