Louise Penny teams up with former First Lady to write political thriller

Louise Penny, top left, previously visited Bill and Hillary Clinton at their home back, posting a photo of the three on Facebook.

The upcoming book from Knowlton, Quebec resident, former CBC broadcaster and New York Times bestselling author Louise Penny will have an added sprinkling of realism provided by a good friend and high-level veteran of the political trenches — former US presidential candidate, Secretary of State, Senator from New York and First Lady, Hillary Rodham Clinton.

State of Terror follows a novice Secretary of State who has joined the administration of her rival, a president inaugurated after four years of American leadership that shrank from the world stage. A series of terrorist attacks throws the global order into disarray, and the secretary is tasked with assembling a team to unravel the deadly conspiracy, a scheme carefully designed to take advantage of an American government dangerously out of touch and out of power in the places where it counts the most.

This high-stakes thriller of international intrigue features behind-the-scenes global drama informed by details only an insider could know.

Based in the Eastern Townships, Penny's crime novels are usually centred on the work of francophone Chief Inspector Armand Gamache of the Sûreté du Québec. This time she goes big and bold.

“When it was suggested my friend Hillary and I write a political thriller together, I could not say yes fast enough,” Penny said in a statement. “Before we started, we talked about her time as secretary of state. What was her worst nightmare? ‘State of Terror’ is the answer.”

Clinton’s husband, Bill, already dipped his toe in the field of thrilling literary fiction when in 2018 he co-wrote The President is Missing with James Patterson. A second novel, is due out this summer.

Penny and Clinton have long been friends and mutual admirers, according to Alexandra Alter in the The New York Times, and the pair decided to work together on a novel that would be shaped by Clinton’s insider knowledge of the State Department and White House and by Penny’s penchant for crafting addictive plots.

“Writing a thriller with Louise is a dream come true. I’ve relished every one of her books and their characters as well as her friendship,” Clinton said in a statement. “Now we’re joining our experiences to explore the complex world of high-stakes diplomacy and treachery.”

— A. Bonaparte

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