Today I’m sharing my thoughts on The President’s Daughter by Bill Clinton and James Patterson. My thanks to publisher Century for the gifted copy. Here’s what the book is all about:
About the Book
Every detail is accurate
because one of the authors is President Bill Clinton.
The drama and action never stop
because the other author is James Patterson.
ALL PRESIDENTS HAVE NIGHTMARES. THIS ONE IS ABOUT TO COME TRUE.
Matthew Keating, a one-time Navy SEAL and a former US President, has always defended his family as fiercely as he has his country.
Now these defences are under attack. And it’s personal.
Keating’s teenage daughter, Melanie, has been abducted, turning every parent’s deepest fear into a matter of national security.
As the world watches, Keating embarks on a one-man special-ops mission that tests his strengths: as a leader, a warrior, and a father.
Because Keating knows that in order to save Melanie’s life he will have to put his own on the line . . .
If there is one thing this book has reminded me of, it is how much I used to enjoy reading a good old all action thriller. The pacing, the tension, the thought that everything hands on a knife edge and everyone is conspiring against out hero in their aim to achieve a positive outcome. That’s exactly what we get with The PResident’s Daughter, a tense, action filled political thriller in which former US President Matt Keating faces a race against time to save his daughter from a terrorist who is holding a very personal grudge against him. But it’s not just the obvious adversary he has to watch out for – not everyone in the home quarter has his back …
Talk about your edge of the seat thriller. From the very beginning, in which the authors skilfully set up the background to this most personal of grudge matches and the reason for Keating’s fast fall from grace, I found myself hit with the tension and atmosphere I love, and that heart pounding pace and excitement that really drew me into the novel. Although Keating’s role in this particular episode is very much back seat, the moments we did spend with him I was drawn instinctively to him as a character. With his chapters told in first person, you get a feel for who Keating really is, a blend of honour, humility and perhaps a touch more honesty than his advisors would like him to display. I liked him. I was happy to spend time in his company. Which is just as well the scene is well and truly set for one hell of a bumpy ride so liking the protagonist is definitely key.
I do like the way in which the characters have been developed in the book. Although a lot of our focus is on Keating, and his point of view or perspective on those around him, there is enough time spent in the company of other key characters to determine who we like – definitely pro SS Operative David Stahl, and Keating’s wife Samantha and daughter Mel, without question not in favour of Keating’s successor or her closest advisor. Mel was a great character and I think that she was portrayed with just the right amount of intelligence, bravery but also vulnerability to make her an authentic character. It would have been easy to make her too capable, to assured, especially given her circumstances through most of the book, but. for me the balance was just right. Determined, defiant, but still scared. And I loved how Samantha maintained her integrity but. stepped up and played a very canny game when the time came.
The balance between the action and the emotion worked well for me, the authors drawing us right into the heart of the military and rescue operations with a plethora of technical detail which I’m sure is part fact, part fiction – they’re not going to give away all of the US security secrets after all. But it was enough to keep the interest there without overwhelming with detail, slowing the pace and therefore the tension. It flowed well, the pacing only dropping when the more emotional scenes play out, but lulling you into relaxing just a fraction too much before the stakes, and the speed, pick up once more. I’ll admit that the first third of the book is perhaps a little slower, while the story is established, but once you get into the heart of the novel, I really found myself tearing through it, fully focused and driven by the action on the page. I have the fitness tracker data to prove the impact it had on me.
If you like a top notch, political based action thriller, then this is definitely one I’d recommend. Yes – some of the story may push the boundaries of what may be believable, but then that’s the fun of a great novel. It carries you off and takes you to a place where you just don’t care. I cared about the characters, I was completely engrossed in the story and I loved the action and the pace. After studying to American history and politics to degree level, I never really saw myself reading another book written about or by a US President. Just goes to show you – never say never. Loved it.
About the Authors
Bill Clinton was elected president of the United States in 1992 and served two terms. After leaving the White House, he established the Clinton Foundation, which helps improve global health, increase opportunity for girls and women, reduce childhood obesity and preventable diseases, create economic opportunity and growth, and address the effects of climate change. He is the author of a number of non-fiction works, including My Life, which was a number one international bestseller. With James Patterson, he is co-author of the number one international bestselling novel The President is Missing.
JAMES PATTERSON is one of the best-known and biggest-selling writers of all time. His books have sold in excess of 385 million copies worldwide. He is the author of some of the most popular series of the past two decades – the Alex Cross, Women’s Murder Club, Detective Michael Bennett and Private novels – and he has written many other number one bestsellers including romance novels and stand-alone thrillers.
James is passionate about encouraging children to read. Inspired by his own son who was a reluctant reader, he also writes a range of books for young readers including the Middle School, Dog Diaries, Treasure Hunters and Max Einstein series. James has donated millions in grants to independent bookshops and has been the most borrowed author in UK libraries for the past thirteen years in a row. He lives in Florida with his family.