State of Terror

Hillary Rodham Clinton & Louise Penny

Quick Synopsis

State of Terror is a smart, action-packed political thriller that chronicles a novice Secretary of State’s response to a series of terrorist attacks.

Publisher’s Synopsis

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.

Book Review

I discovered Louise Penny about a year ago and have been a fan of hers ever since. When I heard she was writing a book with Hillary Rodham Clinton (HRC), I was intrigued albeit hesitant. I was not sure what to think about Penny & HRC coauthoring a book, but it turns out that they are friends and this book is 🔥.

State of Terror is an edge-of-your-seat, action-packed political thriller that follows the new Secretary of State as she tries to stop a terrorist plot. It is a story that kept me up much too late and still has me thinking.

State of Terror is a deviation from Penny’s cozy mysteries set in Three Pines, Québec, although fans will be happy to hear that Armand, Myrna, & Three Pines make an appearance in this book. I am still debating if it would have been better that they had not featured in. It seemed like a bit of a forced and unnecessary tie-in for Penny fans. Then again, I cannot help but smile at the mention of these characters.

State of Terror is definitely different from the Louise Penny writing I am use to. The writing and flow was more stilted, but it worked for the tone and pace of this book. I found the pages easy to breeze through, and Penny’s quirky references to still be present.

State Of Terror is bursting with plot. It is filled with twists and turns you will not see coming. I will note that the plot is complex and multifaceted – you know, like foreign policy. So if you are looking for something straightforward, this is not it.

There was one error that was glaring – saying something was occurring in February, not March – that briefly confused me. This was honestly just an unfortunate typo that has the ability to cause issues while reading for someone who does not catch it. So this is your heads up.

I enjoyed all the callbacks to recent and current events in the storyline. State of Terror definitely blurs fact and fiction. I am still left wondering what parts were purely fictional verses loosely based upon reality all while hoping that little is true. (The great conundrum of art imitating life imitating art.)

Overall, I loved Stater of Terror. It was engrossing and gave me a glimpse at the world of U.S. foreign policy. I am hoping HRC and Penny write a sequel. This will be one of my top books this year, and I highly recommend it if you are looking for a truly thrilling read that you will not be able to put down. But if you hate HRC and love the previous president, this book is not going to be for you. You will find a character that is essentially Trump by a different name and who is highly criticized (as he should be).


Overall Rating

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.


Rating: 4 out of 5.


Rating: 5 out of 5.

Character Development

Rating: 4 out of 5.

State of Terror


Mysteries & Thrillers

Publication Date
October 12, 2021

Page Count

Storygraph Rating
4.09 stars

Goodreads Rating
4.27 stars

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