Bill Clinton teams up with James Patterson to pen debut novel

Bill Clinton James Patterson
Bill Clinton & James Patterson

WASHINGTON: Former US president Bill Clinton has teamed up with global thriller master James Patterson to churn out a gripping novel which is about a sitting president who disappears during an international crisis that results in the most dramatic three days in American history.

“President is Missing” releases globally on June 4.

According to publishers Penguin Random House, the novel confronts a threat so huge that it jeopardizes not just Pennsylvania Avenue and Wall Street, but all of America.

“Uncertainty and fear grip the nation. There are whispers of cyber terror and espionage and a traitor in the Cabinet. Even the President himself becomes a suspect, and then he disappears from public view,” it said.

Set over the course of three days, “The President Is Missing” sheds light on the inner workings and vulnerabilities of the US.

Filled with information that only a former commander-in-chief would know, this is the most authentic, terrifying novel to come along in many years, the publishers said.

“Yes, ‘The President is Missing’ is fiction – it’s a thriller – but James Patterson and I have come up with three of the most frightening days in the history of the presidency. And it could really happen… These days, the seemingly impossible can happen,” Clinton said about his book.

“And it happens so fast. I believe that readers will not soon forget President Jonathan Duncan and his story,” he added.

Clinton, who was elected president of the US in 1992 and served two terms, was able to draw on his experience to help shape the story. With hidden sub-basements and secret passages, the White House is the perfect setting for the thriller and details are drawn from Clinton’s knowledge of the iconic building.

As he said, “Every once in a while, as we were writing or discussing a particular twist, I’d suggest something that Jim thought was a bit far-fetched. And I could see why he’d think so, but I’d tell him: ‘knowing what I know, Jim, this could actually happen’.”

Patterson described the novel as “full of twists and turns – kind of like being president”.

“The President is Missing” will be adapted for television screens and is set to be a major television event.

After leaving the White House, Clinton established the Clinton Foundation, which works for improving global health, increasing opportunity for girls and women, reducing childhood obesity and preventable diseases, creating economic opportunity and growth, and addressing the effects of climate change.

He is the author of four non-fiction works, including My Life. Patterson has sold over 375 million books worldwide. PTI

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