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 largest defense contractor in the world - to manipulate two nations against each other, a shocking and surprising series of events is set in motion that will possibly bring the world to the brink of World War III.
In this epic thriller with a global backdrop, David Baldacci delivers all the twists and turns, compelling characters, and can't-put-it-down pacing that listeners have come to expect from this master storyteller.
©2008 Columbus Rose, Ltd.; (P)2008 Hachette Audio
I consider myself a David Baldacci fan. I thought the original Camel Club and the first follow up were great books. The last in the Camel series was a disappointment for me but I thought it was just me. But The Whole Truth is more than a disappointment. It simply is unacceptable. It is hard to believe that someone who writes the kind of dialog found in his earlier book could posiibly write some of this material. It often sounds like the author was trying to parady some of the trite 1930's mystery films. The narration if possible was even worse than the book. I thought the accents were so bad that they made the bad dialog even worse. One is his characters seems to be a very bad ripoff of Jack Nicholson at his worst. Readers who buy this genre are generally willing to accept some far out premises. But the premises in this book will challence even the most argent thriller fan. David Balducci should go back and read some of his earlier work and figure out how to get back to the high quality of work that earned him so many fans.
The plot had enough intrigue and the "bad guy" had an idea I enjoyed exploring but the characters... could the hero be more heroic? So handsome, so big and strong and fearless, strong enough to handle the most difficult assignment and can kill easily. And yet, he had fits of pique, looses his temper, cries easily, is moody, feels deeply and suffers constantly. I felt like this was written with the idea of what the author thought a woman might like to read.
This is formulaic thriller material that kept my attention but really didn't do much for me. This will always be a matter of taste and I'm not really here to review the writing.
What really disturbs me is that the producers decided to add background music at "key moments" - exciting music for the chase scenes, heart-rending music for the emotional scenes and neat little codas in case you're too dumb to see the end of each chapter as it comes up on the horizon.
Maybe this isn't new but it's the first time I've heard it and I hope never to have to put up with it again.
It doesn't seem possible that this is the same author that wrote "The Camel Club". Instead of interesting, amusing characters who solve a crime with flair we find single dimensional people who might have been computer originated. This book seems hardly worthy of Author Baldacci.
The concept about manipulating the media and thus "the truth" as perceived and war profiteering is NOT much of a stretch of the imagination as we have lived through something like it. The narration is adequate but for 2 credits I was expecting something golden, not just another tough guy hero, a few inconsistent characters, and with the inevitable plot holes. Lastly, when will editors fact check with a REAL doctor - they haven't been called "compound fractures" for 20 years- they are "OPEN fractures" (Bone through skin giving the bone a chance to pick up a very stubborn infection.) Wait until it comes down to the one credit it is barely worth.
I am of two minds about this book. On one hand, the characters are cliched, spouting dialogue straight out of made-for-TV thrillers from the 1970s, with no surprises whatsoever about how they react to the plot developments (i.e., the antihero behaves like a maverick and knows everyone in the underworld, the antihero's boss is reliably cranky, the idiot journalist compulsively snoops, the evil guy . . . well, does the usual really evil stuff). On the other hand, the story moves along and you know that right and good will be restored to the world and everyone gets their just desserts by the end, so you want to see how Baldacci gets you there.
In short, this is the literary equivalent of a cheese sandwich on white bread with mayo. Satisfying for what it is if you like cheese sandwiches.
I echo Dan's review, having read the rest of his books. Ron McLarty's fine as narrator and this is not QUITE as bad as when Patricia Cornwell tried to be funny in the state trooper book a few years ago but it is getting close. The abridged version would have to be better if only for fewer repetions of Shaw's anguish,Katie's heroic flaws and Creel's moustache-twisting evil. Baldacci owed his contract a book and his timing is perfect. They all get one of these and this is his. He either needs to step up with the next one or get someone else to write them like Patterson...
If you are a fan of earlier Baldacci stories involving the Camel Club, you will like this action thriller. A 'secret agent' in a 'secret security organization' is forced into killing for his country. His involvement is complicated when his fiance is killed by the same unknown group that is unleashing chaos on the world.
Definitely and 'escape from reality' action adventure. The characters are smarter than 'average' but the story is more action oriented than cerebral. Kind of James Bondish without the gratuitous lovely costar.
David Baldacci's "The Whole Truth" is just any other action hero type book. I have read his other books and this one wasn't anything different or special but it requires two credits to "Buy" it. Definitely not worth it.
This is the best mystery I enjoyed in years! It has everything international intrigue, villains, good guys, love, unexpected plots (of course) etc. I was able to visualize every scene!
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