Hope Never Dies is the feel-good mystery you never knew you needed, a tonic in this trying times. The story is narrated by Joe Biden, our former Vice-President whose friend Finn, an Amtrak conductor Biden has known for years is run over by a train. The police think Finn fell asleep while on drugs or alcohol or he committed suicide. Biden cannot imagine the Finn he knew doing either. Also, he had a Google map print out to Biden’s house, making the Secret Service wonder if something more sinister may be afoot. Obama comes by with the news, the warning, and things take off from there.
Joe asks a cop he knows for information, goes to Finn’s funeral, and visits Finn’s widow in the nursing home. He gets mixed messages about whether Finn might be a drug dealer or simply depressed, but a few odd details spur Biden’s curiosity and he and Obama start sleuthing .It’s all quite hilarious, particularly Obama who is an endless font of information particularly on the environment. For example, on the first night when Obama goes to Biden’s house to let him know about Finn, he also points out that Joe should replace his burned-out lightbulb with a longer-lasting, more energy efficient one.
I loved this mystery. Biden and Obama’s bromance was endearing for all who admired the men. The Obama-Biden memes have been a much-needed comic relief for people since the election. They became good friends and it shows. In fact, the only false note in the story was Biden’s jealous concern that he might not be Obama’s best friend any longer. I can’t see Biden holding a grudge. This Obama-Biden partnership is a bit of a caricature, but that is essential to the humor. Obama interrupting their investigation to explain climate change to a cashier is just all kinds of perfect.
So, when I saw the cover for this in a promotional email some months back, I put it on my list of must-read books. I loved the cover and looked forward to the book. I am happy it lived up to expectations with lots of humor, a fair mystery that is not overly-complicated, but also not too obvious, and lots of hope, mostly hope.