Thursday, March 1, 2018

Need to Know by Karen Cleveland - Book Review

need to know book cover
Think of the person you trust more than anyone in your life.  Now, imagine you have just learned that this individual has deceived you, in the worst possible way, since day one.  Oh, and wait, in response to this devastating revelation, you have just made an impulsive decision that will endanger your children and threaten to destroy everything that matters most to you. 

Whew!  At this point, aren’t you more than just a little relieved this is happening to someone else?  I’m sure Vivian Miller wishes she could trade places with us.  While we’re sitting here having a leisurely book discussion about Need to Know by Karen Cleveland, Miller is in frantic pursuit of an out that will save her family, salvage her career, and honor the vows she made to protect her country.  

Miller, a CIA counterintelligence analyst, doesn’t see it coming (and there’s plenty in this book you won’t see coming, either).  Her mission is to uncover a cell of Russian sleeper agents in the U.S.  When Vivian’s brilliantly devised computer algorithm does its job, and gets her into the covert files of a Russian spy handler, she is stunned.  And then, she is perplexed.  Which leads to a confession.  And this is where desperation sets in.  

Can Miller fix the mistake she made upon revealing the most unexpected sleeper agent ever?  Will she end up convicted of treason?  Is there anyone Vivian can trust as she races to save the lives of her children?  

Much more than a story of espionage, this is a mesmerizing account of unintended consequences.  What makes this a thrilling read is that place inside each of us that can relate to how terrifying it would be to find ourselves in this situation.  What would you or I do?  Would we have made the same mistake that Vivian made?  To whom would we ultimately be true?  

This is a book that will grab you from the start.  If you are like me, you will find that you must ride this out with Vivian.  There is no abandoning her while she is scrambling to stay one step ahead of those who seek to take her down.  And maybe, just maybe, the ending will make you gasp in disbelief.

Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


  1. This definitely sounds like a book I would like to read! It might not normally be a book I would select, but your review makes me want to know who it is and what happens. I am especially intrigued by the "gasp of disbelief". That means it is a great mystery.

    1. Yes... it is the gasp at the end that is the mark of an exceptional book. You don't come across that kind of read very often. I love being surprised like that.

  2. Great review! This one has been on my list for a couple of weeks. Must move it to the top after reading your review. Thank you!

    1. Wonderful to see you here. Based on your book reviews, I believe Need to Know is a read that is right up your alley. I think you will really enjoy it. Let me know what you think after you read it.

  3. Well, your review has definitely grabbed my attention. Need to Know is a must read going on my list right now. Thanks, Diana.

    1. Thanks, Elf. I think you will enjoy Need to Know. It is very engaging. Once you start, it is pretty impossible to put the book down. I will look forward to your take on this read.

  4. fantastic review! you had me through the whole thing - the book sounds very good. This also sounds like a great book to movie. Would love to watch the movie version. Adding this to books for mom, I think she would like it.

    1. Thank you! Hope your mom enjoys this book. The movie rights have already been sold. Seems like this story is perfect for the big screen. I have no doubt it will be a hit.


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