“The night this all started, I was in a black Irish mood. And that was before I learned my friend was dead.” Joe Biden – the fictional character.
I bought this book over a year a go on a whim. I figured someday it might be of value because of who the protagonist was. This is a fictional novel that uses living people within the story – mainly Joe Biden and Barack Obama. I really thought it would be something that would make my grandkids scratch their heads when they found it in my stash of books. I also didn’t expect it to be so good.
As I said, I bought this book over a year ago and it sat in my to be read pile, thinking it may never actually be read. Well since the election and now former Vice President Biden will be our next President, I thought it might be time to check it our. I am glad I did.
This was a very well written story that pulled me in from the beginning and kept me reading until 2:30 AM to find out how it would end. It isn’t really a cozy mystery but it also isn’t very graphic as far as the violence. It is a murder mystery so you have to expect a murder or two.
Joe Biden is known for having spent a great deal of time riding the Amtrak train to work when he was a Senator. Supposedly in this book, he became friends with some of the people who worked on the trains. This book begins with the death of an Amtrak conductor, Finn.
When the story begins, Joe is puttering around the house with Jill feeling neglected by Obama who seems to have gone on with his life doing all kinds of exciting things with other people. Joe is feeling neglected by his best friend but won’t admit it.
As the story opens, Biden hears a noise outside and grabs a weapon to investigate from his 7000 square foot lake home that sits on four acres in Delaware. He heads to the woods along his lot line and runs into Obama and his secret service men. Obama came to warn him that his friend the conductor has been found dead on a train track with a map to Biden’s house on him. The way he died seems a little odd and Joe doesn’t believe there is any way it could be a suicide so the two decide to investigate. Obama is concerned because Biden no longer has personal security. Apparently secret service is only given for the first six months after the Vice President leaves office. This kind of information made this book that much more interesting. Biden hadn’t felt the need to get private security and now Obama shows up to warn him that he may be in danger.
The story flows smoothly with the two as super sleuths getting involved in drug deals, cheap motels, and dark people. The author weaves a believable story that had a satisfying ending. In a way they felt like modern day Sherlock Holmes and Watson but way more cool.
The other thing I truly enjoyed was Biden’s voice. I felt like I could truly hear both Biden and Obama speaking as I read their character’s lines. Joe’s voice especially made me chuckle, frequently. Biden uses phrases like , “Cool your jets”, “Malarkey”, and “Hill of beans”, which really helped me visualize his character.
I did question whether to review this book, at first, because I didn’t want to get political but I took the time to read it and decided it was well worth my review. If you happen to be someone who might be offended, I do apologize but I am looking at this as the review of a mystery novel, period.
I would recommend this book to anyone who loves reading mysteries. I did pick up the sequel and will be reading that one sooner rather than later.
The is the last of my November reads to review. I hope you hang in for my December reads.
Andrew Shaffer is the New York Times best-selling author of Fifty Shames of Earl Grey and other malarkey. He lives in Lexington, Kentucky.