Hope Never Dies

Hope Never Dies reunites “Uncle Joe” Biden and President Barack Obama in a most unlikely way…working together to solve a suspicious death. Mysterious and funny, this odd duo gives us a welcomed political distraction.

Synopsis:

After leaving the White House, Vice President Joe Biden finds himself moping around and feeling jealous that President Barack Obama is having fun without him. But when his favorite local Amtrak conductor is found dead, Joe decides to follow the suspicious clues. Not knowing where else to turn, Joe teams up with his old pal, Barack. Together they comb through the clues and talk to leads in some gritty and dangerous places. Will they find what they’re looking for?

There are certain things worth getting mad about. Injustice is one of them.
The greatest sins on this earth are committed by people of standing and means who abuse their power.

— Andrew Shaffer

Review:

The storyline of Hope Never Dies feels believable enough (despite it being Biden/Obama as the citizen detectives), and there’s some great information about the opioid epidemic, Amtrak, and Mr. Biden himself. But what brought my opinion down is the attitude. Joe Biden is depicted as overly moody, dramatic, and often times annoying. He dwells and grumps, and I felt like it was laid on a bit too thick.

The writing was a bit lacking in descriptives and sometimes the sentences and pace felt choppy. Maybe it’s just the no-nonsense style of writing a murder mystery, but I didn’t love it. Here’s an example:

The problems ran deep in the entire country. I might have been Irish, but I wasn’t stupid. I told him I was done playing amateur sleuth. I’d leave the detective work up to the real detectives from now on.

— Andrew Shaffer

Obama is probably only in half of the pages, and is given his standard cool aloof charm, but it’s not exactly the laugh out loud bromance I was hoping for between the two men. And I definitely wouldn’t categorize it in the Humor genre.

There’s a nice little twist at the end, the loose ends tie up nicely, and there’s definitely a few chuckles throughout (political quips and cheeky banter). I’m still planning on reading the followup novel, Hope Rides Again, and perhaps Joe won’t be so pouty and we can get on with the lighthearted brotherly love that I know we all came here for.

(Also check out the review for the next book in this series, Hope Rides Again!)

Hope Never Dies (Obama Biden Mysteries #1)
by Andrew Shaffer
Paperback, 304 pages
Published July 10th 2018 by Quirk Books

Summary

Hope Never Dies reunites "Uncle Joe" Biden and President Barack Obama in a most unlikely way...working together to solve a suspicious death. This odd duo gives us a welcomed political distraction. There's definitely a few chuckles throughout (political quips and cheeky banter), but this one fell a little short for me in the hilarious bromance category.

— Cassie
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