Title: Need to Know
Author: Karen Cleveland
What do you do when everything you trust might be a lie?
Vivian Miller is a dedicated CIA counterintelligence analyst assigned to uncover the leaders of Russian sleeper cells in the United States. On track for a much-needed promotion, she’s developed a system for identifying Russian agents, seemingly normal people living in plain sight.
After accessing the computer of a potential Russian operative, Vivian stumbles on a secret dossier of deep-cover agents within America’s borders. A few clicks later, everything that matters to her—her job, her husband, even her four children—are threatened.
Vivian has vowed to defend her country against all enemies, foreign and domestic. But now she’s facing impossible choices. Torn between loyalty and betrayal, allegiance and treason, love and suspicion, who can she trust?
So I’m definitely late to the party in reviewing this brilliant thriller; it was released at the start of this year but for one reason or another I haven’t had a chance to pick it up and read it until now. And all I can say is – wow! It is an absolutely gripping page-turner.
Need to Know manages to strike just the right balance – it’s partly convincing, partly crazy, and partly pitched at just the right level of complexity – it’s not packed full of confusing lingo that no ‘normal’ reader is going to figure out. I didn’t want to find myself struggling to keep track of what was going on, or what something meant on every page – I just wanted to read and enjoy it, and as soon as I started this novel I knew that I had no worries on this front!
The story takes you on a whirlwind, as you try to work out what is gonig on and who can be trusted along with main character Vivian. As you read you feel the confusion, frustration and desperations Vivian feels as she tries to find the best way to protect her family, and that all adds to the tense tone of the book. There are plenty of moments when I doubted husband Matt, but many more where I felt certain he was telling the truth. I loved the ending; I finished the last page with a real feeling of satisfaction that I love getting at the end of a book.
With Need to Know having apparently set off a bidding war over movie rights when it was released at the start of this year, I’ll certainly be excited to see how they make this into a film – and will be exctitedly reading any future releases from Karen Cleveland!
Many thanks to Transworld Books for providing a copy of this book on which I chose to write an honest and unbiased review.