State of Terror follows a novice Secretary of State who has joined 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, 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.
This high-stakes thriller of international intrigue features behind-the-scenes global drama informed by details only an insider could know.
This collaboration between the person who lived through it all in the political world, victories, defeats, elations and disappointments and a person who has lived in the world of celebrated writers, this collaboration works wonderfully.
The plot is based on the United States of today, its turmoil, its upheavals, its political polarization and its social division. Hillary’s hand is clearly shown as the book talks about all the tension and disruption the United States is going through. The background to the book’s plot is founded on the reality of the US world today with the social polarization many issues: same sex marriage, acceptability of gays and gender-questioning factions, abortion, gun laws, violence, crime. Everything Americans are experiencing is woven into the plot. This alone makes the book feel authentic and credible.
Louise Penny’s writing style has been polished and refined. No more rural Quebec’s slow social pace, confusion of characters and snail’s paced development of the story. Penny has clearly elevated her literary game making the book far more engaging than anything she has written before. This story has tension. Excitement, Fear, Anxiety. She brings it all to the front of her writing game.
Possible a minor criticism: Westerners may find Middle Eastern names hard to track and keep linear. Penny could consider a list of characters in her next book a la Alka Joshi. It could be helpful to readers.
Without reservation, a very enjoyable book that engages the reader from the first page to the last. Well written, realistic, polished, and feeling very authentic throughout.