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The Whole Truth (A. Shaw #1)

3.98  ·  Rating Details  ·  19,221 Ratings  ·  1,129 Reviews
"Matt, I need a war."

So begins David Baldacci's new book--a thriller unlike any he's written before. "Matt" is Mathew Pender, of Pender Associates--a shadowy organization that specializes in managing seemingly impossible situations for its clients. Sometimes, those services extend to managing--and creating--armed conflict. When Matt Pender is asked by his client--the large
Hardcover, 406 pages
Published April 22nd 2008 by Grand Central Publishing
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May 20, 2008 Lynn rated it really liked it
This has action flick printed all over it. Scary to think that this could happen - at least the premise that PM "Perception Management" could be used to make the world believe whatever the person paying for it wants them to believe. Not so believeable: that any human could be so close to being an actual Super Hero as Shaw is but that's what makes it so action packed and fun. I. too, would like to see Baldacci bring Katie and Shaw back for more.
Jul 16, 2008 Chuck rated it liked it
Baldacci's "Whole Truth" is particularly relevant right now, because it deals with the idea of "managed truth" versus "actual truth." "Managed truth" is what people in power--governments, large corporations, believe to be true, and the book explores what can happen when "manged truth" becomes more influential than real truth.

Longtime readers of Baldacci will appreciate the difference between this book and the previous ones. It has the powerful "agent type" who follows an internal code that is mo
May 23, 2008 Jeanne rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Heidi, Lisa, Beth
The concept of perception management in this novel introduces a concept more troublesome than spin doctors.
Rather than spinning a different slant on an actual occurrence, PM spreads a fictional , yet believeable, "truth" which awaits discovery so opinion and beliefs are created that will benefit the manufacturer of that "truth".

The statement in the beginning of the book summarizes this concept:
"Why waste time discovering the truth when you can so easily create it?"

In a world where we choose to b
Kevin Rubin
Aug 25, 2011 Kevin Rubin rated it it was ok
The Whole Truth is in truth, a very mediocre Baldacci book… Not that he writes the best books of all, his best is only mediocre…

It's one adventure about a man mysteriously named A. Shaw, a James Bond like covert operator working for some organization that's never named. It's not clear if the organization even belongs to a country or not, or if it's international. All we know about it is his boss is named Frank Wells.

Even Shaw's fiance refers to him by his last name, Shaw, which doesn't feel at
Jun 28, 2008 Annie rated it really liked it
Nicolas Creel is a man on a mission. He heads up the world's largest defense contractor, The Ares Corporation. Dick Pender is the man Creel retains to manage his company to even more riches by manipulating international conflicts. But Creel may have an even grander plan in mind. Shaw, a man with no first name and a truly unique past, has a different agenda. Reluctantly doing the bidding of a secret multi-national intelligence agency, he travels the globe to keep it safe and at peace. Willing to ...more
Joe Stamber
Mar 21, 2015 Joe Stamber rated it did not like it
Shelves: audio, read-2015
I've been meaning to try Baldacci for a while, and now I have I can cross him off my list. The Whole Truth was a heavy handed slice of boredom. Each time a main character was introduced, Baldacci felt it necessary to give the reader that character's life story, including how amazing they were at what it was they had chosen to do. There was the impoverished orphan who grew up to be an all action hero, the beauty queen who could speak 156 different languages, the arms dealer who had come from the ...more
Jim  Hassett
Jul 30, 2008 Jim Hassett rated it really liked it
Once again Baldacci writes a good mystery with his usual "page turner" pace. However, this time he adds something to think about as he does a good job bringing in "perception management" as a topic. He shows how PMs could manufacture facts and then sell them to the world as truth. This is much easier today with the web (thanks Al Gore!) and little verification of facts. As Baldacci says in his Postscript, "And by using these methods, a major untruth can be established so quickly and overwhelming ...more
May 05, 2012 Jeanie rated it it was amazing
This was action packed, easy to read and to follow. Not alot of detail, but sometimes all the details can bog you down. I liked the premise because I think it is so much easier to believe a lie than taking the time to find out the truth. Because of the lie, the world is at the brink of another World War III. The characters were strong, but flawed so easy to relate. Looking foward to reading the rest of the series.
May 15, 2008 Kellicmyers rated it liked it
I love David Baldacci and this was no exception. The premise of The Whole Truth involved a conspiracy to bring the U.S. back into conflict with Russia rather than focusing on the Middle East. Poses the question, which world is safer--cold war type conflict versus terrorism. It raised some interesting points, and made me feel like I was back in political science classes. Also, a good storyline and interesting characters.
Aug 01, 2008 Bob rated it really liked it
James Bond meets Jason Bourne, May 13, 2008

In, The Whole Truth, Nicolas Creel, an international arms dealer slash world philanthropist, creates conflicts to fuel the demand for his products: weapons of mass destruction. When Creel targets Russia with a smear campaign, things start to get ugly.

