55 pages 1 hour read

Hillary Rodham Clinton, Louise Penny

State of Terror

Fiction | Novel | Adult | Published in 2021

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Chapters 1-10Chapter Summaries & Analyses

Chapter 1 Summary

Ellen Adams is the recently appointed United States secretary of state. After a long trip abroad, she returns to Washington, D.C., behind schedule. She has no time to prepare herself for a speech at the Capitol, which will be delivered by President Douglas Williams. After four years of “near criminal incompetence” (8) in the former administration, she was invited to accept the position of secretary of state by President Williams, her former political rival. Now, she hopes to rebuild the diplomatic bridges which were destroyed by the previous President. However, after a month in her position, she is fearful, doubtful, and exhausted.

Her plane lands, and she travels to her office. She is accompanied by Charles Boynton, her Chief of Staff, and Betsy Jameson, her friend and counselor. There is a tension between Boynton and Jameson and between Ellen and President Williams. Ellen’s appointment was shocking because she had used her former position as the head of a media conglomerate to support the president’s opponent for the party nomination. When Ellen accepted her position as secretary of state, she gave her daughter Katherine control of her company.

Ellen skips her preparation and heads to the Capitol.

In Kahuta, Pakistan, a man named Amir Bukhari hurriedly gestures to his wife, Nasrin.

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