State of Terror ~ by Hillary Clinton and Louise Penny

I wish I could write up a better reveiw for this one. I basically loved it but due to some personal issues wasn’t able to give it the attention it deserved because my mind kept wandering and it ended up taking me 4 days to finish a spy thriller

STATE OF TERROR
By Hillary Clinton and Louise Penny

2021 / (511 pages) 
Read by Joan Allen 15h 41m
Rating A+ / espionage-thriller 

Remember The President is Missing, the book Bill Clinton wrote with James Patterson? That was pretty good,  or rather I should say “I enjoyed it” because I do know the difference. I gave it an A-.  

Hillary, not to be outdone (or maybe they both personally enjoy popular crime novels), teamed up with the highly popular Louise Penny to write State of Terror.  

In The President is Missing it feels like Bill Clinton provided the info on presidential security while the very popular Patterson was on board for the actual writing. And maybe they collaborated on the plot.   

With State of Terror Hillary shows her stuff about spies, defense, terror, and the workings of the State Department. Louise Penny is a top-notch writer of traditional mystery novels.

Mostly State of Terror is a thriller/spy novel with political aspects – some quite strong toward the end. It starts out as a thinly veiled poke at the “stable genius” who is now a prior. I didn’t really catch the political tones for the first third or so, but it’s there – lightly but pointedly. After the 1/2-way pont it gets more and more real.

But this is a book which might be better in print format than audio. There are a lot of scene and chapter breaks for which there no pause or notice in the narration.  When you realize the action has gone from Germany to the White House it feels like there should be asterisks or something – and there are little lines in the print versions. That said the narration is excellent.  

The twice-widowed Ellen Adams, a highly-rated journalist, has been named by the two-month old administration as Secretary of State.  She’s already had problems with North Korea and Pakistan is a serious hot-spot where scientists are expanding the nuclear programs. Suddenly bombs go off on crowded buses in European cities and it’s suspected that this terrorist activity will repeat very soon in US cities.There are spies and counter spies and diplomacy and secrets along with a few shoot-up. But the bomb scare is always underneath.  So it gets tense and then it gets bloody.  It’s impossible to read this book without “seeing” Hillary Clinton as the Secretary of State.  I don’t remember if that was as described or not.

The book is quite long and needs the reader’s attention. I started out terrific and then got lost and then bored but after that the tale got riveting I burned the midnight oil. Bottom line, this is a very good and enjoyable novel and I recommend it unless you’re allergic to hearing the rhetoric of divisive politics these days – but that’s really only at the end.

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