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The President Is Missing

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President Bill Clinton and bestselling novelist James Patterson have written a spellbinding thriller, The President is Missing.

As the novel opens, a threat looms. Enemies are planning an attack of unprecedented scale on America. Uncertainty and fear grip Washington. There are whispers of cyberterror and espionage and a traitor in the cabinet. The President himself becomes a suspect, and then goes missing...

Set in real time, over the course of three days, The President Is Missing is one of the most dramatic thrillers in decades. And it could all really happen. The President Is Missing is Bill Clinton and James Patterson's totally authentic and spellbinding thriller.

513 pages, Kindle Edition

First published June 4, 2018

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About the author

Bill Clinton

201 books973 followers
Economic expansion and the first balanced federal budget in three decades marked presidency of William Jefferson Clinton, known as Bill, who served forty-second in the United States from 1993 to 2001; the House of Representatives in 1999 impeached him on perjury and obstruction of justice charges, but the Senate acquitted him on both counts.

Born William Jefferson Blythe III, he ranked as the third-youngest president, older only than Theodore Roosevelt and John Fitzgerald Kennedy. People know him the first baby-boomer president at the end of the Cold War. He is the husband of Hillary Rodham Clinton, the junior senator from New York and a Democratic candidate in the election of 2008 in the United States.

People described Clinton as a New Democrat and knew him largely for the Third Way philosophy of governance that came to epitomize his two terms as president. They described his "centrist" policies on issues, such as the North American Free Trade Agreement. Clinton presided over the longest period of peacetime economic expansion in American history, which included a balanced budget and a reported federal surplus. Clinton reported a surplus of $559 billion at the end of his presidency, based on Congressional accounting rules. His presidency was also quickly challenged. On the heels of a failed attempt at health care reform with a Democratic Congress, Republicans won control of the House of Representatives for the first time in 40 years. In his second term he was impeached by the U.S. House for perjury and obstruction of justice, but was subsequently acquitted by the United States Senate and completed his term. Polls of the American electorate taken at this time showed that up to 70% were against pursuing the allegations. (New York Times December 21, 1998).

Clinton left office with a 65% approval rating, the highest end-of-presidency rating of any President who came into office after World War II. Since leaving office, Clinton has been involved in public speaking and humanitarian work. He created the William J. Clinton Foundation to promote and address international causes, such as treatment and prevention of HIV/AIDS and global warming. In 2004, he released a personal autobiography, My Life.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 11,760 reviews
Profile Image for Justin Tate.
Author 7 books908 followers
June 15, 2018
Actually good! I’m more surprised than anyone. When I first heard about this book a year ago I thought it was a joke.

It reads like most popular thrillers, and I’m sure Patterson wrote 95% of it, but the added voice of an experienced president shines through. It’s not JUST a thriller, it’s a scenario of what-ifs. The commentary on how a president has to make tough decisions (they elect to avoid the phrase “hard choices”) is the most intriguing part of the book while the conventional edge-of-your-seat plot kept me eagerly reading. I rarely “devour” a book, but I really did tear through this one. Only took 4 days to finish.

Admittedly there are cheesy moments - but that comes with the genre. The bits of reality make it significantly more intriguing than similar race-against-time stories.

Are you missing out on something monumental if you skip it? Nah, but if you’re even a little interested, I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
Profile Image for Ron Charles.
1,033 reviews48.5k followers
June 1, 2021
The CIA can relax. Surely, no black felt-tip pens went dry redacting classified material from this manuscript. “The President Is Missing” reveals as many secrets about the U.S. government as “The Pink Panther” reveals about the French government. And yet it provides plenty of insight on the former president’s ego.

The novel opens with the commander in chief, President Duncan, preparing for a House Select Committee. His staff has strongly advised him against testifying. “My opponents really hate my guts,” Duncan thinks, but “here I am”: just one honest man “with rugged good looks and a sharp sense of humor.” Facing a panel of sniveling political opportunists intent on impeaching him, Duncan knows he sounds “like a lawyer” caught in “a semantic legal debate,” but darn it, he’s trying to save the United States! Although Congress insists he explain exactly what he’s been up to, he can’t reveal the details of his secret negotiations with a terrorist set on destroying the country.

As a fabulous revision of Clinton’s own life and impeachment scandal, this is dazzling. (One only wishes Rep. Henry Hyde could have lived long enough to attend the book party.) The transfiguration of William Jefferson Clinton into Jonathan Lincoln Duncan should be studied in psych departments for years. . . . .

To read the rest of this review, go to The Washington Post:

To watch the Totally Hip Video Book Review of this novel, click here:
Profile Image for Loretta.
306 reviews157 followers
June 20, 2018
I figured that this pairing of writers would be a very good collaboration. This book is touted as a thriller, with page turning excitement. For me it was neither. For me it was just pages and pages and did I say pages of nothing remotely thrilling. I couldn't wait to be finished with it.
Profile Image for Jeffrey Keeten.
Author 3 books248k followers
January 14, 2020

”They aren’t going to ask for something.
They aren’t seeking a change in our foreign policy.
They don’t want prisoners released.
They aren’t going to demand a ransom at all.
They’re just going to detonate the virus.
They want to destroy us.”

On top of all this, which fortunately the American public is blissfully unaware of this impending national computer virus crisis, the President is also missing. While his arch enemy, the Republican Speaker of the House, is gleefully trashing him in the press, even insinuating that POTUS has had a nervous breakdown, President Jonathan Duncan has moved his operation underground. Normally, the President of the United States has at his disposal all of the best resources and the greatest minds in the country, but he has a problem.

There is a traitor.

And that traitor is in his inner circle.

By not being able to trust his most trusted friends and allies who are running departments that are crucial to his investigation, it is pretty hard to access those wonderful resources he would normally have available to him. On top of all this, the people who are trying to turn the United States into a third world country are also trying to kill him.

”The concussive whump of the impact knocks the breath from me, sends stars dancing before my yes and a shock wave through my body. The grille of the truck caves in the front passenger side, flinging Ontiveros into the driver, Davis, like a flopping doll, the back end of the SUV twisting right at a sixty degree angle while the front end stays locked to the grille of the truck in a crunch of whining armor. Hot wet air invades the rear compartment as the SUV desperately tries to hold itself together in one piece.”

The secret service are doing what they can to keep President Duncan alive, but they are undermanned, and the people coming after them are relentless. Can Duncan figure out who the traitor is? Can he find a counterplay against a virus that has already burrowed into every critical server and computer system in America before the terrorist Suliman Cindoruk pushes the destroy America button? Meanwhile his career, his legacy, everything he once cared about are being roasted on a bonfire of vile, invective, distorted conjecture by his enemies.

He doesn’t care.

None of it will matter if he can’t keep America from being sent back to the Dark Ages.

At the beginning of the book, Jonathan Duncan is squirming under the criticism of his most ardent detractors. I could see the mind of Bill Clinton guiding his responses. I can only imagine the simmering anger that Clinton still has for his enemies from the 1990s who tried to destroy his presidency. He wanted to lash out then, but he had to remember the office he represented and the responsibility he had to that position. Unfortunately, the current, thin skinned holder of the office doesn’t feel the same way. If you are worried about Duncan being a surrogate of Clinton, don’t worry. He is very much a different personality from the former president.

The message at the end of the book is an expression of concern that the political divide between the Republicans and Democrats that has widened with each election cycle will keep our representatives in Washington from pulling together if there ever is a national crisis that requires everyone, including the voters, to put country before party. Hoping for the opposition to fail just because they are from a different party is counterproductive to the wishes of the people. If the President fails, we all fail. We used to be able to pass bipartisan legislation in this country if a bill was for the universal good of the people. Now, one of the parties needs a majority in both houses and the Presidency to make any meaningful changes. We see currently, even with that being the case, that the divided Republicans can not even agree among themselves to pass legislature. The days of Tip O’Neill are, unfortunately, becoming a distant memory.

I’ve never read James Patterson. I am probably the last reader on the planet to have never cracked one of his books. He dominates bookstore shelves. I’ve been joking with my writer friends that I need to write a thriller in the Patterson style and change my name to Jamie Patterson so my books will be right next to his on the bookstore shelves. The chapters are short, staccato blips that push the reader to continue reading the book. I sat down and read about 400 pages in an afternoon, which, normally, if I’m having a good reading day, I might read 200. At the same time, I was aware of many moments when he does something like this: ”I reach the lot where my car is parked. I hand over my ticket and cash, and the attendant hands me the keys.” I am not a reader that needs that type of information. It is rather irrelevant information that does nothing to advance the plot. If he takes me from the bar to the character driving a car away to a rendezvous, I’m happy to skip all the insignificant small actions in between.

