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Where has the President gone?
Aug 09, 2018 10:10 PM 11726 Views

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The President of the USA is missing, and the country is in shock. But why is the President missing? What is the deadly reason which made President John Duncan Lincoln leave the White House without any security? The answers to these questions can be found in renowned author of thrillers, James Patterson’s latest novel “The President is Missing”. Patterson is well known for being one of the top writers of racy fiction, having sold more than 375 million copies of his books worldwide. Patterson over the years has started a new trend of co-authoring, where he jointly writes his novel with another author. And guess who the co-author for this book is? None other than Bill Clinton, the 42nd President of the USA.


Who else would be more suited to write a realistic novel about a US President, than a former President himself? Bill Clinton brings to this novel, his experience in the White house and his intricate knowledge about American politics. The scenes in the novel depicting a Congress inquiry, the working of the White house, the President’s security are enriched by Clinton’s contribution. Patterson’s novels are generally racy and made up of very small chapters. He has in fact been criticised by many for his short chapters of 2-3 pages length. But as the story starts with the plot getting unravalled, we get to read lengthy chapters with many details; these seem to have been written by Clinton.


As the action progresses and the suspense builds up, we are back to the small chapters – Patterson’s trademark. Looks like Clinton has written the initial parts of the novel and much of the narrative featuring the President and Patterson has written the action/suspense parts.


The novel has three narratives – the major narrative features the President and is in the first person narrated by President Duncan. The second narrative features a dangerous assassin, a lover of classical music(nicknamed Bach), who is plotting an assassination. A third narrative features the terrorist Suliman Cindoruk, who is planning a major catastrophic attack on the USA. And yes, there is someone from the President’s team who is in touch with the other side. Is there is a traitor in the White house? And what is the form of the attack Suliman is planning which scares President Duncan so much that has goes missing from the White House and puts his job and life at stake? And who is behind all this, is there an enemy nation bankrolling the plot? You can get the answers to all these questions in “The President is Missing”.


The novel is reported to have sold 2, 50, 000 copies in the very first week of its being published and has already topped the New York Times bestseller list.(As on d ate, it has sold a million books). Fans of James Patterson will definitely love this book and Bill Clinton’s name attached to the book is the icing on the cake. This is Clinton’s first attempt at fiction and he has done a pretty good job.


James Patterson brings his expertise in constructing a racy thriller that makes you want to read the entire book in one sitting. Patterson prefers co-authoring and has even co-authored books with popular Indian author Ashwin Sanghi. Patterson’s writing style is more of creating a story with an attractive plot and his co-author writes most of the novel. But here, Patterson seems to have done most of the writing work, except for the initial chapters and the conclusion which clearly seems to have been written by Clinton.


Clinton brings in his own experiences into the novel. The chapter on the Congressional hearings with the aim of impeaching the President seems to have been inspired by Clinton’s own experience. The novel dwells on the relationship between the President, his wife and daughter. Clinton probably draws from his personal experiences here. There are a number of women characters, all of them strong and decisive, in the novel, which again seems to be Clinton’s contribution.


Clinton’s political views have an influence on the novel. The scene where the President hesitates to launch a strike against terrorists seems to be inspired by Clinton’s own thinking. Clinton also brings in references to burning topics in the US today - immigration, dreamers, gun control, Russian interference in US elections.


Since it’s a suspense thriller, no spoilers will be revealed in the review, but when you find out at the end who is responsible for all this, you may feel a bit disappointed. Very clearly, Clinton’s personal views have led to this plot device. Left to him, Patterson would have probably come out with a different ending. This is the only significant negative in this novel, otherwise all the elements of the novel synchronise well with a well constructed plot leading to a grand climax – typical of a good thriller.


Patterson’s fans would enjoy this book. Even, if for some reason, you are not a fan of Patterson or have not read his works before, don’t worry; this book won’t disappoint you. This book can be strongly recommended to all those who love the suspense/thriller genre.


As a reviewer, I would rate this book 9/10.


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