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Bill Clinton & James Patterson Will Co-Write Thriller Novel ‘The President Is Missing’

Bill Clinton The President Is Missing
Adam Bettcher (Getty Images) / Little, Brown & Knopf

In one of the odder team-ups we’ve heard of, former president Bill Clinton will co-write a novel with bestselling author James Patterson called The President Is Missing. The thriller is set for release in June 2018.

Presumably a story about a president who somehow gets kidnapped, the book will be Clinton’s first foray into fiction writing. (His memoir, My Life, was published in 2004, and he’s written numerous other non-fiction books.) He is known as a lover of mysteries and thrillers, including those written by Patterson, so perhaps this collaboration isn’t that odd after all.

“Working on a book about a sitting president — drawing on what I know about the job, life in the White House, and the way Washington works — has been a lot of fun,” Clinton said during the book’s announcement. “And working with Jim has been terrific. I’ve been a fan of his for a very long time.”

Patterson also seems excited with the unconventional partnership. “Working with President Clinton has been the highlight of my career, and having access to his firsthand experience has uniquely informed the writing of this novel,” he said. “I’m a storyteller, and President Clinton’s insight has allowed us to tell a really interesting one. It’s a rare combination. Readers will be drawn to the suspense, of course, but they’ll also be given an inside look into what it’s like to be president.”

We know nothing about the plot yet (though, as we said, a kidnapping seems likely), but hopefully Clinton will sneak in some juicy Oval Office secrets. Like maybe there’s a hidden stairwell underneath the Resolute Desk? In the movie Dave (about a presidential impersonator who has to take on the real job), the “president” and first lady sneak out of the White House using an underground tunnel (“They say LBJ used it all the time.”). And in National Treasure: Book of Secrets, the titular book contains all the super-duper-secret stuff only presidents are allowed to know (Area 51, who killed JFK, etc.).

We hope it’s got some of that good stuff. And we also hope it’s not as long as My Life, which came in at an interminable 1,056 pages. With luck, Patterson’s editor will be in charge this time.

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