The question that bothers me the most as I read the book is, whether Clinton or Patterson, either one, had anything to do with the writing. Did they use a cutout, a mercenary, or more standardly what is called a ghostwriter to compose in the Patterson style? Were they just consultants lending their name to a book without actually spending a moment in the trenches of conceiving it? It is along the same lines of an argument I frequently have of whether a singer is a musician if that person only sing songs written by other people. I see a musician as someone who writes their own music. A person who sings songs written by other people is just a performer in my eyes. So if Clinton and Patterson didn’t write this book, do their names on the front cover mean anything, except as a marketing ploy?

James O’Sullivan wrote this intriguing article for The Guardian about the analysis they were able to do of the text of this book to determine who wrote how much. https://www.theguardian.com/books/boo... This may put to rest some of my specualtion about how much was written by Bill Clinton. I do still wonder, given the same analysis showing that Patterson’s other collaborative efforts in the past have been tilted heavily to his co-writer, whether Patterson’s part of the book was written by Patterson or by his hopefully well paid ghostwriter David Ellis.

So another question I have is, have I read a James Patterson book or not? Or am I still that unicorn reader who still hasn’t read a James Patterson book?

If you wish to see more of my most recent book and movie reviews, visit http://www.jeffreykeeten.com
I also have a Facebook blogger page at:https://www.facebook.com/JeffreyKeeten
Profile Image for Matt.
3,723 reviews12.8k followers
June 16, 2018
James Patterson has entered into his most interesting collaboration yet, taking second chair to former American president Bill Clinton in a story that is highly political and action packed from the opening paragraph through to the epilogue’s lingering final sentence. President Jonathan Duncan finds himself in the middle of a congressional witch hunt. The former military hero has stories about outlasting Iraqi torturers, but when it comes to an opposition Congress, he’s forced to accept an attack on all sides. The issue working to protect the Sons of Jihad, a known terrorist organisation, and its leader, Suliman Cindoruk. Duncan denies the allegations and has tried using Executive Privilege in regards to what happened, but the committee will hear none of it. Rumours begin that impeachment may be the only answer, though Duncan refuses to discuss what he knows with anyone, particularly with the television cameras glaring in his direction. Back in the Oval Office, Duncan receives a call from his daughter about a highly confusing encounter she had in France when she was approached by a mysterious woman. The First Daughter was asked to pass along the urgency that this woman meet with POTUS, uttering a highly classified code word to cement her seriousness. This word is one known only to the top echelon of the National Security Team, leaving POTUS to wonder who’s been leaking classified information. Duncan meets with this woman, who outlines a story about a potential cyber attack on America. Whisked away from the public eye, Duncan learns more about the attack how deadly it could be to the nation as a whole. Remaining off the radar, POTUS is presumed missing while the rest of the world tries to make sense of what is going on. With only a handful of people aware of the imminent attack, the clueless vice-president must wait to see what steps she might need to take and the country seeks answers. With a country unaware of this cyber-attack and their president nowhere to be found, it is only a matter of time before someone will have to take the reins of power. That play could have dire consequences without the full picture. How long will POTUS remain missing and what’s being done to address this terror event? And what of this sly assassin, code named Bach, who seems to have a mission all her own? Clinton and Patterson deliver a sensational thriller full of twists and political insider knowledge. It’s sure to impress many and might leave some wondering if they ought to try some of Patterson’s newer work. Recommended for thriller buffs, particularly those who enjoy something with a political and terror twist.

This is surely not your typical James Patterson novel, leading me to wonder just how much influence the former president had in its writing. In a book full of insider knowledge of the American political system, Clinton and Patterson weave a story that has all the essential ingredients to be a top-notch thriller that will keep the reader engaged for hours as they push through to the climactic ending. The story is full of wonderful character development, particularly Jonathan Duncan, whose victories and foibles are documented in equal measure. Clinton and Patterson have also created a number of highly-intriguing characters that serve to entertain the reader, some more likeable than others. Told in a four narrator style, the authors weave a story that is told from various perspectives, which only enriches the overall delivery. There are many aspects of the book that will intrigue a large cross-section of the reading population, which can only help to ensure its success. I found myself enthralled by the political narrative, but also the well-paced action and terrorism as it progresses. The book is a mix of Patterson’s short cliffhanger chapters and longer (mainstream?) chapters that pull the reader in and develop a theme quite effectively. One can only presume that this is Clinton’s doing, wanting to flesh-out some of the political perspectives that cannot be packaged into three pages. There are even digs at the current administration with long-winded speeches about re-inventing America, a country lost over the last number of years. A strong effort with some apparent ghost writing by David Ellis, another of Patterson’s collaborators, this is not a book to miss and could be one of the better travel reads of the next few months. One can hope that Patterson and Clinton will collaborate again, for this surely ups the ante when it comes to novels bearing the former’s name on the cover.

Kudos, President Clinton and Mr. Patterson, for a great novel. I was hooked from the start and can see how well you two appear to work together. Please say that there is more to come.

Love/hate the review? An ever-growing collection of others appears at:

A Book for All Seasons, a different sort of Book Challenge: https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/...
Profile Image for Rincey.
786 reviews4,587 followers
July 15, 2018
This is basically the book equivalent of McDonalds: You know it is trash but you also kind of enjoy it and the high levels of artificial cheese leave you feeling kind of queasy. Watch me discuss this book in my July wrap up: https://youtu.be/uug2ch7Sggc
Profile Image for Monnie.
1,401 reviews762 followers
June 26, 2018
Truthfully, I figured this would be a so-so book - cobbled together simply because two very well-known names would be a sure thing sales-wise. Well, folks, I figured wrong; I absolutely loved it!

Make no mistake, though - there's plenty of political "stuff" in here. I've read that when Patterson writes with a co-author, they send chapters back and forth for additions, corrections, etc. In this case, it's fairly easy to spot the Clinton influence. In fact, for those who don't share his political bent, I'd strongly suggest skipping the final chapter entirely (President Jonathan Lincoln Duncan's address to a joint session of Congress). I happen to agree 1000% with what he says, but even so, it's a bit heavy on the rhetoric. In contrast, though, are insights as to the inner workings of government at the highest levels and even a few bits of humor, such as when the aforementioned President muses, "God, I sound like an ass. Worse yet, I sound like a lawyer."

Political leanings notwithstanding, it's the story that kept me on the edge of my seat - first and foremost because it tackles an issue that concerns a ton of other folks: Our country's nearly total dependence on the Internet. Remember the y2k scare back in 2000? Well, multiply that by a hundredfold. President Duncan is right in the middle of the situation, having been sent a dire warning about what's to come via his daughter in Paris (his wife died of cancer a year or so earlier and he's personally dealing with a serious blood disorder, adding a bit more tension as the story progresses).

The warning comes as the President is facing a House Committee hearing that his enemies hope will end in impeachment (hmmm, that, too, has a familiar ring to it). The hearing comes because he's accused of preventing the almost certain capture or killing of an international terrorist named Suliman Cindoruk (think Osama bin Laden). Duncan is acutely aware of what really happened, but for national security reasons, he cannot reveal the truth. And as he learns more about the imminent cyberattack that would effectively shut down the entire country for years to come, he discovers that there's a traitor in the worst possible place - his own cabinet.

Can the President and his carefully selected team find the solution and save the world for democracy? Well, you'll just have to read the book to find out. Highly recommended!
Profile Image for MischaS_.
785 reviews1,343 followers
Want to read
February 17, 2019
So, you may already know that I like to point out when translation is bad and when an author is butchering a foreign language.

And someone pointed out to me that it is an unfair thing to do that I'm hurting poor little indie authors who do not have the means to pay an editor to check if the language is correct. (Ehm, I'm willing to bet that if you ask on Quora, several native speakers will give you the right answer pretty quick but okay.)

So, here I am pointing out an author butchering a foreign language. And this time it is not an indie author, actually a pretty well-known author (and a former president) with the means to make sure everything is correct. But guess what? They failed.

And what is the language butchered here? Czech.

So, let's have a look.

“Helikoptéra!” Lojzik cries in his native tongue. “Odkud pochází helikoptéra?”

First, let me just say when you Lojzík is a diminutive form for the name Alois. If you call someone Lojzik I immediately see a) a very young boy or b) rather old grandpa probably living in the countryside.

And what did Lojzík say? "Where is the helicopter from?" or "Where does the helicopter come from?" He is basically asking for the origin of the helicopter, not the direction the helicopter is coming from. It is really bad.

A funny detail, the Secretary of State under Clinton administration was Madelaine Albright who is a Czech-born. And she still speaks Czech. I bet that if Mr. Clinton sent the sentence to Madelaine Albright, she would have told him that it's wrong and it makes no sense at all.

