Skip to main content

The President is Missing


The President is Missing

“The president is missing.” This is a phrase that strikes fear into the heart of any ordinary citizen of a democracy. Yet, in Bill Clinton and James Patterson’s first collaborative effort, that’s exactly what America faces: terrorism, impeachment hearings, political intrigue, and a president who no one can locate.

It seems that Jonathan Duncan, the President of the United States, has made a personal phone call to Sons of Jihad leader Suliman Cindoruk, seeking a meeting of the minds.  Cindoruk is perhaps the deadliest cyberterrorist in the world. And terrible events are occurring that impelled the president to reach out. There has been a terrorist attack with casualties in Toronto, and a failed CIA mission involving something that looks suspiciously like a rescue of Cindoruk. Le Monde and the New York Times reported on those happenings using leaked information, creating the perfect opportunity for Duncan’s political enemies to hold impeachment proceedings and bring an end to his presidency. It all seems to spell disaster. But these are only the signs that everyone can see…and in the unseen worlds of digital systems and data, the countdown has begun to an unimaginable catastrophe.

"THE PRESIDENT IS MISSING hurtles its characters along a path of terror and intrigue, as it sweeps readers through the very real fear that America might possibly implode as a result of an unexpected attack."

A beautiful, almost chameleon-like woman named Bach is en route to the United States. Her expensive luggage, provocative clothing and flowing wig are in stark contrast to the secret life that she has carefully hidden --- her past, her love of classical music, and her lethal abilities with a semi-automatic rifle. And she and the president are headed for a collision that may end not only the president’s life but America’s as well. For a sabotage attempt is coming that will destroy the systems that protect the United States and, by so doing, its population as well.

But Duncan has a special set of skills that he brought to the presidency. He is loyal, fiercely devoted to his country, tough, and he is an Army Ranger who survived a POW camp. So when a foreign operative reaches out to Duncan via backdoor channels --- involving his daughter --- he listens. And he devised a plan, despite his staff’s absolute disagreement, to go off the grid and meet some people who might have a way to stop the attack on America. Leaving behind his Secret Service protection detail, his White House staff and advisors, and his persona as president, he goes undercover.

Over the course of four days in May, the president, a hacker and a small team of carefully chosen operatives and world leaders desperately seek to solve a mystery and evade more than one assassin. If they succeed, they’ll save America. But if they fail, the country will be looking at its own 21st-century dark age and the devastation of a nation.

I was intrigued when I discovered that the 42nd president of the United States and a well-known writer of New York Times bestsellers were combining their mutual yet immensely diverse talents to co-write a political thriller. I could see how Mr. Clinton’s top-notch abilities as a wordsmith, along with his insider’s view of the presidency, might fuse fantastically with Mr. Patterson’s penchant for unfolding mystery and meticulously building suspense to produce an excellent story. I’m happy to report that they have succeeded. While there were a few moments when I was distracted by political discourse, they were few and far between.

THE PRESIDENT IS MISSING hurtles its characters along a path of terror and intrigue, as it sweeps readers through the very real fear that America might possibly implode as a result of an unexpected attack. Will President Jonathan Duncan’s United States survive? Pick up this outstanding thriller and find out for yourself…and hope that the writing team of Clinton/Patterson will collaborate again.

Reviewed by Melanie Reynolds on June 15, 2018

The President is Missing
by Bill Clinton and James Patterson