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Need to Know

February 2018

NEED TO KNOW by Karen Cleveland was one wildly compulsive read. One of my publishing colleagues told me that I would not be able to put it down once I started it, and she was right. I was reading on a Sunday and stopped to eat dinner. As soon as I put down my fork, I raced back to the couch to finish it, vowing to return to do the dishes later; I had to know what was going to happen next.

It’s tough to talk about thrillers without giving too much away, so here’s a very bare-bones description. Vivian Miller works as an analyst for the CIA uncovering Russian sleeper cells. She has been married to her husband, Matt, for 10 years, and they have four children, one of whom has a medical condition. One day, as she is decoding intel, Vivian learns something that will turn her world upside down.

From there, it’s a question of where her loyalty lies.

What worked about it? For me, everything. I am a huge fan of "The Americans" on FX; this reminded me of that. The way spies can adapt and infiltrate is stunningly scary.

I had the pleasure of meeting Karen at a media luncheon a few months ago; she talked about how she was a CIA analyst before becoming an author. She said that during her years with the Agency, she was told time and again that people may befriend her to gain access to what she knows, so she should keep her guard up. Thus she is very informed about her character, who has the same role. I look forward to reading more from Karen in the years to come. There’s a thread at the end of NEED TO KNOW that beckons me to say, “Next book, please.”

Need to Know
by Karen Cleveland

  • Publication Date: July 24, 2018
  • Genres: Fiction, Suspense, Thriller
  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books
  • ISBN-10: 1524797049
  • ISBN-13: 9781524797041