So, here we go. I do not care how big the author is if they are butchering a foreign language I will point it out! Of course, I can miss it because I do not speak all languages if it's in Spanish I don't know.
Also, we could talk about the idea that if you're a foreigner, you will keep using words from your language while speaking in English. Especially when saying "yes", "no" or using some sort of a pet name. Well, from my experience this seems ridiculous to me. The only time I would say a word in Czech while speaking in English is when I do not know how to say it in English, and sometimes it helps me to say the word in Czech to remember how to say it in English. But, saying "ano" instead of "yes" seems really strange.
Profile Image for Lisa.
622 reviews236 followers
June 24, 2018
An entertaining cyberterrorism thriller with quick pacing and relentless tension

The novel opens with President Jonathan Lincoln Duncan, preparing to testify before a House select committee. His staff has strongly advised him against testifying. The panel of political opportunists are intent on impeaching the president. Congress is insisting that he explain his actions of the past week. According to phone records released by a French newspaper, President Duncan placed a direct call to Suliman Cindoruk, head of the Sons of Jihad terrorist organization. Duncan refuses to reveal to the country that this terrorist organization has threatened to activate a devastating computer wiper-virus within days, that will infect every server, computer, and electronic device in America. Once activated the country’s financial, legal, security, and medical records will be totally erased in just a matter of hours. The transportation and electrical grid’s will crash and the water system will no longer be potable. It’ll be the dark ages and the U.S. will immediately become a third-world country. But President Duncan is working tirelessly to stop the terrorist, identify the country supporting the terrorist, and find a traitor in the West Wing. But can he do it in time?

“The media knows what sells—conflict and division. It’s also quick and easy. All too often anger works better than answers; resentment better than reason; emotion trumps evidence. A sanctimonious sneering one-liner, no matter how bogus, is seen as straight talk while a calm, well argued response is seen as canned and phony.”

The unique writing partnership between Patterson and Clinton has drawn us all in like a moth to a flame. Both men have at least a couple of books under their belts, and one even has a few years experience as the President. My advice is don’t go in with expectations, just read it for entertainment. Don’t look for any special meaning or significance in the plot or in the characters and you will enjoy it all the more. The duo has expertly delivered a thought-provoking cyberterrorism thriller that will leave you worried about internet dependence.

Short chapters propel the dramatic story along quickly. From the moment the President goes missing from the White House the tension is unrelenting. President Duncan narrates the drama so you are with him every step of the way as he goes undercover to a Nationals baseball game, and it’s game on from there. And just in case the wiper-virus isn’t enough to hold your interest, there is an pregnant female assassin who goes by the name Bach on the loose, and the President is without his security detail.

I listened to the audible version of the book and found it interesting. Most of the voices were great, but there were a few minor characters that left a lot to be desired. Very stilted and strained and painful to hear. Thankfully those voices have very limited roles and detracted only slightly from the overall enjoyment of the book.

Showtime cable network has acquired the dramatic rights to the book and it is expected to be a TV series next year. You are going to want to read the book first. The book is always better!

Publisher Little, Brown/Knopf/Random House Audiobooks
Published June 4, 2018
Narrated Dennis Quaid/Bill Clinton

Check out more reviews at www.bluestockingreviews.com
Profile Image for Tim.
2,131 reviews200 followers
September 24, 2018
This is a disappointing effort from this duo as I found this underwhelming. Mr. Clinton always has a penchant for wordiness, exacerbated in this novel. 2 of 10 stars
Profile Image for Kat.
Author 8 books352 followers
November 17, 2022
President John Duncan has to confront a terrorist threat and keep the nation from being destroyed.

Fast pacing, lots of POVs, and lots of interesting story lines in this one. Short chapters that made for tight, quick storytelling. I would enjoy another book by this duo. I really liked that the authors gave the president a fairly serious medical condition. Kudos for giving major characters disabilities and making them awesome! It was a super interesting plot. Check it out from the library for a good beach read.
Profile Image for PamG.
816 reviews481 followers
August 29, 2021
The President Is Missing by James Patterson and Bill Clinton is a political thriller that felt all too real. A massive cyber-terror attack is imminent and even President Jonathan Duncan is suspected of colluding with terrorists. He believes there is a traitor in his inner circle. Then, the president disappears. Is he on the run? Was he kidnapped? Is something else happening? Can the cyber-attack be stopped?

The story is action packed, but it is also filled with the tough decisions a president may have to make in the event of an imminent attack President Duncan had significant character depth and the supporting characters played a diverse mix of supportive, antagonistic, and contrarian roles.
The novel is well-written and thought-provoking. While it may be over-the-top in a few places, it still has plenty of thriller action, comradery, tough decisions, and political ploys to keep a reader engaged and turning the pages. The speech in the epilogue will not appeal to all and was somewhat sententious, but I understand why it was included.

Themes in the book include quest for power, cyberterrorism, murder, grief, sensational versus factual news, keeping egos in place (or not), trust, love for one’s country, trust, friendship, envy, resentment, bitterness, and much more.

Overall, the story kept me engaged with its convincing and compelling characters and plenty of action. This was an entertaining and intriguing thriller for me.

I received a digital copy of this book in a Goodreads Discussion Group Giveaway. Opinions are mine alone and are not biased in any way.
Profile Image for Ahmad Sharabiani.
9,566 reviews56.6k followers
October 20, 2021
The President Is Missing, Bill Clinton, James Patterson

The President is missing. The world is in shock. But the reason he's missing is much worse than anyone can imagine. With details only a President could know, and the kind of suspense only James Patterson can deliver.

Set over the course of three days, The President Is Missing sheds a stunning light upon the inner workings and vulnerabilities of nation.

Filled with information that only a former Commander-in-Chief could know, this is the most authentic, terrifying novel to come along in many years.

عنوانهای چاپ شده در ایران: «رییس جمهور گم میشود»؛ «رییس جمهور گمشده»؛ «رییس جمهور گم شده است»؛ نویسندگان: بیل کلینتون، جیمز پترسون؛ تاریخ نخستین خوانش روز نوزدهم ماه اکتبر سال2019میلادی

عنوان: رییس جمهور گم میشود؛ نویسندگان: بیل کلینتون، جیمز پترسون؛ مترجم: بامداد بهنمام؛ تهران، کتاب مرو‏‫، سال‏‫‬‏1397؛ در600ص؛ شابک9786226202015؛ ‬‬‬چاپ دوم سال1397؛ موضوع داستانهای نویسندگان ایالات متحده آمریکا - سده21م

عنوان: رییس جمهور گمشده؛ نویسندگان: بیل کلینتون، جیمز پترسون؛ مترجمها: امین جعفری، معین عبداللهی؛ ویراستاران حمید فریدی، عادل اسدی؛ تهران، انتشارات تراشه دانش: دریچه‏‫، سال‏‫‬‏1397؛ در456ص؛ شابک9786226172011؛ ‬‬‬

عنوان: رییس جمهور گم شده است؛ نویسندگان: بیل کلینتون، جیمز پترسون؛ مترجم نسرین مجیدی، مریم مجیدی؛ تهران، انتشارات روزگار، سال1397؛ در472ص؛ شابک9789643748524؛

عنوان: رییس جمهور گم شده؛ نویسندگان: بیل کلینتون و جیمز پیترسن؛ مترجم احمد جعفری؛ ویراستار حسن اکبری‌بیرق؛ تبریز، فروزش، سال1397؛ در527ص؛ شابک9789645477781؛ ویراست دو؛ ویراستار: جعفر محرم پور؛ تبریز، فروزش، چاپ دوم سال1399؛ در456ص؛ شابک9789645477781؛

