State of Terror by Hillary Rodham Clinton and Louise Penny. Three years ago, former President Bill Clinton teamed with bestselling writer James Patterson to write a political thriller called The President Is Missing, in which Clinton's first-hand knowledge of life in the White House added credibility to a plot about a commander-in-chief battling a cyber-terror attack. And now it's Hillary Clinton's turn at the plate, as she and talented mystery author Louise Penny have produced their own timely political suspense tale.

The pairing of Clinton and Penny is not merely a publisher's gimmick. The two are old friends and mutual admirers of the other's writing. So as Penny puts it, "When it was suggested my friend Hillary and I write a political thriller together, I could not say yes fast enough. 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."

Clinton added, "In the summer of 2019 we were throwing ideas back and forth [when] Louise said, 'As secretary of state, what kept you up at night?' I told her a couple things. One was the threat of nuclear weapons in the hands of terrorists." And the plot of State of Terror was born.

It will surprise no one that the story line reflects the authors' feelings about the Trump administration's handling of foreign affairs. The protagonist, Ellen Adams, is the new Secretary of State, joining the administration of her rival, a president inaugurated after four years of American leadership that shrank from the world stage. A series of terrorist attacks throws the global order into disarray and the secretary is tasked with assembling a team to unravel the deadly conspiracy. The attacks are the beginning of an international chess game involving the volatile politics of Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Iran; the race to develop nuclear weapons in the region; the Russian mob; and a rogue terrorist organization. Adams and her team soon realize that everything has been carefully planned to take advantage of four years of an American government out of touch with international affairs, out of practice with diplomacy, and out of power in the places where it counts the most. 

There haven't been a lot of early reviews - the book releases October 12 - but Time magazine did call State of Terror "a political thriller full of action and intrigue" and added, "Clinton and Penny create a heart-pounding mystery about terrorism, corruption and diplomacy, meticulously written with the promise of details only someone on the inside could contribute."