Successful marketing can make all the difference. That is certainly true for We are holding the President hostage by Warren Adler. Although published in 1986, I just heard about it this year and so did other people reviewing it on Goodreads. The audiobook was released fairly recently, which created new buzz.
As the title isn’t subtle, the plot itself is giveaway. However, it is well-down and intriguing nonetheless, especially considering this book was written in 1986. In the novel, Egyptians are taking American hostages and the Americans don’t want to negotiate with terrorists. A pretty basic plot but the twist comes when the hostagetaking goes wrong and the mother and the sun are grabbed instead. The main issue with this is that they’re part of a mob boss’ family. In order to get his daughter and grandson back, the padre takes the President of theUnited States hostage during a state dinner. From there, it becomes a cat and mouse game of force versus politics.
At the White House, the main question is whether or not the president is compromised. The NSA director soon joins the hostage party, along with his state of the art computer, and helps the president achieve his goals while staying in power. The political savvy of this book is interesting since the Vice President is an outsider that was just put on the ticket for the win. He believes that he must take over power in order to deal with the situation levelheadedly but the rest of the President’s cabinet does not believe in him. Among all the action, the political intrigue is fascinating. Everyone wants to affect the outcome and pulls different strings to do so.
The story itself takes place in the White House and with the kidnapped daughter and her son hostages in the Middle East. Other than their poor living conditions, there is it really description about how or if they are mistreated further. It’s clear that their main purpose is bargaining chip. Nowadays with all the detailed violence portrayed in various media, it’s nice that it’s not the focus in this book. The point is how, or even can, the President free the kidnapped hostages in the Middle East without being killed or ousted himself. Is it possible for him to remain President and in control?
Alder’s writing is simple and action-driven, making it a very quick read. It reminds be of a Vince Flynn or Dan Brown novel but with much more political intrigue. That was the part that I enjoyed the most–different characters motivations and the justification of how to achieve what they believed to be the correct course of action.
Recommended?: Yes, for anyone who enjoys a politically savvy, action novel that’s a very quick read. Well there’s not much depth, it is fun and not exactly the plot you might expect. Also, I’m sure it’d be a great audiobook.