نقل از فصل دوم: (رئیس دادگاه، به نماینده اوهایو اجازه صحبت میدهد: «آقای کیرنز»؛
تیغه ی میانی بینی ام را نیشگون میگیرم و سعی میکنم اجازه ندهم خستگی و رخوت در من بیتوته کند؛ در طول هفته ی گذشته چند ساعت بیشتر نخوابیده ام و این همه تلاش و تقلای فکری که باید هنگام دفاع از خود انجام بدهم ـ در حالیکه یک دستم را پشت کمرم مشت کرده ام ـ مرا از پای میاندازد؛ اما بیش از هر چیز دیگری، به ستوه آمده ام؛ کارهای زیادی دارم که انجام بدهم، وقتی برای این یکی ندارم
به سمت چپم که میشود سمت راستِ هیات منصفه نگاه میکنم
مایک کیرنز، رئیس کمیته ی قضایی کنگره آمریکا و نوچه ی لستر رودس است؛ دوست دارد پاپیون ببندد تا ما بدانیم که چقدر باهوش است؛ اما این یارو میداند چطور سئوال بپرسد؛ او قبل از ورود به حلقه ی سیاست، سالها دادستان فدرال بوده؛ سرهای زیادی را به دیوار اتاقش چسبانده، از جمله، مدیرعاملهای دو شرکت دارویی و یک فرماندار سابق
متوقف کردن تروریستها یکی از حیاتیترین موضوعات امنیت ملی است، قبول دارید آقای رئیس جمهور؟
صد در صد
پس بالطبع این را هم قبول دارید که آن دسته از شهروندان امریکایی که در توانایی ما برای مبارزه با تروریستها خلل وارد میکنند میتوانند خائن به وطن شناخته شوند؟
من چنین اقدامی را محکوم میکنم
آیا این عملی خائنانه هست یا نه؟
تصمیمش به عهده ی وکلا و دادگاه است
هردوی ما وکیلیم، اما من منظورم را بهش تفهیم کردم
اگر فردی که در کار مبارزه با تروریستها اختلال ایجاد میکند، رئیس جمهور کشور باشد، میتوان این عمل او را جرمی قابل تعقیب در نظر گرفت؟
جرالد فورد زمانی گفته بود که یک جرم قابل تعقیب، جرمی است که اکثریت نمایندگان مجلس امریکا تاییدش کنند
میگویم: تعیینش به عهده ی من نیست
سرش را به علامت تایید تکان میدهد و میگوید: نه نیست؛ شما پیشتر زیر بار نرفتید که بگویید: آیا به نیروهای ویژه ی امریکا و مامورهای سازمان سیا دستور جلوگیری از حمله به سلیمان سیندروک در الجزایر را داده اید یا خیر؟
آقای کیرنز، گفتم که، برخی مسائل امنیت ملی را نمیشود علنی و افشا کرد
به گفته ی نیویورک تایمز، شما طبق اطلاعات طبقه بندی شده ای عمل کرده اید که نشان میداد شبه نظامیان مخالف روسیه موقعیت سلیمان سیندروک را پیدا کرده بودند و قصد کشتن او را داشتند
من هم اون مقاله را خواندم، میل ندارم درباره اش صحبت کنم
دیر یا زود هر رئیس جمهوری با تصمیماتی روبرو میشود که در آنها انتخاب درست مساوی با سیاست ورزی بد است، حداقل در کوتاه مدت؛ اگر منافعی که از آن تصمیمات به دست میآیند زیاد باشند، باید دست به کاری بزنید که فکر میکنید درست است و امیدوار باشید که جزر و مد سیاسی تغییر کند؛ این همان کاری است که قول داده اید انجامش میدهید
آقای رئیس جمهور، شما با ماده ی ۸۱، بند ۷۹۸، قانون ایالات متحده ی امریکا آشنا هستید؟
آقای کیرنز، من بندهای قانون ایالات متحده ی امریکا را حفظ نمیکنم، اما میدانم که به قانون جاسوسی اشاره میکنید
دقیقاً جناب رئیس جمهور؛ این قانون به سوء استفاده از اطلاعات طبقه بندی شده میپردازد؛ بخش موردنظر من، استفاده ی عامدانه از اطلاعات طبقه بندی شده به قصد زیان به امنیت یا منافع ایالات متحده ی امریکا، یک جرم فدرال محسوب میشود؛ به نظرتون این درسته؟
مطمئنم که شما این بند رو بادقت زیادی مطالعه کردید، آقای کیرنز
اگر رئیس جمهوری به عمد از اطلاعات طبقه بندی شده برای محافظت از یک تروریست در معرض حمله ی ما استفاده کند، مشمول این جرم میشود یا خیر؟
نه به گفته ی مشاورم که میگوید؛ این بند درمورد رئیس جمهور قابل اجرا نیست، چرا که در این صورت به قرائت جدیدی از قانون جاسوسی تبدیل میشود و اینکه رئیس جمهور میتواند هر اطلاعاتی را که دلش میخواهد از حالت «طبقه بندی شده» خارج کند
اما این مهم نیست؛ حتی اگر ما به یک بحث حقوقی کلامی درباره ی دایره ی شمول جرمی فدرال وارد شویم؛ که من نمیخواهم این اتفاق بیفتد، آنها میتوانند مرا به هرچه میخواهند متهم کنند؛ لازم نیست که حتماً یک جرم باشد
هرکاری که کردم برای محافظت از کشورم بود؛ بازهم اینکار را میکنم، اما مشکل این است که نمیتوانم چیزی در اینباره بگویم، «تنها چیزی که میتونم به شما بگویم این است که در هر تصمیمی که گرفته ام امنیت کشورم را در نظر داشته ام، همیشه هم همین طور خواهد بود
کارولین را گوشه ی اتاق میبینم، که مشغول خواندن چیزی توی گوشی اش است، او هم به من نگاه میکند؛ این تماس چشمی را حفظ میکنم تا اگر قرار است همه چیز را رها کرده و طبق آن رفتار کنم، بفهمم؛ پیامی از ژنرال بورک از ارتش مرکزی امریکا یا از دبیرخانه ی وزارت دفاع رسیده؟ یا از تیم واکنش سریع؟ همین حالا، کلی توپ به سمت ما دارد شلیک میشود و باید سعی کنیم همه چیز را زیر نظر بگیریم و در برابر این تهدید از خودمان دفاع کنیم؛ هرآن ممکن است بلای دیگری نازل شود؛ فکر میکنیم ـ امیدواریم ـ که حداقل یک روز دیگر فرصت داشته باشیم، اما تنها چیز قطعی این است که هیچ چیز قطعی نیست؛ باید هرلحظه آماده باشیم، همین حالا، اگر... ؛
آیا تماس با رهبر داعش از کشور ما محافظت میکند؟
میگویم: «چی؟» و باز تمرکزم را به جلسه معطوف میکنم؛ «درباره ی چی دارید حرف میزنید؟ من هرگز به رهبران داعش زنگ نزدم؛ الان داعش چه ربطی به این موضوع دارد؟
قبل از اینکه جوابم را کامل کنم، میفهمم که چه دسته گلی به آب دادم؛ ای کاش میتوانستم دستم را دراز کنم و کلمات را برگردانم و آنها را توی دهانم فروکنم اما دیگر خیلی دیر شده؛ وقتی داشتم به سمت دیگر نگاه میکردم، غافلگیرم کرد
میگوید: اوه؛وقتی که ازتون میپرسم آیا به رهبران داعش زنگ زدید یا نه، شما خیلی روشن و صریح میگویید؛ نه؛ اما وقتی رئیس کنگره از شما میپرسد که آیا با سلیمان سیندروک تماس گرفته اید یا نه، پاسختون استفاده از «امتیاز قوه ی مجریه» است؛ فکر میکنم که ملت امریکا میتونه این فرق رو درک کنه
نفسم را بیرون میدهم و زیرچشمی کارولین بروک را میپایم، همان حالت بیتفاوتش را حفظ کرده، هرچند میتوانم عبارت «من که بهت گفته بودم» را از توی چشمهای باریک شده اش بخوانم
آقای کیرنز، این یک موضوع امنیت ملیه؛ بازی مچگیری نیست؛ این یک امر جدی است؛ هر وقت آماده شدید که سئوالات جِدی بپرسید، خوشحال میشوم جوابتان را بدهم
یک آمریکایی توی اون درگیری در الجزایز کشته شد، آقای رئیس جمهور؛ یک امریکایی، یک مامور سیا به نام ناتان کرومارتی، موقع دفاع از سلیمان سیندروک در برابر شبه نظامیان مخالف روسیه کشته شده؛ فکر میکنم این موضوع از نظر ملت امریکا کاملاً جدیه؛ میگویم: ناتان کرومارتی یک قهرمان بود؛ ما برای ازدست دادنش عزاداریم؛ من برای نبودش عزادارم
میدانید که مادرش در مورد این موضوع صحبت کرده؟
میدانم؛ همگی میدانیم؛ بعد از آن اتفاق در الجزایر، ما هیچ چیزی را رسانه ای نکردیم؛ نمیتوانستیم؛ اما بعد آن گروه شبه نظامی ویدئوی یک آمریکایی مرده را توی اینترنت گذاشت و طولی نکشید که کلارا کرومارتی پسرش را شناسایی کرد، ناتان؛ او همچنین گفته بود: که او یکی از مامورهای سازمان سیا بوده؛ این یک رسوایی بزرگ بود؛ رسانه ها به سویش حمله بردند و ظرف چند ساعت او میخواست بداند که چرا پسرش باید برای محافظت از تروریستی که مسئول کشته شدن صدها انسان بیگناه، از جمله ده ها امریکایی بود، کشته شود؛ در غم و اندوه، نامه ای برای کمیته ی انتخاب سئوال از رئیس جمهور نوشته بود
شما فکر نمیکنید به خانواده ی کرومارتی جوابی بدهکارید؟
دوباره میگویم: ناتان کرومارتی یک قهرمان بود؛ او یک میهن پرست بود و مثل هرکس دیگری میدانست که همه ی مسائل مربوط به امنیت ملی قابل بحث در انظار عمومی نیست؛ من خصوصی با خانم کرومارتی صحبت کرده ام و عمیقاً برای آنچه برای پسرش رخ داده متاسفم؛ غیر از این نمیتوانم چیزی بگویم؛ نه میتوانم و نه میخواهم
بسیارخب، آقای رئیس جمهور، با این وجود شما فکر میکنید که سیاست مذاکره با تروریستها به خوبی جواب نداده؟
من با تروریست ها مذاکره نمیکنم
هر اسمی که دوست دارید رویش بگذارید؛ زنگ زدن، اختلاط کردن، دل و قلوه دادن.....؛
