From Publishers Weekly
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)
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"When Baldacci is on fire, nobody can touch him."―Booklist (starred review)
"High-stakes action, shadowy government agencies, and [a] neo-Cold War backdrop . . . Baldacci pushes his plot ahead at such a blistering pace."―Washington Post
"Delicious . . . [a] roller-coaster adventure . . . an utterly enjoyable escapist page-turner."―Tampa Tribune
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