Headline, November 05 2021/ ''' '' CLINTON THRILLER CLAMOR '' '''


CLAMOR '' '''

A NEW KIND OF CLINTON PAGE TURNER : '' STATE OF TERROR '' by Hillary Rodham Clinton  and Louise Penny. 

The plot in ''State of Terror'' is ambitious and apocalyptic. Nothing less than the future of the world is at stake. As the novel begins, Ellen Adams, the former proprietor of an international media empire, has been improbably appointed U.S. secretary of state by Douglass Williams, the condescending president whose candidacy she had opposed.

Exhausted and disheveled after flying back overnight from a disastrous trip to South Korea, she arrives late for William's State of the Union address.

''What in God's name are you wearing?'' snarks the secretary of defense, as Ellen rushes into the House Chamber. ''Have you been mud wrestling again?''

Things are about to get much worse. A bomb goes off in London, another in Paris, a third in Frankfurt. They are linked, but how?

Blame falls on Bashir Shah, an evil Pakistani arms dealer ''intent on creating a hell on earth.'' Shah was secretly freed from prison with the blessing of the previous U.S. president. He hates Ellen, whose media company once laid bare his crimes in a devastating documentary; he may have even killed her husband using untraceable poison.

IT'S HARD NOT to bring a heavy dose of armchair psychology to ''State of Terror,'' the surprising new geopolitical thriller by Hillary Rodham Clinton and Louise Penny.

I say surprising because Penny is best known for writing gentler mysteries that plumb the delicate secrets of the heart, and Clinton has never published a novel before.

This kind of mash-up - a professional paired with an amateur, a la ''Dancing With the Stars'' - runs in the Clinton family. ''State of Terror'' follows on the heels of ''The President's Daughter'' is all testosterone and swagger, full of gritty operatives eager to rush into impossible situations using only their wits and their massive weapons.

''State of Terror'' addresses similar subjects - terrorism, treachery, blackmail, government malfeasance. But while Bill character's speak loudly and wave their big sticks [ they are men ], Hillary's listen intently and use  their keen understanding of human nature to outmaneuver their adversaries they are women].

The bombs spark a high-speed diplomatic race: Ellen flies around meeting world leaders, including the grand ayatollah of Iran, in an effort to prevent the detonation of nuclear devices hidden in three American cities.

The plot is overstuffed and it can be hard to keep track of the complicated cast, which includes Ellen's daughter, now in charge of the media company; her son from her first marriage, an investigative journalist with some question marks surrounding his own past -

A lowly Foreign Service Officer with a passel of secrets; and the press secretary for the previous, Trumpian president, who is alarmed at what the Republicans are doing but has a few choice words for ''elitist Democrats''.

But don't worry too much about keeping things straight. This is a romp. The authors have a great deal of fun throwing up red herrings. The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the director of national intelligence suspect each other of treason.

Who is lying? Who will win the fistfight that breaks out in the White House? And what about the president, who seems kind of sketchy himself?

Like Agatha Christie's elderly Miss Marple, who concealed her razor-sharp mind under a twittery exterior to outwit the parade of murderers overrunning her small village, Ellen uses her status as an apparently in-over-her-head middle-aged woman, never letting her ego get in the way.

If Clinton is slyly settling old political scores. she is also, sweetly celebrating women's support of one another later in life, and I was moved by the authors' notes paying tribute to Betsy Ebeling, one of Clinton's oldest friends, who died not so long ago and was an inspiration for the character of Betsy Jameson.

The ending leaves open the possibility that this is the beginning of a beautiful fictional friendship.

Maybe there's nothing competitive about celebrity spouses pairing with established novelists and  publishing novels within a few months of each other. But I', going to award the prize for Best Clinton Thriller of 2021 to Hillary.

The Honor and Swerving of the Latest Global Operational Research on Great Thrillers and authors, continues. The World Students Society thanks review author Sarah Lyall.

With respectful dedication to the Grandparents, Parents, Students, Professors and Teachers of the world. See Ya all prepare and register for Great Global Elections on The World Students Society :  wssciw.blogspot.com and Twitter - !E-WOW! - The Ecosystem 2011 :

Good Night and God Bless

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


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