من... دل و قلوه.....؛
چراغهای بالای سرم چشمک میزنند، چند نفر در پاسخ غرولند میکنند، کارولین بروک از جا میپرد و چیزی را از روی ذهنش یادداشت میکند
کیرنز از این وقفه استفاده میکند تا سراغ پرسش دیگری برود
آقای رئیس جمهور شما همه جا نشان دادید که گفتگو را به نمایش قدرت ترجیح میدهید و اینکه ترجیح میدهید مشکلات را با تروریستها از راه گفتگو حل کنید
نه؛ این کلمه از دهانم بیرون میپرد، نبضم روی شقیقه هایم میتپد، چون این ساده انگاری میتواند هر چیزی که در مورد سیاست ما غلط است را ماست مالی کند؛ من بارها گفته ام که اگر راه حلی برای مشکلی وجود داشته باشد، بدون شک بهترین راه، راه مسالمت آمیز است؛ گفتگو به معنای تسلیم شدن نیست؛ جناب نماینده ی مجلس، ما اینجا هستیم تا درباره ی سیاست خارجی بحث کنیم؟ اصلاً دوست ندارم این جلسه ی محاکمه مدام با یک گفتگوی بی ربط قطع شود
به گوشه ی سالن نگاه میکنم، کارولین بروک را میبینم که غافلگیر شده است؛ یکی از نادر دفعاتی که حالت بیتفاوتی از چهره اش رخت بربسته است
مذاکره با دشمن یک راه است، دل و قلوه دادن راه دیگر
من با دشمنانمون دل و قلوه رد و بدل نمیکنم؛ همچنین استفاده از زور برای رویارویی با آنها را رد نمیکنم؛ زور همیشه یک گزینه است، اما تا زمانی که احساس نکنم ضرورت دارد از آن استفاده نمیکنم؛ شاید فهمش برای بچه ای که توی نازونعمت بزرگ شده و کل عمرش رو صرف مِک زدن به نی قوطی آبجو کرده و توی یکی از این فرقه های سرّی دانشجویی چندتا پیمان احمقانه بسته و همه را با اسم کوچکشان صدا میکند سخت باشد، شک نکنید که من قبل از فرستادن دخترها و پسرهایمان به میدان جنگ، خوب تامل میکنم؛ چون خودم یکی از آن پسرها بودم که توی میدان با دشمن رودررو جنگیده ام و خیلی خوب خطرات این کار را میدانم
جنی به جلو خم میشود، دلش میخواهد بیشتر بشنود، همیشه دوست دارد درباره ی جزئیات خدمت نظامی برایش روده درازی کنم؛ بهشون از دوران ماموریتت بگو؛ بهشون از دورانی که اسیر جنگی شده بودی بگو؛ از جراحات و شکنجه هات بگو؛ این یکی از موضوعات بی پایان در طول کم��ینم بود، یکی از چیزهایی که امتحانش را خوب پس داده بود؛ مشاورهایم مدام با من در کش و قوس بودند اما من هرگز تسلیم نشدم؛ درباره ی بعضی چیزها نباید حرف زد
حرفتون تموم شد، آقای رئیس جمهور...؛
خیر، حرفم تمام نشد؛ قبلاً یکبار تمام اینها را برای رهبری کاخ کنگره، ریاست سنا و دیگران توضیح داده ام؛ به شما هم گفتم که نمیتونم در این جلسه شرکت کنم، شما میتونستید بگید: بسیار خب، آقای رئیس جمهور، ما هم میهن پرستیم و به کاری که دارید میکنید احترام میگذاریم، حتی اگر نتونید همه چیز را به ما بگید؛ اما اینکار را نکردید؛ کردید؟ نتونستید در برابر فرصت محاکمه ی من و امتیاز گرفتن مقاومت کنید؛ پس اجازه بدید آنچه در خلوت به شما گفتم را دوباره در مقابل ملت هم به شما بگویم؛ من جواب سوالات خاص شما را درباره ی گفتگوهایی که داشته ام و اعمالی که انجام داده ام، نمیدهم، چون آنها خطرناکند؛ آنها تهدیدی علیه امنیت ملی ما هستند و اگر مجبور شوم که این صندلی و دفتر را به قیمت محافظت از این کشور ازدست بدهم، اینکار را خواهم کرد اما اشتباه نکنید؛ هرگز دست به هیچ کاری نزده ام یا هیچ کلامی بر لبم نیاورده ام، بدون اینکه ایمنی و امنیت ایالات متحده مهم ترین اولویت در ذهنم بوده باشد و هرگز هم چنین نخواهم کرد
بازجویم کوچکترین رنجشی از توهینهایی که نثارش کردم به خود راه نداد؛ او بدون شک تحت تاثیر این حقیقت است که سئوالاتش توانسته اند خیلی خوب زیر پوست من جا باز کنند؛ یکبار دیگر به یادداشتهایش، به نمودار سئوالات و پیگردهایش نگاه میکند، در حالیکه من سعی میکنم خودم را آرام کنم.
آقای کیرنز سختترین تصمیمی که این هفته گرفتید، چه بوده؟ اینکه توی این جلسه کدام پاپیونتان را ببندید؟ موهایتان را به کدام سمت شانه کنید؟
این روزها من تقریباً تمام وقتم را صرف حفظ ایمنی این کشور کرده ام؛ این نیازمند تصمیمات خیلی دشواری است؛ گاهی اوقات این تصمیمات باید در شرایطی گرفته شوند که ابهامات بسیار زیادی وجود دارد؛ گاهی اوقات تمام گزینه ها به یک اندازه مزخرفند و من باید گزینه ای را انتخاب کنم که کمتر از بقیه مزخرف است؛ پس، تمام تلاشم را میکنم و زندگی من با این موضوع میچرخد
این یعنی من هم باید با انتقاد کنار بیایم، حتی وقتی که این انتقاد از جانب یک مزدور سیاسی فرصت طلب است که روی صفحه شطرنجش مهره ای را جابه جا میکند، بدون اینکه بداند در بقیه بازی قرار است چه اتفاقی بیفتد، بعد آن حرکت را برعکس میکند، بدون اینکه کوچکترین درکی از این داشته باشد که با این کارش ممکن است تا چه حد کشور را به خطر بیندازد
آقای کیرنز، دوست دارم درباره ی تمام اقداماتم با شما صحبت کنم اما معذورات امنیت ملی به من چنین اجازه ای را نمیدهد؛ البته، میدانم که خودتان به این موضوع آگاهید؛ اما من این را هم میدانم که رد کردن پیشنهاد شلیک از پشت به من هم کار سختی است
دنی ایکرز دستهایش را به نشانه ی تمام شدن وقت بالا برده است
آره، میدونی چیه؟ حق با توئه، دنی؛ وقتشه؛ دیگه کاری اینجا ندارم؛ همه چیز تموم شد؛ کار ما تموم شد
سریع از جا بلند میشوم و میکروفن را روی میز پرت میکنم؛ روی پاهایم که میایستم ضربه ای به صندلیم میزنم
کارولین بروک از جا بلند میشود، کتش را صاف میکند؛ خیلی خب، از همگی متشکریم؛ حالا این اتاق رو به ما بدید
منظورش از اتاق، اتاق روزولت در امتداد دفتر بیضوی است؛ جای خوبی است برای برگزاری جلسه ـ یا مثل این جلسه ی مسخره ی کمیته ـ چون هم پرتره ی تدی روزولت نشسته پشت اسب به عنوان سرباز داوطلب ارتش امریکا در مبارزه با اسپانیاییها، روی دیوار است و هم جایزه ی صلح نوبلی که او بعد از حل مخاصمه بین ژاپن �� روسیه به دست آورد؛ هیچ پنجره ای اینجا نیست و به راحتی می توان از درها محافظت کرد
همه ازجا بلند میشوند؛ مشاور رسانه ایم پاپیونش را باز میکند، یک حرکت کوچک زیبا برای تکمیل نقشش به عنوان نماینده ی کنگره، کیرنز؛ نگاهی از سر عذرخواهی به من میکند، اما با حرکت دستم راحتش میکنم؛ او تقصیری ندارد، فقط داشت نقشش را بازی میکرد، سعی میکرد بدترین سناریو را به من نشان بدهد، اگر همچنان روی تصمیمم برای شهادت دادن در هفته ی آینده مقابل کمیته ی انتخاب راسخ بمانم
یکی از وکلایم در دفتر مشاوره ی کاخ سفید، امروز نقش لستر رودس را بازی کرد، یک کلاه گیس نقره ای روی سرش گذاشته که او را بیشتر شبیه اندرسون کوپر کرده تا رئیس مجلس نمایندگان امریکا، او هم نگاه ملتمسانه ای بهم میکند؛ به او هم قوت قلب میدهم
همینطور که به تدریج اتاق خالی میشود، آدرنالین خونم هم بیرون میزند و خسته و دلسردم میکند؛ یکی از چیزهایی که هرگز به شما نمیگویند این است که این شغل چقدر شبیه اولین باری است که سوار ترن هوایی میشوید
کمی بعد فقط خودم تنها میمانم؛ به پرتره ی روزولت بالای شومینه نگاه میکنم و صدای قدمهای کارولین، دنی و جنی را میشنوم که با دقت به این حیوان زخمی در قفس نزدیک میشوند
دنی با قیافه ای جدی میگوید: حداقل؛ مزخرفترین گزینه رو خیلی دوست داشتم
ریچل هم همیشه میگفت بیش از حد فحش میدم؛ میگفت فحش دادن نشانه ی نبود خلاقیت است؛ خیلی مطمئن نیستم اما وقتی همه چیز واقعاً سخت میشود، میتوانم کمی با قسمهایم خلاقیت به خرج دهم
به هرحال، کارولین و دیگر مشاورهای نزدیکم میدانند که من از این جلسه ی تمرینی برای درمان استفاده کردم؛ اگر آنها واقعاً نمیتوانند با من درباره ی جلسه ی شهادت حرف بزنند، حداقل امیدوارند که این جلسه ناامیدم کرده باشد تا بتوانم روی پاسخهای ریاست جمهورانه تر و بدون توهین و ناسزا در زمان نمایش اصلی تمرکز کنم
جنی بریکمن، با ریزبینی خاص خودش میگوید: باید خیلی آدم نادانی باشید که هفته ی آینده برید و شهادت بدید
سرم را به طرف جنی و دنی تکان میدهم؛ میخوام با کری تنها باشم؛ کری تنها فرد بین آنها که دارای صلاحیت امنیتی است و میتواند همین حالا با من حرف بزند؛ بقیه ما را ترک میکنند)؛ پایان

