In David Baldacci’s fourteenth bestselling novel, The Whole Truth, perception becomes reality when, motivated by profit in the trillions of dollars, the Ares Corporation, the world’s largest defense contractor, sets the stage for an arms escalation that threatens to return the world to a state of Cold War.
Nicolas Creel, President of Ares, hires public relations firm Pender and Associates to spin a lie so believable that the public consciousness is staggered by its macabre implications. The twisted outcome of this devious lie pits Russia against China engaging each other in open warfare for Creel’s purpose of raising demand for his military products. In doing so, Creel can return his company to profitability and continue living the life to which he is accustomed; sailing around Italy on his enormous yacht and traveling aboard his private jet which has been converted into an airborne block of boardrooms, a movie theater and private suites.
Richard Pender, founder of Pender and Associates, employs perception management in his creation of “facts” sold to the world as truth; a term even the Department of Defense takes seriously enough to be included in one of their manuals. Its usefulness in developing a scenario of untruth is played out in this novel that pits the main character, a secret agent trapped in a job he can’t leave, against the unrelenting resources of the nefarious Mr. Creel. Along the way the protagonist, known only as A. Shaw, joins forces with his employer, Frank, to battle the tide of public fervor and expose the real truth.
Nestled into the action, Shaw tries to find a way to escape his coerced employment and find a way to marry the love of his life, Anna Fischer. Their love is an arduous affair, plagued by the relentless tactics of Shaw’s employer, Frank, who uses his own form of perception management to separate Anna from her commitment to Shaw. Frank, who will stop at nothing, elicits the hatred of Anna’s parents in Wisbach to taint Anna’s belief in Shaw.
Katie James, the award winning journalist, rises from the pit into which she’s fallen after a lull in her career, to join those few who are trying to expose the real truth. An unlikely pairing, she and Shaw uncover Creel’s corrupt empire, upending the status quo and battling the forces of evil.
Full of twists and turns and unexpected outcomes, the book takes the reader on a journey of outrage and disbelief, stunned by the depths to which certain people can operate with a clear conscience. This novel will keep you awake into the wee hours of the night, turning page after page to get to The Whole Truth.