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The Whole Truth (A. Shaw Book 1) by [Baldacci, David]
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The Whole Truth (A. Shaw Book 1) Kindle Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 818 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

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.

From Booklist

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

Product Details

  • File Size: 1640 KB
  • Print Length: 428 pages
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing; 1st edition (April 22, 2008)
  • Publication Date: April 22, 2008
  • Sold by: Hachette Book Group
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0011UCPM4
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,797 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Cynthia K. Robertson TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on May 15, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I was reluctant to purchase David Baldacci's The Whole Truth as some of his most recent books have been lacking in quality. Fortunately, this latest book reminds me of his earlier and better works.

Nicholas Creel owns a defense contracting business called Ares. In an effort to bolster sales, he hires Dick Pender whose specialty is perception management. Perception managers fabricate facts and then pass them off to the public as truth. "Why waste time trying to discover the truth, when you can so easily create it?" Pender hatches a scheme to create an international incident that will result in a number of superpowers on the verge of war. These countries will then increase their defense spending and order weapons and equipment from Ares.

Part of the scheme is called "The Red Menace." Pender and staff are planting false stories about the Russians in the news and over the internet. Several people suspect that these stories are false, including journalist Kate James, consultant Anna Fischer and operative A. Shaw. In usual thriller fashion, the closer they get to the truth, the more dangerous their lives become. How The Whole Truth unfolds will have you turning pages at breakneck speed.

Baldacci is good in that he incorporates many present day current events to make The Whole Truth very realistic. While almost all thrillers have an element of disbelief, you can actually imagine many of these situations taking place.

I am happy that Baldacci took a break from his Camel Club series and has given us something totally new. The Whole Truth is the kind of book that I have come to expect from Baldacci. Overall, I'd rate it four and a half stars.
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Format: Hardcover
Dick Pender, a former employee in the White House press office, is an expert in perception management. His motto is: "Why waste time trying to discover the truth, when you can so easily create it?" In David Baldacci's "The Whole Truth," some very influential people pay Pender big bucks to bury inconvenient secrets and manipulate public opinion, using cleverly crafted lies packaged for maximum media impact. Pender's most important client is Machiavellian billionaire Nicholas Creel, the head of a defense conglomerate called the Ares Corporation. Creel, who believes that "a peace based on lurking terror was the best kind of all," hires Pender to manufacture an artificial conflict that would generate a stepped-up arms race among the world's superpowers.

Baldacci's hero is Shaw, a globetrotting troubleshooter for a shadowy international law-enforcement organization, "sort of like Interpol on steroids." He is a strong and physically imposing man whose knowledge of surveillance, hand-to-hand combat, and weaponry makes him a highly valuable asset. His acting ability, uncanny intuition, courage, and coolness under pressure have helped him prevail in a number of dangerous situations. On any given day, Shaw's quarry might include ruthless drug dealers, bloodthirsty terrorists, or vicious neo-Nazis. Although Shaw dreams of retiring and living a sedate life with his beautiful and brilliant girlfriend, German-born Anna Fischer, his boss has him in a stranglehold from which he cannot easily break free.

Complicating matters is Katie James, an award-winning investigative journalist. As a result of a traumatic experience in Afghanistan, she became an alcoholic who has been relegated to writing obituaries.
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Format: Hardcover
If you were a fan of Robert Ludlum, the late, great espionage writer, there's reason to cheer. Even though the Cold War days are over, there are still a bevy of bad guys out there - and this time they don't have turbans on their heads.

David Baldacci's "The Whole Truth" will make you sit back and take a long look at who's really running the show and who's reporting the news these days.

Gazllionaire Nicholas Creel (even his name sounds smarmy), the world's largest defense contractor, doesn't like the way things are going. Russia's been too quiet and China's not currently mad at anyone. He pays a "perception management" team to stir the pot, with violent and fatal results.

In the middle of the action is Katie James, a journalist whose dependency on alcohol has landed her at the obit desk of her newspaper. After covering the funeral of a Scottish hero, James lands in the middle of what she thinks is an international drug smuggling ring. A chance encounter with Shaw (no first name) pulls James into the biggest story of her life, if she can live to tell the tale.

While you'll need to suspend your attachment to reality and there are times the writing goes stale, with "The Whole Truth," Baldacci has established himself as a big man on campus when it comes to political terrorism.
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Format: Hardcover
New Old Direction for David Baldacci!
Not quite 5 stars.
It appears Mr. Baldacci has returned to his original suspense "thriller" roots; and it came none too soon as I was growing weary with his new "less-than-gratifying" direction in his last 4 novels. Welcome back Mr. Baldacci.
The Whole Truth is an excellent thriller and appears to lay the groundwork for future novels involving a man simply known only as Shaw, Katie an alcoholic journalist, and Frank a tough quasi-cop. Terrific chemistry between the three strong characters. Like Lee Child's Jack Reacher, Shaw is basically a loner who is more than able to take care of himself regardless of the situation he finds himself in. Katie is a former 2 time Pulitzer winning journalist whose life is a mess. Frank is the supervisor of a covert, Interpol type police force that Shaw is "forced" to work for. The 3 form the nucleus of a crime fighting team that is second to none, and promises future thrilling Baldacci adventures.
The Whole Truth centers on the manipulation of "The" truth as a form of "perception management". In other words, truth is perception and perception is truth. It is the manipulation of perception that makes things appear to be true when in fact they are not. In The Whole Truth the world's largest defense contractor, Nicolas Creel, attempts to re-establish the cold war through perception management manipulation in order to make billions in new defense contracts from the deceived world super powers. He is almost successful except for the actions of Shaw, Katie, and Frank.
Excellent mystery thriller, good believable fast-paced action, and wonderfully crafted character interaction. Overall simply an excellent story.
Character development was superb. It appears Mr.
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