تاریخ بهنگام رسانی 27/07/1400هجری خورشیدی؛ ا. شربیانی
Profile Image for Sara Planz.
474 reviews24 followers
June 5, 2018
If you love West Wing or Designated Survivor mixed with a bit of Dan Brown, you'll love this book. It's just a fun ride with lots of guessing about what's going to happen next. I thoroughly enjoyed this book!
Profile Image for Barbara.
1,344 reviews4,863 followers
April 23, 2023

3.5 stars

'The President is Missing' is a novel about President Jonathan Lincoln Duncan, who's in a race against time to stop a cyberattack that would cripple the United States.

It's tempting to compare fictional President Duncan with real President Clinton (who co-authored the book), and many reviewers have had fun pointing out that Duncan is an improved version of Clinton.

Be that as it may, for my review I'll consider President Duncan a purely fictional character, made up by the authors.


As the book opens, President Jonathan Lincoln Duncan is preparing for a hearing initiated by House Speaker Lester Rhodes, whose aim in life is to impeach the President.....a goal he'll do almost anything to achieve.

The grounds for the hearing revolve around the fact that President Duncan stopped pro-Ukraine separatists from killing terrorist leader Suliman Cindoruk, whose 'Sons of Jihad' followers have carried out deadly attacks on three continents.

Moreover, President Duncan later spoke to Cindoruk on the phone. These actions seem incomprehensible, and the President won't explain his behavior, citing national security.

The reader soon learns that the President's actions were an attempt to forestall a massive cyberattack on the United States. The disastrous computer virus, scheduled to be unleashed in the immediate future, would disable EVERY electronic device in the entire nation. Such a catastrophe would leave the United States in complete chaos and cripple the military - leaving the nation vulnerable to attack from enemies like Russia, North Korea, Iran, etc.

It turns out the President obtained information that Suliman Cindoruk organized the electronic assault, and may be the only person who can stop it. Thus Duncan needed to keep the terrorist alive, so he could try to negotiate a ransom (even though we don't negotiate with terrorists). Unfortunately the effort proved fruitless and Duncan fears the digital shut-down will happen at any moment.

If anyone can deal with a possible catastrophe like this, it's President Duncan. He's super smart; a war hero; and has surrounded himself with capable women - including his chief of staff; senior political advisor; CIA director; FBI director; and personal physician. Even the Vice President is a woman. (One wonders why Clinton and Patterson didn't go whole hog and make the President a woman. 🙂)

President Duncan does have some vulnerabilities, including his continuing grief over the death of his wife from cancer, and a blood disorder called immune thrombocytopenia (a low platelet count) -which requires medications and protein infusions that leave him weak and woozy. Lamentably, the President can't be properly treated during this emergency situation, which adds to the crisis atmosphere.

After the President's failed attempt to bargain with Cindoruk, he's contacted by a couple of foreign computer geniuses who claim they helped the Sons of Jihad create the computer virus. The hackers assert that they've broken away from Cindoruk's group and - if their demands are met - will help America stop the cyberattack. Moreover, the cyber-criminals have proof that one of the President's INNER CIRCLE (the 'Gang of Eight') is a traitor who gave away secret information.

Can you find the traitor? Just joking! 😁

To have a confab with the two brainy hackers, the President must sneak out of the White House COMPLETELY ALONE - unaccompanied by security.

This leads to a series of occurrences - including car chases, gunfire, and several deaths - that leave President Duncan holed up out of public view. The shootings are carried out by a highly skilled female assassin called Bach and a group of deadly mercenaries.....who have more information than they should!

When the press learns that the President has 'disappeared', the 24-hour news cycle declares him 'missing.'

This causes all kinds of wild speculation, with people saying that President Duncan is terribly ill; has stolen a lot of money and fled the country; is avoiding the impeachment hearings; and so on.

In the meantime, the President is conferring with representatives from Israel, Germany, and Russia, and there are some major twists in the story.

I was on the edge of my seat (or actually treadmill) as the clock controlling the computer virus ticked down to zero - 10,9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1 - while the President and his team raced to stop the cyberattack. Do they succeed? Is the 'Benedict Arnold' unmasked? You'll have to read the book to find out.

I enjoyed the novel, which - though not very realistic - has compelling characters, an engaging plot, and heart-stopping action. I'd recommend the book to fans of thrillers.

The book is being adapted into a Showtime mini-series, which I'll watch for sure (when it gets to DVD 😎).

You can follow my reviews at https://reviewsbybarbsaffer.blogspot....
Profile Image for Ken French.
804 reviews5 followers
June 3, 2018
Not brilliant by any means, but a fun read and a real page-turner. I'm guessing that Clinton provided the details on the presidency and characters and Patterson drove the plot, but who knows?
Profile Image for Blaine.
747 reviews607 followers
September 19, 2021
You’d be forgiven if you thought that a book by a former President would be serious, weighty, and realistic. The President Is Missing could have been those things. It certainly explains things about how the government operates. It’s offers weirdly wonky takes on partisanship, fake news, the media, false equivalence, domestic and global politics, drone strikes, homeless vets, and racial profiling by police.

The titular President is Jonathan Lincoln Duncan (see what William Jefferson Clinton did there?), a former Southern Governor who’s a Democrat, widower, former Ranger and POW (wish fulfillment much?). He’s under siege and facing impeachment (sound familiar?) while he’s trying to prevent a cataclysmic cyber attack against the United States.

You could describe The President Is Missing in a way that makes it sound serious. But it’s not. Instead, this book is the literary equivalent of the movie White House Down—a movie I love because it’s ridiculously bonkers. The book is completely over the top, complete with a rousing partisan speech in its final pages, and before it’s over it has its own version of a President shooting an RPG out of a limo driving on the South lawn (to be clear, that’s in White House Down, not this book).

The plot moves quickly, and the book is formatted like a typical Patterson novel, with short chapters and lots of little cliffhangers. The President Is Missing has no real literary quality or value, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t completely entertaining. Just go into the book with your eyes open about what you’re signing up for. 😄
Profile Image for Jim C.
1,508 reviews27 followers
June 27, 2018
I won this book in a Goodreads giveaway in exchange for an honest review.

Awhile ago, I swore I was done with James Patterson. His mass production of books, the double spacing of pages, and the two page chapters were not for me anymore. Then I saw this collaboration between him and the former president. I entered the giveaway and you can guess the rest of the story.

In this one, a phrase is whispered into the daughter's ear of the president. This phrase means that our country will be set back many years with its technology and this puts the president into action to stop a terrorist act. This reminded me a lot of the show Designated Survivor .

Right away I could see Bill Clinton's contributions. The chapters were longer and there was more detail. He did seem to get a little preachy as the main character was going thru a similar process he went thru as president. I can see why this would turn off some readers but I enjoyed the in depth detail look as we are also getting a peek into the former president. Unfortunately, this part of the book did not last as the side with James Patterson took over. This lost me as I was enjoying the book up to this point. The ridiculous and tiresome tropes are present throughout the concise chapters. There was nothing new here and I felt like I have "been there, done that" for the majority of this book.

