Book Review – Need to Know by Karen Cleveland

need to knowIn pursuit of a Russian sleeper cell on American soil, a CIA analyst uncovers a dangerous secret that will test her loyalty to the agency—and to her family.

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?


gold_star-svggold_star-svggold_star-svggold_star-svg 4/5 Stars

I received this book from the publishers, via Net Galley, in exchange for an honest review.

I sort of assumed this would be a run of the mill spy thriller with a family twist. And while I was right about spy thriller and family, this is far from run of the mill. The emotions you get from the characters are so vivid. Especially Vivian. And the manipulation of her at almost every stage is just mind blowing, especially in the flashbacks related to her kids.

Matt is just SO manipulative. I think it was well done, because while his machinations were screaming off the page to me, it’s still easy to see why Vivian fell for them.
I have to admit I thought the ending may happen, but I sort of like that that’s how it ended! I hear that this may be being made into a movie and if so I honestly hope that keep that bit true.

It’s also nice to have a spy thriller where the main character isn’t the spy. Or any novel where they are this vulnerable.

I also have to take a moment to say that the story really dragged me, gasping out loud, heart racing, the whole shebang. That is definitely the sign of a well written thriller, especially one that’s more psychological.

2 thoughts on “Book Review – Need to Know by Karen Cleveland

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