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? 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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