I would have never gone near this book if it wasn't for the unusual collaboration. Sadly, this was more of a James Patterson book with a little assistance from the former president. This time I mean it. No more James Patterson for me.
Profile Image for Scott.
425 reviews48 followers
August 25, 2018
Here’s my upfront James Patterson disclosure. I read most of his books and have for several years. Some might ask why and that’s another whole discussion best saved for another day. I have really enjoyed some, liked some, and didn’t really care for others.

In this outing Patterson has teamed up with former president, Bill Clinton, to write a novel about none other than a President facing the ultimate terrorist attack threat that America can possibly imagine. Having Clinton’s knowledge and experience gives us access into the inner working and secrets of the White House, the Cabinet, and other branches of the government in ways no one else can.

“The President is Missing” takes place over five very eventful days with President Duncan under attack from enemies outside the country, threatening to pull of the biggest cyber attack that would shut down and cripple every part of the United States, including everything internet related, electronic financial markets, mechanized transportation, and all business and government systems. He also faces political threats from leaders of the opposition, trying to remove him from office under the guise of negotiating with the very terrorists he is fighting against. Even worse, there seems to be a mole within the President’s inner circle that is working with the cyber-terrorists.

President Duncan has less than three days to figure out how to stop the assault while holding off his political rivalries. In that time, he faces a shootout against a kill squad, medical challenges that threaten his life, and the most powerful cyber-virus ever created. His adventure moved a breakneck speed, blending one scene into another like a high-speed roller-coaster at Magic Mountain. Yes, I know the plots of Patterson’s books are fast-moving, but this one felt like it was on steroids. Like exchanging your smooth driving Honda Accord for a slick Ferrari 488.

And the plotting moved through different styles and variations. It started out in typical Patterson fashion with a bit of Clinton’s presidential experience sprinkled in; then moved into Mission Impossible mode with the President character doing his best impression of Tom Cruise’s Ethan Hunt under attack; followed by a dive into Dan Brown’s futuristic what-if-this happened and the world were forever changed discussion and conspiracy analysis with the President serving in Robert Langdon’s we’ll-figure-it-out role. And last but not, it spins into a bit of The West Wing with the President connecting all of the dots like good ole Martin Sheen’ President Bartlett himself.

Here’s the really strange thing. Believe it or not, for the most part it worked. It worked very well and flowed so smoothly that you really don’t notice the subtle changes in style. There were no sharp changes in writing style or bumps to disrupt what was a really exciting and multi-layered thriller. You also didn’t bother with some of the unrealistic aspects of the story, such as the President being extremely sick one minute, and then doing well later without any explanation. Or the high amount of times “luck” played a part in protecting the main characters or helping them solve problems. They were drowned out by the urgency of the current political dilemma or well-timed plot-twist and easily forgotten.

Clinton’s influence delivers as advertised. It feels like Clinton’s influence really helped with the details and feel of being the leader of the country, being in the White House, dealing with the Cabinet members, and other leaders around the world. I honestly thought that Clinton’s role was going to be more of a promotional use of his name to sell the book, but I came away with a strong sense that he was directly involved with the outlining, writing, and editing of the book. And to be honest, I am rather impressed with the outcome of his participation.

Overall, it comes down to this. Was it realistic? No way. But do we read Patterson for that reason? No way. We read him for high level thrillers that help us escape our daily grind and enjoy an exciting thriller that makes us forget about all else. This time Patterson, along with help from Clinton) delivered a winner that will keep your attention from the beginning to the last page. Enjoy the escape!

Profile Image for Tiffany PSquared.
494 reviews88 followers
August 20, 2018
At first, I wasn't at all interested in reading this political thriller penned by Bill Clinton and James Patterson. Then, while on vacation, I watched an interview with the former president about the book, its storyline, and why he wanted to write it. By the end of the interview, I was sold.

After reading it, I am glad I saw the interview and totally satisfied with my decision to check the book out. It is - at its essence - a James Patterson book. If you're familiar with his writing style, you will feel his touches and patterns throughout the story.

However, I was also distinctly aware of President Clinton's voice weaving within the narrative, especially (and not surprisingly) in the character of President Duncan. Duncan is the president that Clinton aspired to be. Strong, but flawed; brave, but cautious; powerful, but compassionate. The story shows us all these sides of a heroic leader who is battling threats to his command on both foreign and domestic fronts.

The President is Missing is heavy on the patriotism, equally heavy on explanations of members of all three branches of government and their duties, and heavy on displaying how indispensable the secret service is to the protection of our nation's leaders - none of which I ended up minding even though it seemed to slow the action down significantly at times.

Despite an epilogue that came across as a little too patriotically "preachy" (but on its face was meant to inspire and unite us), I enjoyed this book and have already recommended it to others who also enjoy James Patterson, political mysteries, and a few select friends who really enjoy a good thriller with a stealthy terrorist plot!

See my full review for The President is Missing and other books at That New Book Smell
Profile Image for Sam.
422 reviews9 followers
June 7, 2018
I am so disappointed in this book. I love James Patterson and all his books are always a fast read. I bought this book when it came out on Monday and today it's Thursday and I am only on page 14 the beginning of chapter 2 because I keep finding things I could do instead of reading this book, like cleaning the toilet. The first chapter is so boring that I keep having to re-read it because I have already forgotten what was written. Funny thing is that I even skipped to the middle of the book and read a chapter and it's boring also. I find it hard to believe that James Patterson had anything to do with this pile of garbage. I will struggle to finish this whole book because I hate the thought of spending money and not reading it but it will be a tale of those are hours of my life I will never get back. Oh and before people get hurt and start screaming politics...that doesn't play into this review. It is based on how the book grabbed me from the first and held my interest. It didn't on either count.
Profile Image for Layton.
136 reviews41 followers
Want to read
May 28, 2018
oh FUCK me, i might be a liberal but this makes my stomach churn.
Profile Image for Faith.
1,846 reviews516 followers
June 14, 2018
This book is written from the point of view of the US president who believes that a terrorist attack is about to occur. He goes missing and assumes a disguise to carry out a secret mission to save America. (Nothing implausible there.) He is also dealing with a blood disorder, the threat of impeachment and a traitor in the White House. At least two of those plot lines were superfluous. There is a lot of boring political maneuvering, especially at the beginning of this book. Some chapters are also told from the point of view of a pregnant assassin. Although the projected attack is cyberterrorism, this book devolves into a lot of shooting.

I've never read, or wanted to read, anything by Patterson (or whoever actually wrote this book) and read this book only because of Clinton. I have no idea whether Patterson always takes so long to get to the point, but the beginning of the book had a tremendous amount of needless details. If you have to read this, I really suggest skipping the first 14 chapters. You will miss nothing. Clinton is an intelligent, thoughtful man with a huge range of interests and he also has real life experience with the presidency. However, this was just a standard thriller. I couldn't detect Clinton's input in this book, except for a speech at the end which was an awkward addition.
Profile Image for Saadia  B..
181 reviews70 followers
April 29, 2021
A thriller from which I had higher expectations. It falls flat with rhetoric and predictable plot which revolves around stereotypical characters and themes: a Muslim terrorist, Russian involvement, destruction of America and an American President saving the day.

The book starts with President Duncan being in question for his conduct and likewise not supported by even his own party. The President goes missing for three days in order to find out about ‘Dark Ages’ - secret code for a virus which would cripple America and bring it to a halt by deleting all the databases.

Nina and Augus programmed the virus but seeing the repercussions they come in to help as the virus was to go live on Saturday. While they are at it, Nina dies from an attack which was meant to kill all three of them - Mr. President, Augus and Nina.

A sniper named Bash was hired for the assignment but is not able to complete it and eventually caught by the Secret Services agents. The virus was found and deactivated before its full activation. Mr. President was re-elected in the interim elections by 80% more votes because of his valour and courage for saving America from the attack.

Russia along with some Princes from Saudi Arabia who went against the rule were involved in the attack, hence Russian Embassy was closed down and serious sanctions were imposed for the breach.

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Profile Image for Mahlon.
314 reviews124 followers
July 16, 2018
I've always been suspicious and skeptical of writers who turn themselves into corporations and start to use co-authors to further their brand, much of Tom Clancy's later work is a good example of this. I remember Reading at least two of James Patterson's Alex Cross novels and thinking they were a bit formulaic and nothing special. This is initially how I viewed the President is missing but then I saw a handful of late night interviews with the two authors. It was clear that they had a good time working together and that Patterson really got a charge out of working with Clinton like he knew he needed to bring his a game again. I decided that given my love of Presidents I wanted to at least give this book a try. All I can say is there is a reason why this book is the biggest hardcover seller in the past two years! Yes it's written like a blockbuster movie but I would argue that At least it's a damn good one. Parts of it actually reminded me of something like Patriot Games. True I did guess the big twist at about 75% and after that the authors just seemed in a hurry to wind everything up resulting in an ending that feels truncated. It's also true that character development is sometimes sacrificed for the sake of the action but it's such good action that I didn't really mind. These minor criticisms do not take away from the fact that this is a significant work of it's genre and while I may not read most Patterson novels I will definitely look forward to his future collaborations with ex- Presidents or other political figures.
Profile Image for Kate.
1,626 reviews322 followers
June 6, 2018
This thriller is a pageturner if ever there was one. It's one of those 'just one more chapter' books and, because the chapters are so short, before you know it you're reading late into the night. Although it's not perfect (it is a little confused or predictable on occasion and there are a few presidential info dumps - on occasion Clinton does want to have his say), it's certainly entertaining and I was totally gripped. I love political and/or action thrillers and so I was always going to read this and I'm very glad I did. Review to follow shortly on For Winter Nights.
Profile Image for Ariannha .
1,016 reviews
December 26, 2019
A pesar de todas las críticas que he leído del libro, me ha encantado.

