“There’s a new administration in the White House. But it’s the previous First Family who tops an international assassin’s hit list.
Michael Keating is a former Navy SEAL — and a former President of the United States, now relocated to rural New Hampshire after a brave but ill-fated military mission cost him his second term.
All he wants is to sink into anonymity with his family (and his Secret Service detail). But when he’s briefed on an imminent threat against his daughter, Keating’s SEAL training may prove more essential than all the power, connections, and political acumen he gained as President.”
The President’s Daughter (Amazon) is the second thriller written by bestselling author, James Patterson, and former President Bill Clinton. The first book, The President is Missing (Amazon), was good (review to come), but I think this book is better than the first. If you were expecting a sequel to the first book, think again. The book is told from multiple points-of-view, but mainly the former president, the current president, and the president’s daughter.
Matt Keating, ex-President and ex-Navy SEAL, was simply the Vice President until the President dies and he assumes the mantle. But he’s lost election to his own Vice President. He has a wife, Samantha, an archeologist working for Boston University, and a 19-year old daughter, Mel, who goes to Dartmouth.
The former president lives in New Hampshire, a state that was good to him in the primaries, and he rewards their loyalty by retiring there. His wife is on a dig, and his daughter and her boyfriend, Tim, are on a break from Dartmouth, hiking. Somehow, a group of terrorists knows exactly where in the woods the two are, and kidnap them. Once they are out of the woods and back at their SUV, they kill the boyfriend. (In case you’re wondering where the Secret Service was, detail for presidential kids ends at age 18).
Despite the fact that this book is called The President’s Daughter, the first half of the book is mostly about Matt Keating. When video is released by the terrorists that shows Mel being decapitated by a sword, the book takes a dark turn. Keating wants revenge and plans a covert operation. But before he can do that, he’s approached by a disgraced professor with forensic expertise that shows him how the video of Mel’s decapitation was faked. Now it’s turned to a rescue mission, with no help from the acrimonious current President, a she-devil with a pedophile husband/Chief of Staff. In fact, the president does her best to ground her predecessor from flying to Libya, where intelligence suggests that is where Mel was taken.
Finally, we get to see Mel’s point-of-view as she’s held captive, and her attempts to escape. She’s remembered a few things the Secret Service agents taught her when her father was president and from watching her dad and other ex-Navy SEALS at private dinner parties practice their moves. She’s able to escape, but as an American in Libya, it’s not for long, and is soon recaptured.
The rescue of Mel is full of daring, technical specs about weapons, and bullets flying. Naturally, there’s collateral damage. But is there any doubt that Matt Keating isn’t going to succeed?
Overall, I thought the book was good as far as thrillers go, a genre I don’t normally read or listen to. The thing is, with this book, I couldn’t really tell where Bill Clinton helped out. With The President is Missing, you can tell what sections Clinton wrote. I’m not sure where his handprints are with the uber-macho, military man, chest thumping, wood chopping Matt Keating. Maybe that’s a good thing. But because of this lack of a fingerprint, this could easily have been just another book written by the prolific Patterson.
This is the 49th Audiobook I’ve listened to as part of my 2021 Audiobook Challenge.
For more reviews, visit www.bargain-sleuth.com
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