On the flip side of the coin, to keep out of prison, Baldacci's hero, Shaw, a man with a shady past and a reluctant future, does the bidding of a multinational intelligence agency. When Shaw's fiancé is
Jul 10, 2009 Sskous rated it did not like it
I finished this book only because I started it on an airplane and couldn't find an alternative. After a few chapters it became a little interesting as a story line, but it really was very disappointing ~ especially the writing. I've never found Baldacci to be a very good writer. There's always some clumsiness in the narrative, though the dialog is usually decent and the story line suspenseful and believable. This time, however, it was very poor across the board. The characterization of Katie was ...more
Aug 21, 2015 Rod rated it it was amazing
cant realI ly go beyond what Jeanie said about this book I totally agree put simply a very engaging and easy to follow thriller.
laying down the start of Shaw and James new partnership going straight into the next one
Aug 07, 2015 Gabe rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As expected from this author, a well constructed motion picture type of book, super-action, suspense, geopolitical intrigue, military build up, tensions growing on the world arena, clever methods to influence superpowers, all that and much more will keep you on the edge, coming back from more until it's over.

Yes, there is no secret that Baldacci is one of my favorite writers, so yes, I maybe a bit bias, but the book has all the ingredients of a top rated writing, that may as well one day become
Mike (the Paladin)
Jan 05, 2016 Mike (the Paladin) rated it really liked it
Shelves: action, thriller
Just a note before I say anything "deep and insightful" (lol) I included thire on my action shelf. It's not an all out, nonstop action read. that said there is a strong action element to the story so I included it there.

Okay that said, I can give this one a thumbs up. While there is a slight weakness in it, I doubt it will make much difference to many readers.

Our hero A Shaw (no period, A isn't an initial) is an interesting character. While we've seen some of his characteristics in other heroes
May 22, 2013 Bob rated it really liked it
Learned a new term with this one, “perception management” . The DOD even has manuals on it.It is he process of creating facts as “truth” and publishing them in as many was as possible so that they are actually perceived as true. In this case a billionaire armaments supplier is falling on hard times and is upset with all the little brushfire wars, so he hires a PM company to stir up hostilities between Russia and the world as well as with China. As the misinformation spreads and tempers flare the ...more
Stuart Diaz
Jan 21, 2012 Stuart Diaz rated it really liked it
In this story if you have read another one of David Baldacci's books, he goes into a slightly larger realm when he includes most of the world in this amazing book. Shaw, the main character is working to repay his debt to a government official when he gets engaged to Anna Fischer. Shaw is looking to retire when things take a turn for the worse and Shaw has to re think his plans. Katie James is a reporter who has run into problems with alcohol and now is in a new low for a reporter and is desperat ...more
Eric Wright
Jul 29, 2015 Eric Wright rated it really liked it
What is spin and what is truth in what we read and see in the media and online?

Nicolas Creed head up the world’s largest defense contractor, The Ares Corporation. He has a problem. With less wars his bottom line is hurting. He hires Dick Pender an expert on PM, perception management to create a war scenario. Pender is hugely successful in spreading through the Internet a series of posts that are believed and spread like wildfire. Soon Russia is painted as returning to the Cold War. Events escala
Aug 03, 2008 Terri rated it it was ok
I really hate it when an author wants to use a novel to make a political point but doesn't have the literary ability to make that happen without the reader feeling as though the point has been pounded home with a baseball bat.

