Matthew Keating, a one-time Navy SEAL--and a past president--has always defended his family as staunchly as he has his country. Now those defenses are under attack. A madman abducts Keating's teenage daughter, Melanie, turning every parent's deepest fear into a matter of national security.
It is a straight-forward action adventure that would have made for a tight little 300-page thriller, and I can’t help but wonder if the super-sized story is a side product of having two authors ... That lack of tension is a problem, but the plot rattles along entertainingly enough and the introduction of a minor character - a Chinese spy playing both sides against each other - brings a few complications to a story that is otherwise just a little too straightforward ... Bizarrely, given Clinton’s input, there is precious little politics in the book - and what there is never really rises above the cliché of the Washington insider playing political games with life or death decisions in the White House ... Cynics would say Patterson has only taken on the former President to boost his sales, but given he can happily shift millions of books on his own I’m not sure he needs him. Maybe he should dump his running mate and get back to working solo?
... offers tantalizing clues into the unconscious of Clinton ... Written in the breathless present tense, with typical Pattersonian staccato exposition expressed in short paragraph bursts ... Let us stipulate that we are not reading this book to gain valuable insights into the inner workings of United States foreign policy. No, we are reading for as many references to military hardware as possible, a formidable alphanumeric arsenal ... The terrorists seem hired from central casting, as does Jiang Lijun, a Chinese spy whose job is to represent Bond-movie stereotypes about inscrutability and arrogance ... silly but highly entertaining.
... isn’t as accomplished as the 2018 bestseller from Bill Clinton and James Patterson, The President is Missing, but faithful Patterson fans should enjoy it ... The plot is all action, with a lot of coincidences and less-than-satisfying character development. Matt Keating is a cliche good guy, more believable as a Navy SEAL than a political animal who made it to the White House. Not much time is spent fleshing out Samantha Keating but Mel Keating is nicely developed, evolving from a prickly teen into a resourceful young woman who remembers and employs some of the things she learned from her father ... a tightly paced, sometimes brutal and rather routine thriller. The book is out on whether or not Patterson and Clinton will team up for a third novel and, if so, whether they will revisit either of their first two American presidents or create a new one.