Andrew Shaffer- Hope Never Dies: An Obama/Biden Mystery

Seemed a good time to re-post my review of this one….

He’s an honest man in a city of thieves. He has no patience for guff, foolishness, or malarkey. He is United States Vice President Joe Biden. And when his favourite railroad conductor dies in a suspicious accident leaving behind an ailing wife and a trail of clues Amtrak Joe unwittingly finds himself in the role of a private investigator. To crack the case (and uncover a drug-smuggling ring hiding in plain sight), he’ll team up with the only man he’s ever fully trusted the 44th president of the United States, Barack Obama. Together they’ll plumb the darkest corners of Wilmington, Delaware, where enemies lurk around every corner. And if they’re not careful, the blood on the tracks may be their own…

I mean this in the most positive and affectionate way, but this is book is UTTERLY BIZARRE but an absolute hoot too. Move over Batman and Robin, there’s a new crime fighting duo in town.

Yes, there is a whole whiff of the implausible about the investigation that the whip smart combo of Biden and Obama become wrapped up in, but that’s not really an issue. The absolute joy of the book is the ingenious hooking up of this completely original and left of field crime fighting partnership. The steady, obviously ageing, slightly resentful Biden, is a joy, with his penchant for ice cream, a quiet and sedentary life, his daily mission to not upset his wife, and his desperate need to build his bond/rekindle the bromance again with his former boss. Obama is this wonderfully sneaky, cool as a cucumber, cat burglar type figure, seeming to lead Biden into all sorts of trouble, but how far is Biden actually controlling this investigation, seeking the truth behind a friend’s mysterious death?

I found it an utter joy to see Biden go from mild mannered ex-politician to slightly unsteady avenging angel, and loved the kickabout humour, and at times sheer silliness of the whole affair. I’m sure American readers will pick up on references to the Obama/Biden administration that may have passed me by, but I loved the subtle digs at the unnamed Tweeter-In-Chief, and other satirical sideswipes. Entertaining, laugh out loud funny, and a genuinely enjoyable read with a partnership as great in fiction as they were in the White House. Oh for those days…

( I bought this copy of Hope Never Dies)

Check out the sequel too:

Following a successful but exhausting book tour, Joe Biden is looking forward to returning home. However, before he does, he’s got one last stop to make: Chicago, where the Obama Foundation is holding its first annual global economics forum. Barack Obama has invited Joe to meet a wealthy left-leaning philanthropist, whose deep pockets Joe will need if he decides to run for president. Joe isn’t even sure if wants to run but he s not going to pass up a rare chance to reconnect with his one-time governing mate. Joe and Obama barely have time to catch up before another mystery lands in their laps: Obama’s prized Blackberry is stolen. When the suspect turns up comatose from a gunshot wound, local police are content with writing it off as just another gangland shooting. But Joe and Obama smell a rat. In a race to find the shooter, Joe and Obama butt heads with their former compadre, Mayor Rahm Emanuel; follow a trail of clues through Chicago’s South Side; go undercover inside a Prohibition-era speakeasy; and scale the Tribune Tower in a Die Hard-worthy final set-piece. 

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