- Hardcover: 416 pages
- Publisher: Grand Central Publishing; 1st edition (April 22, 2008)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0446507989
- ISBN-13: 978-0446195973
- ASIN: 0446195979
- Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1.2 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 1,058 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #65,767 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Whole Truth Hardcover – April 22, 2008
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From Publishers Weekly
Usually a sophisticated plotter, bestseller Baldacci (Absolute Power) offers a story line and villain on a par with an average James Bond film in what's billed as his first international thriller. Nicholas Creel, the head of the Ares Corporation, a huge defense contractor, hires a perception management firm to start a second cold war by planting fake news stories on the Internet about Russian atrocities. The propaganda campaign soon turns violent with the massacre of the members of a London think tank, the Phoenix Group, apparently by a Russian hit team. Creel hopes that the Phoenix Group's links with the Chinese government will lead to war between Russia and China as well as feed a worldwide arms race that will profit his company. A shadowy operative, A Shaw, whose fiancée perished in the London attack, allies himself with a disgraced female journalist in an effort to thwart Creel's evil plot. While some readers may find it a stretch that a resurgent Russia should so easily overshadow all other world crises, Baldacci in an author's note makes an eloquent case for the very real threat of perception management. (Apr. 22)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Baldacci masterfully plays on the American paranoia in the wake of the War on Terror in this bizarre international thriller. “Remember Constantin” is the battle cry du jour across America after a frightening piece of video makes the rounds on the Internet. In it, Constantin, a young Russian, claims that the release of the video means he has been executed by the Russian Federation. The fear of a return to the cold war is so palpable that nations across the globe are preparing for the worst. But is it a hoax? Nicolas Creel, the Machiavellian head of the largest defense contractor in the U.S., and his buddy Dick Pender, the image-maker (think evil, cartoonish versions of Cheney and Rove, respectively), are hell bent on keeping the terror levels high so that they become the ultimate go-to guys. But Shaw—that’s it, our hero’s name’s just Shaw—has other plans and risks his life and limb in order to keep the peace. Shaw answers to a secret global intelligence agency, and though he’s not too keen on their tactics, either, he’s determined to stay with the good guys, however negligible the distinction may be. Meanwhile journalist Katie James is after the “whole truth” behind this twisted version of king of the hill. Baldacci’s ability to make international intrigue light and readable is uncanny. It hovers on the verge of superhero nonsense, but the dialogue snaps forth on cue, the plot never slows, and the ending packs a genuine punch. Read-alikes? Tom Clancy, of course. --Mary Frances Wilkens
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On the level of entertainment, this book is top notch. The characters are diverse and interesting. The leading protagonists are appealing, though a bit stereotypical: the "good guys" to be supermen and extremely lucky while the "bad guys" are greedy, power-hungry, and terribly warped genius-types who have a fatal flaw. Baldacci blurs these stereotypes with serious calamities and character flaws for the heroes and significant victories plus a degree of sincerity for the villains. The plot is developed with plausible logic and plenty of surprises. The balance among setting, characterization, and events is excellent.
An additional plus is that Baldacci has used good judgement in relegating gore, profanity, and sex to background factors that do not interfere with the telling of the story.
I'd rate it 4 and 1/2 stars. Highly recommended to those who enjoy large-scale conspiracy thrillers.
A Baldacci Fan
Since then I've developed many favorite authors similar to this style of writing. If you're like me and love espionage thrillers and spy type books and "kneecap busting" reads then this book will appeal to you. The character A. Shaw is a real interesting and badass dude, similar in nature to the likes of Jack Reacher, Mitch Rapp, and Scott Harvath. The book has a real interesting plot and plenty of action and intrigue. I'll definitely be looking for the next A. Shaw story.