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Hope Never Dies - Andrew Shaffer

Several months ago, I was in a local independent bookstore, where I found this novel on a solid wooden table filled with other mystery novels. The cover drew my immediate attention. (Jeremy Enecio the front cover artist - so acknowledged by the author in the Acknowledgements section of "HOPE NEVER DIES" - did a fantastic job of capturing the likeness of ex-President Barack Obama and Joe Biden.) I read the summary and promptly bought the novel.

"HOPE NEVER DIES" shows both Obama and Biden in Wilmington, Delaware several months into the year 2017. Biden is troubled by the death of a old friend, an Amtrak conductor, in a mysterious railway accident. He and Obama take on the role of amateur sleuths to uncover what the real deal is. Along the way there are some light, entertaining moments in the novel that highlight the special friendship ('bromance') both men had during their 8 years in the White House.

This is only the second novel I've read which featured living historical figures. (The other novel was 'The Golden Age' in which the author Gore Vidal inserted himself as a character.) If not handled right, this inclusion of real, living, public figures can go horribly wrong and come across as grossly inauthentic. Not here. Andrew Shaffer has done a masterful job of crafting a novel featuring ex-President Obama, Biden, and a variety of characters who made "HOPE NEVER DIES" one of the best novels it has been my pleasure to read this year.