This breakneck speed-paced thriller is the first of Baldacci's that I've read, simply by accident as it was one in a mound of books loaned to me by my friend Pat--one of the most discerning and voracious readers I know.
Anyone familiar with the premise of the movie WAG THE DOG will understand the temptation that governments might have to fabricate war for financial gain.
In THE WHOLE TRUTH, billionaire Nick Creel decides he's going to do just that. Manufacture the idea of war, with self-made martyrs, that will jump start his arms dealing with the Chinese and Russian governments. While you're following Creel's sinister plans (which are tempered by bursts of philanthropy to make him feel less guilty), you also follow Shaw, a freelancer of sorts, who sorts out the baddest of the bad through independent contracting with a nefarious underbelly.
Shaw has little regard for the value of his own life until he falls in love with an intelligent and stunning German-born beauty named Anna who works for a think tank in London. Once he proposes to Anna and she accepts, his professional life begins to unravel and he finds himself in terrifying situations with the scum of Europe and the Middle East, barely escaping each time, and never without the help of his controlling boss Frank. Of course there are dirty agents as well as the unexpected kindness of strangers to propel Shaw's story forward to a satisfying end.
Baldacci has me hooked. He has also co-founded a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting literacy across the USA. Check out his foundation at: