"The President Is Missing," by Bill Clinton and James Patterson, is #3 on Amazon. And singlehandedly it may extend the shelf life of the book industry. Or, at least the mystery-thriller genre in hardback. Here it can ordered from Amazon.
Whatever criticisms had been made of Clinton, one thing you had to give the guy: He had a genius for connecting. That, we realize when we read this book, is because he truly did understand what the human being is all about.
What Patterson brings to the partnership is exactly the right touch in story-telling. He knows how to inject enough action so that the narrative doesn't get bogged down in analysis. Clinton, trained as a lawyer, tends to live in his head.
Essentially, the focus is on President Duncan who is in a crisis. The nation and much more are threatened during a five day period in May by a villain intent on attacking the internet. That president shares much of Clinton's background. For example, he had once been a governor in a southern state.
However, he's a widower. And he keeps himself chaste to honor the memory of his dead wife. Of course, that raises speculation if at some level of the unconscious Clinton wishes himself free of his politically tone-deaf spouse. Both her campaigns for U.S. president never caught fire. And her book rehashing the second one has finished her off.
What we don't know is if Clinton had been as distrusting of everyone around him as Duncan is. Since Duncan has adopted that mindset he is very lonely. But that goes back to William Shakespeare. Those dramas portray a world of power in which everyone is suspect. A memorable line from Shakespeare is: "Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown" (Henry IV, part 2).
To tell more would spoil the experience for millions of reading the book.
It has been observed that partnership (the marketing term is creating an "ecosystem") is currently the platform for commercial success. The tough nut to crack, though, is identifying the right partner and then closing the deal. Clinton and Patterson have accomplished that.
NBC didn't when it poached Megyn Kelly from Fox News.
On the other hand, ABC hit the jackpot when it joined with David Muir to anchor the evening news.
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