In the interests of full disclosure, I would like you to know that I worked as a consultant and later as a project manager at The Boston Consulting Group in Boston from 1971-74. As far as I can remember, I neither experienced nor heard about any of the sorts of problems raised by the author. In fact, senior members of the firm frequently encouraged me to be concerned about ethical issues, and made it easy for me to follow the right course. I have headed my own management consulting firm for the last 22 years, where I can made my own calls on ethics. So I am probably biased in my review. Forgive me for that, but this book called out to me to be read and reviewed.
This book should be required reading for anyone about to enter a business career. The reason I say that is because it exposes the reader to the kinds of ethical choices that can arise in consulting, investment banking, law and many other high impact professional careers. If you have your moral compass in front of you, you will probably make different (and possibly better) choices than Mr. Pinault did. If you don't, you may stumble into some places where you will later wish you hadn't gone.
The book is also promoted as a source that all clients should consider. If you think of some of the stories as being "what can go wrong during a consulting assignment," that can be valuable. But the book is hardly a thorough look at how to buy and get value from consultants. Here is where I graded the book down one star. I think the blurb and the subtitle are misleading on this point.
I drew a different lesson from this book than the author did. I thought that he was a victim of stalled thinking. Whenever a potential ethical problem arose, it seemed to me that he viewed the question as being one of whether he could duck the pressure put on by a colleague or not. Instead, he could have stepped back and considered how an alternative solution could have been designed that would have ethically fulfilled the same purpose for the client and his consulting firm. For example, you need not interview all of your client's competitors flying a somewhat false flag (as he and his teams sometimes did) to find out how your client is doing. There are plenty of public sources that are available to you, and these may even be more reliable in some cases. Also, the client needs enough information to make the right decision -- not every bit of information that can be gleaned (by fair means or foul).
So as you consider your future career, be aware that you need to take responsibility for your own actions. Ask yourself how you would feel writing a book about them and sharing what you did with your parents, children, and grandchildren. If you don't like the answer, come up with a better one. If you can't find that better answer, quit and take up with another firm or another line of work.