NEED TO KNOW by Karen Cleveland

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There is a notation on the description page of this book indicating that the screen rights have already been sold.  Reading the book I must say that it would be a big surprise if it wasn’t destined for screening. I finished the novel in one mesmerized sitting and my opinion is that it will not be possible to leave it once started for anyone picking it up. Karen Cleveland spent nine years working for the CIA and is certainly expert in presenting a book with the lead character working for the agency.
Vivian Miller is a CIA analyst who has been assigned to uncovering the leaders of Russian sleeper cells operating in the United States.  She has developed a system that has made her very effective in the work she does.  Much to her surprise, when discovering photos of one sleeper leader’s agents, she comes across a person well known to her. Her oath stresses the need to protect the US against all enemies both foreign and domestic but she is placed in a terrible quandary.  Can she go ahead and expose what she has found or protect someone very close to her?
To make a bad situation worse, her family is threatened if she doesn’t do what she is told to do by the leader of the cell she has found.  Death threats are issued if Vivian does not allow the Russians access to CIA files with her husband and children being singled out.
Cleveland utilizes a very effective literary style with the novel gaining velocity as it moves towards the ending. And the ending is one very well appropriate and logical climax for the book. I certainly feel that any reader of “Need to Know” will join me in waiting for her next book with bated breath.

1/18 Paul Lane


NEED TO KNOW by Karen Cleveland. Ballantine Books (January 23, 2018).  ISBN 978-1524797027. 304p.

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