The Whole Truth

David Baldacci, Author . Grand Central $26.99 (406p) ISBN 978-0-446-19597-3

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)

Reviewed on: 03/03/2008
Release date: 04/01/2008
Genre: Fiction
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