State of Terror, scheduled for October, is a collaboration between Clinton and Louise Penny

By Virginia Chamlee
February 23, 2021 12:27 PM
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Hillary Clinton
| Credit: Cindy Ord/WireImage

Real life may actually not be as strange as fiction after all — at least when it comes to Hillary Clinton.

The former secretary of state and presidential contender will publish a political thriller, State of Terror, that will follow "a novice Secretary of State [who] joins the administration of her rival, a president inaugurated after four years of American leadership that shrank from the world stage," according to a synopsis of the book provided by the publisher.

If that sounds familiar, it's because the summary has some echoes with Clinton's own life and career ... along with some dramatic twists.

From the synopsis: "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, a scheme carefully designed to take advantage of an American government dangerously out of touch and out of power in the places where it counts the most."

According to an announcement from publishers Simon & Schuster and St. Martin's Press, the novel is a collaboration "by two long-time friends and thriller aficionados:" the former secretary of state and author Louise Penny.

State of Terror is due to be published on Oct. 12. 

While the book is fictional, it draws from Clinton's history working for the White House. The former presidential contender became secretary of state under Barack Obama, whom she ran against in the 2008 presidential race.

Though they had political differences, Clinton has said she will "forever be grateful" for the president who came before her tenure at the State department, George W. Bush.

Clinton opened up about Bush in a 2020 Hulu documentary, saying, "For all of my disagreements with President Bush, I will forever be grateful to him for guaranteeing we got the money we needed to rebuild New York."

Clinton ran for president again in 2016, when she became the first woman to be nominated for the role of commander-in-chief by a major political party. She ultimately lost to Donald Trump, though she remained a vocal critic of the Republican throughout his four-year term.

State of Terror is a described by the publishers as featuring "behind-the-scenes global drama informed by details only an insider could know."

"When it was suggested my friend Hillary and I write a political thriller together, I could not say yes fast enough," Penny said in a release announcing the book. "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.  Before we started, we talked about her time as Secretary of State. What was her worst nightmare? State of Terror is the answer."

In the announcement, Clinton said writing the book was a "dream come true," particularly because she did it alongside Penny.

"I've relished every one of her books and their characters as well as her friendship," Clinton said. "Now we're joining our experiences to explore the complex world of high stakes diplomacy and treachery. All is not as it first appears."

Clinton has previously authored seven books, all published by Simon & Schuster. Penney, a former radio journalist, has penned more than a dozen mystery books, including the best-selling Chief Inspector Armand Gamache series.