Need to Know

This is one of those books that will keep you up all night — one you will not be able to put down. Need to Know, by Karen Cleveland, is one of the best books I’ve read this year. It definitely deserves a sequel. The character development is excellent, and the story flows quickly and smoothly.

In this compelling tale of geo-political espionage, and Russian spies on American soil, the reader is taken on a roller coaster ride as CIA analyst, Vivian Miller’s emotions run the gamut of betrayal, anger, ice cold fear, distrust, love, hate, and self-doubt. Viv, a brilliant analyst has written an algorithm that allows her to hack into the computer of a known Russian spy handler. Her life changes forever when she opens one of his computer files labeled “Friends”, and finds a photo of her husband, Matt.

Cleveland cleverly wove into the narrative a social commentary on the state of health insurance in the United States:  Viv wanted to stay home with her baby who was born with a congenital heart defect. She had to continue her work in order to keep her medical insurance. Instead, Matt, who could work from home became a stay-at-home dad.

Follow along as Viv, her beloved husband, their children, and even Viv’s parents are swept into the drama. Matt has been nothing but a loving, supportive husband, or has he? Will she protect Matt, or will she turn him in?

Need to Know will be published January 23, 2018, and the the film rights have already been sold to Universal Pictures. Charlize Theron will produce the film, and will star as Vivian. This is a book you will definitely want to read. I hope the movie does the book justice.

What Makes This Book Reviewer Grumpy?
The usual things:
  • Frequently using “bring” and “brought” when the appropriate words are “take” and “took”;
  • Improper placement of the word “only” within sentences — it changes the true meaning of the entire sentence;
  • Mistakenly using the word “further” when the intended meaning was “farther”. They are not the same;
  • Frequent split infinitives;
  • Saying “me and him” instead of “him and me”.


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