"The game is afoot for Joe and Barry. This is fun, escapist fiction with enough details...to stay grounded in a kind of reality."—Booklist
"Once again, Shaffer convincingly portrays his unusual leads as action heroes."—Publishers Weekly
Praise for Hope Never Dies:
An Official Summer Read of Publishers Weekly and The Interrobang
A 2018 Goodreads Choice Award Finalist
“[Hope Never Dies is] a roughly 300-page work of political fanfiction, an escapist fantasy that will likely appeal to liberals pining for the previous administration, longing for the Obama-Biden team to emerge from political retirement as action heroes. But it’s also at times a surprisingly earnest story about estranged friends who are reunited under strange circumstances.”—Alexandra Alter, New York Times
“It’s a giddy premise, a bit of Resistance wish-fulfillment for those who’d like to see Biden and Obama trading one-liners and cracking skulls.”—New Yorker
“While readers are sure to get a kick out of the codenames and inside jokes used playfully throughout, Hope Never Dies is an intriguing saga that doesn’t sacrifice momentum for winks and nods.”—Entertainment Weekly
“It’s easy to imagine that if these fist-bumping brothers were ever to become a modern Sherlock and Watson, the world might be a better, more interesting place.”—USA Today, ★★★ out of four
“Obama and Biden are the ultimate crime-fighting team in Hope Never Dies.”—Washington Post
“An ambitious and completely successful novel.”—Booklist
“Deeply weird and very funny.”—The Wall Street Journal
“Step aside Holmes and Watson; back off Poirot and Hastings. A new pair of amateur sleuths are hitting town this month: Barack Obama and Joe Biden.”—The Guardian (UK)
“Shaffer has sublimated liberal grief, nostalgia, and fantasy into a sort of allegorical potboiler.”—Slate
“A novel nostalgic for a feel-good moment in US politics—one that now seems far in the past.”—Quartz
Joe Biden's bid for the presidency is put on hold when a St. Patrick's Day stopover to visit his old pal Barack Obama in Chicago turns into a mashup of crime, corruption, free-wheeling adventure, wisecracks, and sententiousness.
Some people have no respect, fumes Biden as he tosses aside Murder on the Amtrak Express, the roman à clef starring him, which sounds an awful lot like Shaffer's Hope Never Dies (2018). Who could possibly imagine that the eminent former vice president of the United States could get involved in such shenanigans? But hours later, Biden, who's come to the ex-president's hometown so that Obama can introduce him to Caruso, an activist rapper who could go a long way toward shoring up Biden's electoral appeal to African Americans, is hip-deep in another dose of the same. After Obama's Blackberry goes missing, Biden recalls that Shaun Denton, a teenager who's risen above a tough childhood to become a member of Michelle Obama's Rising Stars program, had the perfect chance to swipe it. Not wanting to alarm his old running mate, Biden follows Shaun by himself until the trail ends on the city's South Side, where someone's shot Shaun twice. The kid isn't dead, but he's comatose, at high risk of infection, and unlikely to offer any useful information about who shot him even if he survives. So Biden and Obama join forces once more to track down the shooter, recover that errant Blackberry, and figure out just how far they can trust Mayor Rahm Emanuel and whether Red Door, the charity run by Obama's friend pastor Jenkins Brown, is really on the level, all the while avoiding kidnappers (not entirely successfully) and locals quaffing green beer. This time around, Biden is less humorous than before, moralizing and generalizing as if he were honing lines for his stump speech at the end of every chapter.
Just as silly as it sounds.