“State of Terror” is Truly a Terror to Behold
“State of Terror” is Truly a Terror to Behold
Just when you thought it was safe to peruse the bookshelves, the theme from Jaws started sounding. It was a warning. Still unable to accept the fact she lost to Donald Trump and not about to let Slick Willy be the only one with a novel out there, Shrillary Hillary Clinton has “co-written” a book, State of Terror, with Canadian author Louise Penny. And let me tell you, the hot mess that was What Happened was easier to read than this piece of self-serving, thinly disguised propaganda.
Before I get to the book, it’s important to look at the authors. We all know Shrillary, probably too well. We’ve had to listen to her for years now complain about how the election was basically stolen from her by the unwashed masses. We’ve watched her complain about how she’s been treated by the media and others because she’s a woman. And we’ve waited for decades for her to stand up and admit her husband was a sexual predator and she actually did all she could to destroy the women who stepped up to bring his behavior to light. We’ll keep on waiting long after she no longer walks the face of this Earth.
Then there’s Louise Penny. A Canadian author known for a single mystery series. She’s a solid writer, certainly much better than the opening pages of State of Terror show. Looking at the opening chapter, my first impression was that whoever actually wrote What Happened wrote this book as well. But I slogged on and a slog it was.
Oh sweet heaven, it was a slog and then some.
Starting with the fact I came damned close to walling my Kindle Oasis when I read the dedication. I’ll let you read it for yourself. You can see it in the preview on Amazon. But be warned. The woman who turned a blind eye to events leading up to the deaths of Ambassador Christopher Stevens, Information Officer Sean Smith, and CIA operatives Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty in the Benghazi attack had the temerity to dedicate the book to those who protect us from terroristic attacks. Thank goodness, I didn’t decide to read the book as part of a drinking game. If I had, I’d be on the waiting list for a liver transplant and I’d never be able to pay off my liquor bill.
The hero—or perhaps I should say heroine—of the book is a pants suit wearing female Secretary of State. She holds that position under a president who gave her the job to stop her editorials and who tried to set her up so he could fire her, leaving a cloud over her head that would prevent her from becoming President later.
Hmmm, can you say “Obama”?
Although, to be honest, there are times when the President in this book bears a resemblance to Slow Joe Biden.
The first pages reminded me of some stories I’ve seen in slush piles. For those of you not familiar with what a slush pile is, it’s the stack of submissions sent in by authors who don’t have agents and who have not been asked by a publisher to submit something. It’s kind of a “hail Mary” pitch where the writer hopes their work rises above the rest of the pile. But, more often than not, what the poor sod who has to slog through these submissions finds, they aren’t worth the paper—or electrons—they’re printed on.
In this case, we get to know our Hillary clone, Ellen Adams, is a busy and dedicated public servant who doesn’t try to hide her age, likes eclairs, wears Spanx and has a hairdresser who uses a “specially formulated color” on Ellen’s hair called “Eminence Blonde”. Oh, and there is mention of the “near-criminal incompetence” of the former administration.
Oh, and they are holding the State of the Union Address until she gets there. Because, you know, no matter how important the President is, she is more important. But the Prez is pissed.
And all this happens in just the first four or five pages of the book. So far, there have been so many setting changes, “easter eggs” to the real Hillary, and WTF moments that I almost put the book down—again.
Anyway, on to the plot. To say it is contrived is the understatement of all understatements. It is also a textbook example of projection. It is how I imagine Shrillary imagines her time as SecState. She was the hero, the savior of the Free World. In the book, she uncovers a military coup before it happens, one where homegrown terrorists who believe themselves to be patriots have allied with Middle East terrorists and Russian mobsters to detonate nuclear bombs in the US, including one in the White House.
And while all the military intelligence types, the CIA, the FBI and others are unable to figure out what is going on, our intrepid SecState not only figures it out but manages to leave the Vice President’s phone number with her counselor so said counselor can call at just the right time as the Hillary clone is livestreaming the attempt to kidnap and/or kill the President.
Once the players have been revealed and our oh-so-brave and incredibly smart SecState has figured out where the bomb in the White House has been planted, the head of the Joint Chiefs and POTUS want to know where. Why, all the other bombs had been planted in first aid stations (Legoland) or similar facilities. So it has to be in the WH infirmary. Where is it?
Now, I get that the White House is huge. I get that the average worker there might not know where every office and department are located. But to have the President announce that he doesn’t know and that he gets lost going to the dining room is either too much or too close to what is probably happening with the current POTUS.
But our heroine doesn’t stop at figuring out where the bomb is. With less than five minutes left, the general, POTUS and she run down the stairs to find the bomb. Now, I’m just a hack writer, but I would suspect that the Secret Service might object to POTUS going to the location of a nuclear weapon. Even if the odds were slim to none of getting away, I’d expect them to be hustling the hell out of there. But there the pols go, taking the steps two at a time.
And, in a final nod to how Hillary would never try to steal the spotlight, when the President holds a presser at the end of the book to explain what’s been going on, she is more than happy to give him advice but, golly gee whiz, she isn’t about to be on stage with him. She just wants to be home with her wine and her kids and friends.
But never fear, my friends, the book ends with the perfect set up for many more. After all, there are still nuclear weapons missing from around the world. But there are also missing samples of anthrax, Ebola, Sarin and much more. Who knows? We might get lucky and have a book for every one of those, all with our plucky if aging heroine saving the day.
Did I like the book? Hell no. Penny may be an award winning author, but it doesn’t show with this. It is a love story for Hillary. One from Hillary to Hillary. As cringe-worthy as Slick Willy’s books with James Patterson (The President is Missing and The President’s Daughter) are, they look like modern masterpieces compared to this.
Mind you, the plot for this book could be made to work in the right hands. I grew up loving the Margaret Truman mysteries. Ms. Truman used her knowledge of Washington politics, society and people to write engaging if not deep books. But this book, nope. This was a vanity project for Hillary and not worth the advance she got or the money folks have paid for the book.
Let me put it to you this way. When I first spoke with Kate about doing this post for the blog, we talked about this book and about the book Obama and Springsteen put out not long ago. After reading State of Terror, I wish I’d done the other.
Don’t waste your time on this book. It isn’t worth the brain cells you’ll lose reading it.
Featured image: Hillary Clinton’s Underground Communications Center by Donkeyhotey. Creative Commons 2.0 license.