Need to Know (Hardcover)

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Staff Reviews

It is not a (complete) spoiler to tell you that Vivian Miller’s husband is a Russian spy. You will know this within the first 30 pages. But for Vivian, this revelation is beyond uncomfortable, because it is her job at the CIA trying to uncover the Russian spy network of sleepers that have assimilated themselves into life in the U.S. And while comparisons to “Mr. and Mrs. Smith” are inevitable, you are in entirely different territory here. Vivian and Matt have been married for 10 years and have four small children. The discovery of Matt’s background and duplicity puts Vivian and her children in jeopardy as she tries to find a way to save her family and her job. The turbulent storyline is interspersed with a recounting of her past memories of falling in love with Matt and starting their life together.This is a hard-to-put-down ingenious suspense thriller .

— From Terry's Traffic Light Delights


Perfect husband. Perfect father. Perfect liar?

"Terrific."--John Grisham
"Superb."--Lee Child
"Breathtaking, heart-pounding."--Louise Penny
"A fast-paced, relentlessly gripping read."--Chris Pavone

In pursuit of a Russian sleeper cell on American soil, CIA analyst Vivian Miller uncovers a dangerous secret that will threaten her job, her family--and her life. 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--is 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?

Film rights sold to Universal Pictures for Charlize Theron - Rights sold in more than 20 markets

Advance praise for Need to Know

"An early contender for next year's Gone Girl."--GQ (UK)

"I raced through this gripping tale of domesticity and deceit. Karen Cleveland deliciously ratchets up the tension at every turn. You won't be able to put it down until the final, stunning page "--Shari Lapena, New York Times bestselling author of The Couple Next Door

"Perhaps there will be two or three readers out there who manage to finish the first chapter of this terrific debut and put it down for more than an hour. But they'll be back. And they'll devour Need to Know like the rest of us, skipping lunch, losing sleep, turning pages until the end, where we're all left waiting for more."--John Grisham, New York Times bestselling author of The Rooster Bar

"Prediction: If you read chapter one, you'll read chapter two. If you read chapter two, you'll miss dinner, stay up far too late, and feel tired at work tomorrow. This is that kind of book. Superb."--Lee Child, New York Times bestselling author of The Midnight Line

"The Russia page-turner that should be on everyone's list."--New York Post

About the Author

Karen Cleveland is a former CIA analyst. She has master's degrees from Trinity College Dublin (international peace studies) and Harvard University (public policy). Cleveland lives in northern Virginia with her husband and two young sons. This is her first novel.
Product Details
ISBN: 9781524797027
ISBN-10: 1524797022
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Publication Date: January 23rd, 2018
Pages: 304
Language: English