Desde la primera página nos vemos inmersos en la vida de la Casa Blanca y de todos sus actores. Son casi 600 páginas, que me he comido"literalmente" en dos días, llenas de declaraciones políticas relativas al manejo de la información, la seguridad nacional, las comunicaciones que emiten los periodistas (a favor o en contra), los posibles fraudes electorales, el papel de las diferentes Cámaras del gobierno, y toda una serie de manejo en la política interna de EEUU, así como su política de manejo de relaciones exteriores. Creo que al estar Bill Clinton dentro de sus autores, le da mucha credibilidad a todos los temas planteados, nadie mejor que él que ha vivido dos períodos, podría haberlo contado.

El libro es super dinámico, con capítulos super cortos, muy bien engranado, que mantienen la atención del lector en todo momento. Cada personaje y cada diálogo tienen una razón de ser, y el lector debe tener mucho cuidado de repasar palabras y hechos, porque podría estar fácilmente pasando un elemento clave.

¿Qué tiene este libro que a mi me haya gustado?
Diálogos interesantes, personajes fuertes, apegado a la realidad de hoy en día, un presidente enfermo a punto de ser destituido y con baja credibilidad, pero que lucha y cree en su país aún a riesgo de tomar la peor decisión en la historia de la humanidad; una asesina misteriosa que no sabes que esperar de ella, la cuenta regresiva de un virus que se desatará y pondrá de rodillas a una potencia mundial; un traidor en el círculo cercano del presidente que siempre te deja pensando quién es, un criminal buscado con un ejecutor en la sombra, persecusiones, tiroteos... podría seguir enumerando, pero creo que todo esto lo hace un "thriller" emocionante de leer.

Cuando leí el libro me sentí como me sentía cuando veía la serie 24 de FOX, con la diferencia que muestra los 5 peores días del presidente Duncan y su constante carrera contra el tiempo. Me gustaría ver este libro en una serie o una película, tiene todo para ello.

La cita que más me ha gustado de este libro: “Nos servimos de la tecnología para volver a formas primitivas de relación humana”.

100% recomendado
Profile Image for Terri ♥ (aka Mrs. Christian Grey).
1,386 reviews470 followers
June 7, 2018
I must say I was leery. JP collaborations have been iffy which has stopped me reading his “brand” some years back. But I must admit intrigue and have to give this a shot. After a slow start, a chapter or two in the beginning, I was hooked. At that very early stage, I knew I didn’t want it to end. I was so very fascinated with the tale. The President was my hero and I hope this is a bright beginning to a series. I used to listen to Alex Cross and I felt like this book was JP at his best. Of course, BC, obviously gave insight into the insane life that a pres must live. Their collaboration is stellar. Here is hoping for more. My wish list - A signed copy for my bookshelf.

This story had it all from intrigue to on the edge of your seat moments that will hook you to the very end.

Don’t be partisan! Read because it’s a fantastic story and keep your red vs. blue out of this fictional story. Spoiler alert - this story doesn’t get into what party the President is affiliated with. And honestly, one would hope that any President regardless of party lines would always act selflessly for the benefit of our country.
Profile Image for Mariah Roze.
1,019 reviews921 followers
December 5, 2018
I read this book for my hometown book club. I really wanted to like this book and I did, but I didn't love it. I felt like it dragged on forever and could have finished wayyyy sooner.

"As the novel opens, a threat looms. Enemies are planning an attack of unprecedented scale on America. Uncertainty and fear grip Washington. There are whispers of cyberterror and espionage and a traitor in the cabinet. The President himself becomes a suspect, and then goes missing..."
Profile Image for Sara the Librarian.
748 reviews323 followers
May 24, 2020
May 23rd 2020: YOU. GUYS. They’ve made this into a TV movie and guess who’s playing the president!?!?! Ann frickin’ Dowd. I cannot begin to tell you how much I love this news. This whole book was such a chauvinist circle jerk and this is like spitting all over that and I LOVE it.

MEMO FROM PRESIDENT'S DESK: (okay look its actually from his secretary's desk because we can't go in there but its right outside the Oval Office so we just went with that)

DATE: [redacted](not for any particular reason just cause it sounds super official and presidenty)

TO: only the PRESIDENT'S most trusted staff members [if you are not on that list do NOT read this. You know who you are! Even if we don't. Seriously we're assuming you do cause we really don't know.]

SUBJECT: the PRESIDENT IS MISSSSSIIINNNGGGGG [in the sense that some of us don't know where he is. So he's not missing per se its just that some of us (and we're not saying who because ANYONE COULD BE A TRAITOR) aren't 100% sure where he's got to. Wait he might still be in the White House! Has anyone actually checked? I mean we shouldn't just assume he's missing until we've like looked for him right? I mean by definition "missing" means no one knows where he is but we're pretty sure a bunch of people do know they're just not telling some other people. So should we say misplaced? The PRESIDENT is misplaced doesn't really have the same gravitas though does it. Not where we left him? No. What about "May Be Missing"? Look can we just say missing? You know what we mean right?]

MESSAGE: Our amazing superhero President Duncan who you will recall is a former pro ball player, a decorated war hero who is both pro-military and anti-war, has super secret ultra convenient computer expertise, loves the environment but wants to make sure Joe the Plumber keeps his damn job, believes in women's right unless they work for him in which case they are all evil, silly, over emotional, untrustworthy, power hungry harpies with the exception of his wonderful, angelic wife who is tragically dead of cancer because OF COURSE she is, believes that being the president is about being a public servant NOT about all that nasty politics and lobbying and skullduggery like the evil, evil, eeeeevvviiiiillllll Speaker of the House who wants to impeach him for maybe, possibly doing something super treasonous that we of course know he didn't do because he is a GODDAMN AMERICAN SUPERHERO IS MISSSSINNNNGGGGGG!!!!

Okay technically he's not missing. His top advisers absolutely know where his. So does the secret service. His daughter's got a bead on him too. So really he is the opposite of missing. Okay honestly whether or not he's missing isn't even relevant to this memo. Like at all. Wait why did we title this The President Is Missing? Does anyone know? Seriously if you're reading this and you know why please tell us.

What is relevant is that the president may or may not (though we all know he didn't because he is a GODDAMN AMERICAN SUPERHERO) have held an illicit phone conference with the worst cyber terrorist in the history of cyber terror. They talked about things like computer viruses and terror.

Only the president knows what REALLY happened and only he can protect us all from the evil cyber terrorist because HE IS A GODDAMN AMERICAN SUPERHERO. He's not gonna let evil (thinly veiled Republicans) stop him from saving the country with all their impeachment bullshit because HE IS A GODDAMN AMERICAN SUPERHERO!!!

Now listen, this part is important. There's a mole in the administration. We don't know who it is. The only thing we do know is that it must be a woman. I mean all the women in this administration do is get angry (hormones am I right!?), make huge mistakes that cost lives (dumb women just don't think things through), and are obviously only in politics to further their own selfish ambitions (evil, power hungry women).

But it gets worse! There's also an assassin running around trying to assassinate people! She's also a woman (god women are so fucking evil!). Her name is "Bach." You wanna know why her name is Bach? Because she likes to listen to Bach. Its the only thing that makes her evil, assassin heart feel less assassiny. We're not sure who she wants to assassinate but it better not be the president because HE IS A GODDAMN AMERICAN SUPERHERO.

This sounds pretty exciting right? Oh it totally is. IF this were lets a book for example it would move super fast and be downright entertaining a lot of the time. It would be totally worth reading if you're a fan of say Dan Brown or if you're the opposite of a fan of Dan Brown but you really love laughing at Dan Brown.

And yes it would probably also be deeply chauvinistic while bending over backwards to tell you how NOT chauvinistic it is and that would definitely overwhelm the story more often than not. And sure its just a tad hard to believe that this president is an actual human because he sure as hell sounds like a GODDAMN AMERICAN SUPERHERO that you sure might enjoy having a beer with and watching the Nascar if you don't mind him quoting some smarty pants writer like Thoreau now and again ayuh!

FROM: [redacted]

ADD: Destroy this memo after reading. You could totally eat it. That's some super political spy fiction shit right there!

ADDD: The president (who totally isn't missing) totally did not write this because HE IS A GODDAMN AMERICAN SUPERHERO.
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