Matt, I need a war."
Richard Jansen is a man on a mission. He heads up the world's largest defense contractor, the Ares Corporation. He's retained two men, Matt Pender and Saul Bergman out of London to "perception manage" his company to even more riches by manipulating world conflicts. Shaw (no first name), a man with a truly unique past, travels the world reluctantly doing the bidding of a secret multi-national intelligence agency in order to keep the world safe--and at peace.
Katie James, a journalist who will do anything to get back to the top of her profession, has just received a mysterious offer to interview the sole survivor of a recent massacre. In this terrifying thriller with a global backdrop, these characters' lives will collide head-on as a series of events is set in motion that could change the world as we know it.
An utterly spellbinding story that feels all-too-real, THE WHOLE TRUTH delivers all the twists and turns, emotional drama, unforgettable characters, and can't-put-it-down pacing that Baldacci fans expect--and still goes beyond anything he's written before.
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 fiancee 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 2008 Reed Business Information. -- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.
Showing 1-5 of the 5 most recent reviews
1 . Interesting read
Posted July 30, 2010 by Joe H , PhiladelphiaI've read reviews that this book contains "unrealistic characters" and unbelieveable story lines...you do get that it IS fiction, right?
Regardless, I felt this story was very interesting to read as my first book of Baldacci's and having just come off "The Girl..." trilogy by Stieg Larsson. I like a book that can take me to an action-packed fantasy with characters I can believe in and I felt that this book delivered.
2 . awful
Posted February 25, 2010 by jean , new jerseylove every other book I have read by him, but couldn't finish this book. Terrible and very boaring
3 . Almost great
Posted January 23, 2009 by Doug Black , RaleighThis is one of those books that is a whisker away from excellence, but the characters are a bit cartoonish, some elements of the plot are (when two women are colliding with one man, one has to......) a bit predictable.............but the insights as to how the world can be manipulated is well done. Baldacci could now be the next Michael Crichton , instructive and entertaining.
Not his best ( see Stone Cold), but damned good.
Posted July 07, 2008 by victoria , AtlantaI have read several of David Baldacci's books and I have enjoyed all of them. The Whole Truth is my new favorite! You will not be disappointed! I could not put it down! The characters are well developed and I would love to see them in another novel.
5 . The Whole Truth
Posted June 01, 2008 by weavm2001 , Phoenix, AZI am a Baldacci fan but this book is almost unreadable. Unbelievable story line is complemented with unrealistic characters/character actions. This is the first time I have been disappointed with one of his books, and I only hope his next effort his worth mine.
Grand Central Publishing
April 21, 2008
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Excerpt from The Whole Truth by David Baldacci
AT PRECISELY ZERO HOURS UT, or midnight Universal Time, the image of the tortured man erupted onto the world's most popular Web site.
The first six words he spoke would be remembered forever by everyone who heard them.
"I am dead. I was murdered."
He was speaking Russian on the screen but at the bottom his tragic story was retold in virtually any language one desired with the press of a key. Secret Russian Federation police had beaten "confessions" of treason out of him and his family. He'd managed to escape and make this crude video.
Whoever held the camera had either been scared to death, drunk, or both, for the grainy film vibrated and shook every few seconds.
The man said if the video had been released that meant he'd been recaptured by government thugs and was already dead.
His crime? Simply wanting freedom.
"There are tens of thousands just like me," he told the world. "Their bones lie heavy on the frozen tundra of Siberia and in the deep waters of Lake Balkhash in Kazakhstan. You will see evidence of this soon. There are others who will take up the fight now that I am gone."
He warned that while the world had focused on the Osama bin Ladens of the world for so long, the old evil, with a destructive force a million times greater than the combined Islamic renegades, was clearly back, and deadlier than ever.
"It is time the world knew the whole truth," he shouted at the camera, then broke down in tears.
"My name is Konstantin. My name was Konstantin," he corrected. "It is too late for me and my family. We are all dead now. My wife, my three children, all gone. Do not forget me, and why I died. Do not let my family perish in vain."
As the man's image and voice faded from view, a mushroom cloud lit up the screen, and superimposed on the bottom of this horrifying visual was the ominous tagline: First the Russian people, then the rest of the world. Can we afford to wait?
The production values were rudimentary, the special effects amateurish, but no one cared about that. Konstantin and his poor family had made the ultimate sacrifice so that the rest of the world would have a chance to live.
The first person to see the video, a computer programmer in Houston, was stunned. He e-mailed the file to a list of twenty friends on his share list. The next person to view it seconds later lived in France and suffered from insomnia. In tears, she sent it to fifty friends. The third viewer was from South Africa and was so incensed at what he'd seen that he phoned the BBC and then did an e-mail blast to eight hundred of his "closest" mates on the Web. A teenage girl in Norway watched the video in horror and then forwarded it to every person she knew. The next thousand people to view it lived in nineteen different countries and shared it with thirty friends each, and they with dozens each. What had started as a digital raindrop in the Internet ocean quickly exploded into a pixel-and-byte tsunami the size of a continent.
Like a spreading pandemic, the video ignited a maelstrom worldwide. From blog to blog, chat room to chat room, e-mail to e-mail, the story passed. With each retelling it grew in proportion until the globe was in apparent jeopardy of being overrun at any moment by crazy, bloodthirsty Russians. Within three days after Konstantin's sad proclamation, the world rang with his name. Soon half the earth's population, including many who had no idea who the U.S. president or the pope was, knew all about the dead Russian.
And from the e-mail, blog, and chat room circuits the story was picked up by newspapers on the outskirts of the mainstream. And then the likes of the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and leading dailies around the world were sucked into the frenzy, if for no other reason than it was what everyone was talking about. From there, it hit the global TV circuit, with everyone from Channel One in Germany to the BBC to ABC News and CNN to government-run TV in China heralding a possible new doomsday era. And from there it became firmly planted in the world's collective mind, soul, and conscience, becoming the number one story to such an extent that there were no other stories anyone cared about.
The rallying cry of "Remember Konstantin" was heard on the lips of people on all seven continents.
The Russian government issued emphatic denials to all of it. Russian president Gorshkov even went on international television to denounce it as a complete and total lie and offered up what he called "slam dunk" evidence that no such person as Konstantin had ever even existed. Yet not many people believed him. Gorshkov was ex-KGB. From top to bottom, the Russian government was filled with fascist demons; journalists across the world had been informing people of that for years. It was just that up to this moment no one had really cared, because, well, it hadn't interfered with their lives.