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The Whole Truth (A. Shaw #1)

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3.93 of 5 stars 3.93  ·  rating details  ·  13,685 ratings  ·  926 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...more
Hardcover, 406 pages
Published April 22nd 2008 by Grand Central Publishing
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Lynn
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.
Chuck
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...more
Jeanne
May 23, 2008 Jeanne rated it 4 of 5 stars
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...more
Annie
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
Jim  Hassett
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
Kellicmyers
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.
Bob
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...more
Sskous
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
Kevin Rubin
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...more
Jeanie
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.
Maryann Bosah
The whole truth is symbolic about the powers that manipulate government to furnace their personal agendas. It's an eye opener and an interesting read.It's worth trying.Maryann
Bob
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
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
Lígia Bibliomigalhas
Já tinha gostado de Uma Fracção de Segundo, que faz parte de uma outra série do mesmo autor, e tinha alguma expetativa em relação a este livro. Mais uma vez, tive dificuldade em entrar na história, mas, também mais uma vez, ao fim de alguns capítulos estava totalmente embrenhada. O autor mantém um ritmo digno de um filme de ação ao seu melhor nível, conjugando muito bem o enredo mais pessoal e romântico, com a parte de intriga e mistério. Atrevo-me a dizer que acabei por gostar até mais desta ob...more
Terri
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...more
Jaime
Jul 22, 2008 Jaime rated it 4 of 5 stars
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
DWGibb
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...more
Jim
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...more
Thom Swennes
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
Judy
Nicholas Creel and Dick Pender are two men bent on bringing the Cold War back. Creel is a multi-multi-millionaire who thinks he can have whatever he wants and Pender, the Perception Manager, hired by Creel wants to give it to him.

A. Shaw, a man with no first name and a very unusual past has a different plan. Shaw, reluctantly, works for or maybe more correctly is owned by a multinational intelligence agency. He is a stone cold killer, with a heart that has been touched by an extremely intellige...more
Alison
I really enjoyed reading this book, but didn't give it 5 stars because too much of it was hard to believe (i.e. the main character's ability to get out of every death defying situation). However, the premise of perception management made me stop and think and that has tremendous value; and reading the book makes me look at news stories today a lot differently than before I read the book. While I've always felt the media only tells us what they want us to know, and only provides us with sound bit...more
Barbi
As I was reading the debut of David Baldacci's series featuring A. Shaw and his sidekick Katie James, I was struck by how similar the characters seemed to other hero/heroine duos I have enjoyed more, most notably Pike Logan and Jennifer Cahill by Brad Taylor.

Baldacci’s “The Whole Truth” had some trouble getting out of its own way and the story lost momentum a number of times, but I think the series might have shown more promise if the author would have fleshed out his characters and placed them...more
Patricia
Nicholas Creel is the CEO of Ares Corporation, a multi-national arms manufacturer and Richard Pender is Creel’s PM (perception manager). Pender’s job is to create “truth,” facts that a target populace will believe virtually unquestioned, and his current task is to make the world think that Russia is committing mass genocide within its borders. Creel’s reason for this perception management is two-fold: to bring Ares back into the black financially with increased arms sales and to neutralize the M...more
Corey Tardif
It's been a while since I've read a Baldacci book, I still have quite a bit of his books to read, but The Whole Truth was enjoyable, I really liked the storyline and the characters, I also found the plot to be well thought out. The main character is only known as Shaw, no first or last name, and he works for a secret group that works to keep the world at peace. I recommend this book to anyone who likes a good spy novel or political thriller.
Drick
In the 1970's there was a little known book called The Last Western. There was a scene in the book where politicians and arms manufacturers met to plan the next war, because war was good for business. David Baldacci takes that same scenario and weaves in a modern day crisis in which an arms manufacturer with the help of a top "perception management" firm and a group of violent thugs sends the world to the edge of a new Cold War. Shaw, an agent with an un-named trans-national law enforcement grou...more
Gina
The Whole Truth by David Baldacci

I wasn't sure I was going to like this book when it began but the story grew on me. But only to the 3-star point. I really did not like Anna being killed off and I was very happy that Baldacci held off pushing Katy and Shaw together too much. Frank was a rat bastard and even his mild thawing in personality toward the end didn't change that perception for me. It would be interesting to hear if other readers changed their opinion of Frank by the end of the book. Sh...more
Luffy Monkey D.
The Whole Truth carries the stamp of Baldacci all over it. He recycled some of his plot points from the Camel Club. If Oliver Stone had had a flashback sequence about his distant past, this book, partly, could be just that. This book behaved like the page turner it was. Though it didn't hit the high notes that I've come to expect from the author, it was a pleasure to read. I liked that the platonic distance between Shaw and James was enacted with natural effortlessness. There was something that...more
Ricky
Baldacci's best book by far. It's freaky how real this one seems. It could very easily happen, I'm sure, in this post-9/11 world. JJ Abrams and Jonah Nolan may have been on to something after all...
Peggy
This is a thriller about the possibility of an individual or group of individuals manipulating the whole world and hurtling countries toward war for their own personal gain. Using misinformation and the internet a defense contractor creates hostilities toward Russia for crimes against people that Russia did not commit. Escalating to pitting China against Russia, the defense spending of the entire world ratchets up in response to the tension of war. Problem is, it's all a lie. Enter Shaw, a merce...more
Marilyn
Perception management; PM; what we usually call manipulation. Nicolas Creel, owner billionaire of one of the government’s arms suppliers, gets his PM help from Pender & Associates. Pender needs to “start another war.” Shaw is in the thick of “it” again, but who would ever have guessed it was a PM thing? Journalist Katie James has been off the wagon for 6 months, but falls off when she mistakenly leaves her cellphone where private information can be seen by very sensitive eyes. As a result Sh...more
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David Baldacci made a big splash on the literary scene with the publication of his first novel, Absolute Power, in 1996. A major motion picture adaptation followed, with Clint Eastwood as its director and star. In total, David has published 28 novels, all of which have been national and international bestsellers; several have been adapted for film and television. His novels have been translated in...more
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Absolute Power The Camel Club (Camel Club, #1) Split Second (Sean King & Michelle Maxwell, #1) The Innocent (Will Robie,#1) Last Man Standing

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