As you may have heard, President Bill Clinton has teamed up with the world’s best-selling author, James Patterson, on a new novel: The President Is Missing. From what I’ve been told, this is the first time a former U.S. President has co-written a novel with a best-selling author. Both Clinton and Patterson are currently on a book tour to promote this new venture and last week they made a stop in Philadelphia.
I was fortunate enough to be able to attend Clinton and Patterson’s event hosted by the Free Library of Philadelphia. It was a sit-down conversation between the two literary partners, moderated by another massively successful author: Lee Child. I had the pleasure of interviewing Lee Child in 2014 and I met James Patterson in 2015 when he was honored at the National Book Awards. I admire both, and hearing Clinton speak about working on this novel and his love for mysteries and thrillers was interesting.
I’ve only just started to read The President Is Missing but I’ve already noticed Clinton’s influence on Patterson’s signature style. The length of the book is 528 pages, which is about 200 pages longer than a typical Patterson novel. It’s also worth noting that the chapters are more descriptive and three or four times the length of what one would normally find in a Patterson page-turner. These changes are a welcome addition, especially for readers who may have grown tired of the predictable format to which Patterson adheres. One of the questions at the Philadelphia event was whether or not Clinton and Patterson would work together on another novel. Both authors said that while no plans are in place, they’d consider it if the timing was right and the story premise was compelling. The very existence of this book is noteworthy and I look forward to continuing to read it to see if it lives up to the hype. Stay tuned for my review in the weeks to come.