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Hillary Clinton's first mystery novel with Quebec's Louise Penny, State of Terror, comes out in October 2021. Photo: Joe McNally

> The Scroll

Hillary Clinton to Write Thriller with Louise Penny

/ BY Kim Honey / February 23rd, 2021


Hillary Rodham Clinton is taking a page out of husband Bill Clinton’s book and teaming up with a bestselling mystery writer to pen a thriller based on her worst nightmare as secretary of state.

Hillary, 73, who was the chief foreign affairs adviser to President Barack Obama from 2009 to 2013, will publish State of Terror with Quebec author Louise Penny on Oct. 12, according to publisher Simon & Schuster.

It will come out four months after Bill’s second thriller, The President’s Daughter, which he co-wrote with bestselling U.S. writer James Patterson, who has published 35 titles in the last year alone. The first collaboration between the former U.S. president and Patterson, 2018’s The President is Missing, made The New York Times bestseller list, sold 3.2 million copies and was slated to be adapted into a TV series until the COVID-19 epidemic cancelled those plans.

Hillary’s book features a novice secretary of state who joins her rival’s administration at a time when the country’s reputation as a world leader is in tatters and a series of terrorist attacks threaten to undermine world order. If that doesn’t conjure a terrifying fictional scenario where Hillary becomes former President Donald Trump’s secretary of state, then this plot summary will: “The secretary is tasked with assembling a team to unravel the deadly conspiracy, a scheme carefully designed to take advantage of an American government dangerously out of touch and out of power in the places where it counts the most.”

Hillary, the first female presidential nominee in U.S. history, wrote a 2017 bestselling memoir called What Happened that chronicled her life as well as the sexism, subterfuge and treachery that marked her Democratic Party campaign for the 2016 election, where she won the popular vote by more than 2 million but ultimately lost to Trump, who got 304 electoral college votes to Hillary’s 227.

Louise Penny
Canada’s favourite mystery writer, Louise Penny, will co-write State of Terror. Photo: Jean-François Bérubé

Penny, who lives in the Eastern Townships an hour’s drive from Montreal, is a friend of the Clintons and hosted their family in the summer of 2017 at Manoir Hovey, the renowned Relais & Chateaux property in North Hatley, where the Clintons caused a commotion when they browsed the shops of its tiny main street.

Penny is famous for her Inspector Armand Gamache murder mysteries, and her latest novel All The Devils Are Here debuted at No. 1 on The New York Times and Globe and Mail bestseller lists. When Hillary called about collaborating on a book, “I could not say yes fast enough,” Penny said in a statement. “What an incredible experience, to get inside the State Department. Inside the White House.  Inside the mind of the Secretary of State as high stake crises explode.”

Hillary is also the author of 2019’s The Book of Gusty Women, which she wrote with daughter Chelsea Clinton, two other memoirs, and two parenting books, It Takes a Village and Dear Socks, Dear Buddy.

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