Books

Bill Clinton and James Patterson team up second time for political thriller

The President’s Daughter will be released in June 2021, the book’s publishers announced on Thursday, May 21, 2020.

The President’s Daughter will be released in June 2021

The President's Daughter, the second novel by Bill Clinton and James Patterson, will be released in June 2021. (The Associated Press)

Bill Clinton and James Patterson have teamed up for another political thriller.

The President's Daughter will be released in June 2021, the book's publishers announced on Thursday, May 21, 2020.

Their first novel, The President Is Missing, was the bestselling adult novel of 2018.

As with the million-selling The President Is Missing, the new novel will be a rare joint release by rival companies: Alfred A. Knopf, which has released Clinton's My Life among other works, and Little, Brown and Company, Patterson's longtime publisher.

"I never imagined I'd be writing a book with a master storyteller like Jim, much less two," Clinton said in a statement. "I was grateful for the success of the first book, and I believe readers will enjoy reading The President's Daughter as much as I'm enjoying working on it."

Added Patterson, one of the world's bestselling and most prolific authors: "Working with President Clinton has been a highlight of my career, and I'm thrilled to have the chance to write with him again."

Bestselling author James Patterson discusses what it was like to collaborate on a political thriller with the former president of the United States. 16:38

A new story, not a sequel

The President's Daughter is not a sequel to The President Is Missing, but a stand-alone novel with new characters, albeit one with a familiar occupation.

"It follows a former president of the United States, now relocated to rural New Hampshire, whose daughter is kidnapped," the publishers announced.

"Like their earlier book, the story will be told with Patterson's signature suspense and will be informed by details that only a president can know."

According to an excerpt from the novel being released next week along with a paperback edition of The President Is Missing, a motivation for the kidnappers is retaliation for U.S. drone strikes overseas against suspected foes. Drones have long been used for surveillance, but armed drones date back to the administration of Clinton's successor, George W. Bush, and were expanded significantly under President Barack Obama.

"For years," one of the kidnappers thinks, "the West has used these drones to rain down hell fire upon his friends, his fighters, and, yes, his family and other families. Fat and comfortable men (and women!) sipping their sugary drinks in comfortable chairs in safety, killing from thousands of kilometres away, seeing the silent explosions but not once hearing them, or hearing the shrieking and crying of the wounded and dying, and then driving home without a care in the world."

In this 2018 file photo, former president Bill Clinton, left, and author James Patterson speak during an interview about their novel, The President is Missing. (The Associated Press)

The first book by Clinton and Patterson sold more than 3 million copies.The President Is Missing focused on a potentially devastating cyber attack, but also briefly referred to impeachment proceedings, a reminder of Clinton's being impeached in 1998 after his relationship with Monica Lewinsky was revealed.

Clinton and Patterson were represented by Barnett and Deneen Howell of Williams & Connolly. The initial pairing of Clinton and Patterson was suggested by Barnett, according to the two authors, each of whom expressed surprise the other wanted to work with him.

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