That's the case here. Baldacci is a decent spy thriller writer. He is not an "artist," though, and for him to attempt to pull off scathing political commentary via his novels is like me trying to slam dunk a basketball while wearing heels on a freshly waxed court. It ain't
Jun 14, 2015 Tom rated it really liked it
Good Story about a company which deals in arms, they need to create a war by making Russia seem evil again. They try to set it up to make it look like China is doing it to start a war (or at least a cold war) between them. Reporter Katie James and Shaw solve a massacure which killed Shaw's fiancee.
Stan Usher
Oct 12, 2015 Stan Usher rated it really liked it
Absolutely superb book. Shows what can happen if people who are thinking they are doing good and that are actually creating evil can accomplish. One issue I have with the preview on this site.......the guys name is Dick not Matt......
Jul 22, 2008 Jaime rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone who wants a vacation
Recommended to Jaime by: Alisa, Julie/Spence
GREAT escape from reality! This book deals with PM (perception management) and how big business uses these firms to manipulate /create truth out of lies to benefit their bottom line. In this case, start a cold war to benefit an arms contractor. If you are a Jack Bauer fan or a Sidney Bristow fan then this book is for you. Nice short quick chapters makes you always want to read "just one more." I've never read anything quite as good as Lee Child and his Jack Reacher character but this one was VER ...more
Dec 22, 2008 DWGibb rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Baldacci always makes me stretch a little to suspend my disbelief, but when I do he takes me on quite an exciting and convoluted trip. This one involves a cast of quite a few somewhat questionable and nefarious characters, including his protagonist, A. Shaw.

A perception management firm (super-PR) is manipulating world opinion toward world war for their client, a major arms dealer. Shaw, who works for a transcendent secret multi-national policing agency, is inadvertently drawn into the conspirac
Aydin Turgay
Feb 04, 2016 Aydin Turgay rated it really liked it

Every Baldacci book I've read so far as been SOOOOOO good.
The perfect thing to build your momentum, after finishing a slow-moving, boring novel.

Of his books that I've read so far, this one is the closest to a Bond film.
The protagonist is actually employed by the spy agency - not a disgruntled rogue agent, like so many other books in this genre.
The characters are likeable and memorable.
The villain is the quintessential Bond-style villain. His plans are terrifying and believable.
Just the right
Sep 04, 2013 Sue rated it it was ok
I am SOooo glad I have finally finished this book. It was not my cup of tea at all. Very different from the other David Baldacci books I have read. It was very political and scary in as much as you could see a madman like this creating real havoc in the real world. I like to escape in my reading and this just put me on edge. So, in that, it did it's job. I will read more Maxwell & King series but not Shaw, thank you. This said it was well written and, if you like political thrillers them ple ...more
Ajoy Ashwinth
Feb 09, 2016 Ajoy Ashwinth rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Peter Brimacombe
Sep 26, 2015 Peter Brimacombe rated it liked it
I made it to page 260, Chapter 48. Nicolas Creel is a one dimensional villain. The hero Shaw is a big man. He's also got some kind of device implanted in him that can kill him instantly. Because of it he is beholden to Frank, his handler.

The premise of the story is that Nicolas Creel creates the reality he wants by manipulating the media. This also includes the social media. It's like the author is playing chess with himself. Chapter 8, he describes the skepticism: "A good number of political le
Apr 04, 2015 Julia rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Whole Truth is a thriller about the head of a weapons manufacturing company (Nicolas Creel) who hires a perception management company to plant false information about Russian atrocities, with the aim of creating a Cold War between Russia and China that will cause all the world's superpowers to increase defence spending. At the same time, we are introduced to our hero Shaw, who works for an unnamed and mysterious international law enforcement agency. Shaw's fiancee, Anna, has suspicions about ...more
Aug 17, 2014 Jim rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery-thriller
This is actually the second time I have read this book - I was not completely sure until I was well into the second reading. I enjoyed the book just as much as the first time.

"Perception Management" - the art or craft of leading people/the public/the world to believe what is true. That is the basic concept behind the plot of this novel, getting people to believe, once again, in the "Red Menace," a resurgent, autocratic Russia brimming with evil intent.

The hero of the novel, A Shaw, works for a n
Thom Swennes
May 25, 2014 Thom Swennes rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library-book
Nicolas Creel, a multi-billion dollar arms dealer, decides to liven up a lagging market by re-establishing the Cold War. As proved by the Nazi government in Germany, before and during World War II, propaganda is a very powerful tool if applied correctly. Dick Ponder is an expert in deceptive propaganda and applies it to color a situation or influence public opinion in a certain way. With the speedy and comprehensive worldwide communication networks of the Twenty-first Century, it proves to be an ...more
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David Baldacci writes because he can't imagine not writing. He published his first novel, Absolute Power, in 1996; one year later, it was adapted for film, with Clint Eastwood as its director and star. In total, David has published 30 novels for adults; all have been national and international bestsellers, and several have been adapted for film and television. His novels have been translated into ...more
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A. Shaw (2 books)
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