Need to Know

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 19 Mar 2018

Member Reviews

This is a good espionage genre book. I find it exciting to read things by new authors, as they have likely read many of the other greats, but have a spin of their own, which makes the genre move forward. Karen Cleveland did a great job with this.
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I truly adored this book - it was everything that I love about a thriller.  Completely kept me guessing about who to believe and who to trust and I was so wrapped up in the characters and the story line.

I also loved the way in which it ended - enough of a cliffhanger so if a sequel were to be published you would want to pick it up, but also enough closure if that weren't to happen (although I hope it will!)
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I will not be providing feedback on this title. I believe I have access by mistake and do not wish to read or review it. I escalated the issue to the NetGalley team and they advised I provide this note in lieu of a review or other feedback. Thank you very much and apologies for any confusion caused.

I will not be providing feedback on this title. I believe I have access by mistake and do not wish to read or review it. I escalated the issue to the NetGalley team and they advised I provide this note in lieu of a review or other feedback. Thank you very much and apologies for any confusion caused.

I will not be providing feedback on this title. I believe I have access by mistake and do not wish to read or review it. I escalated the issue to the NetGalley team and they advised I provide this note in lieu of a review or other feedback. Thank you very much and apologies for any confusion caused.
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This book, although not my typical genre held me captive with hair raising, heart pounding suspense and left me breathless as I rushed through pages, each building on the frightening question of just who can you trust? Vivian Miller is a dedicated CIA analyst who is involved in identifying Russian sleeper agents who are secretly living among us. She is intense, expertly trained, and well on her way to a big promotion when one day a click on her computer sends electrifying shocks to her whole being! The more she learns the harder it is to tell when someone is lying. Vivian knows she has stumbled on a threat to her family, her four beautiful children, her job and country. I don't want to give away anymore except to say you will be torn between trust and allegiance, suspicions arise, reason and logic are confronted, and tested. The ending is amazing! This story is shocking in its reality of today and the world we live in. It is authentically written, I highly recommend it not only as a good spy thriller, but one of how a loving family is caught in a terrible high stakes drama. I definitely want to read more from Karen Cleveland. (less)
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If the protagonist is a CIA analyst, then I'm from Mars.

The writing style is right up my alley, but sadly, the heroine may very well be the most terrible CIA analyst to ever exist in both the fictional and non-fictional realm. She does not have credibility, and considering that espionage is the meat of the story, this has a negative effect on my reading experience.
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DISCLOSURE OF MATERIAL CONNECTION: I have a material connection because I received a review copy for free from Netgalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Viv and Matt live a full life. Viv has a demanding job as a counterintelligence analyst for the CIA. While she is looking for Russian sleeper agents on U.S. soil, Matt takes on most of the duties of child rearing. They have a young daughter that is older than their twin boys. One of the boys has developmental problems requiring frequent visits to specialists that Matt willingly takes care of. Like any couple that has been married for over a decade, they know each other inside out.

Because of the cost of her son’s specialists, Viv had to go back to work sooner than she planned. But she loves and believes in the importance of her job. She is on the cusp of having her hard work to pay off. She has developed a program to identify people involved in these sleeper cells. Pictures start appearing on her monitor, she recognizes one of them. It is Matt.

Has her whole life been a lie? How could he be a Russian spy and did he marry her because she works for the CIA? The old adage of keeping your enemies close just might be the reason Matt met her in the first place. So many things run through Viv’s mind she can barely breathe, but she knows her husband is mixed up in something that has the ability to implode her family.

Once Matt is confronted, Viv realizes that she will have to make impossible decisions involving the country she loves and the safety of her family. She can no longer trust anything Matt says – or can she? Was he trapped in situation that he did not want to be in? Is he lying or telling her the truth? Viv has to make a move that will change the rest of their lives forever.

Debut novelist Karen Cleveland’s psychological thriller will keep you up late into the night. Her characters come to life on the pages and the twist in the last chapter will stay with the reader long after closing the book.

Need to Know could literally be ripped from today’s headlines. Recently I was in Washington D.C. at the Newseum. There is a section on spy cells that infiltrate the U.S. and how they are uncovered. The real life spies acted much like the ones in Cleveland’s novel. The realism of the book became more and more evident with each exhibit.

It is evident that Cleveland, a former CIA agent, is a gifted novelist. Need to Know holds a well-deserved spot on the New York Times Best Seller list. Film rights to the book have been sold – snatch up this book before the movie hits the screen. While I am excited to see the book come to life in the theaters, in my opinion, the book is always better than the movie and this one is outstanding.

Copyright © 2018 Laura Hartman
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Though I liked the book, I made the decision when I finished not to review it on my site because it didn't fit into my editorial schedule. I may include it in a review post or possibly a book list post in the future.
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this was interesting at first but quickly became a tale of emotional abuse with a victim character who was completely oblivious and way too trusting to return to the abuse time and again. which, you know, i guess, good portrayal? but i don't like to read books about victim characters or emotional abuse. 

plot: embedded Russian sleeper agents in the US, woman who works for the CIA on a Russian intelligence task force, turns out her husband is a sleeper agent, family drama ensues.

they have 4 kids! they don't really seem like very good parents though even though the writing tries to convince the reader they are multiple times.

it hits close to home right now with american fears of russian involvement in our politics and ugh, so i would guess it will be popular because of the fictional portrayal proving american fears correct. people like to feel justified in fears. but bleh, not for me. too much lying and terrible behavior.
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CIA analyst Vivian Miller is in pursuit of a Russian sleeper cell in America.  She uncovers a secret that will threaten every aspect of her life. She has created  a system for identifying Russian agents.  She finds a secret file containing the identities of Russian operatives and pictures of them.  She soon realizes her whole life is about to change!  All she holds dear will be threatened.  

Vivian has to face some impossible choices.  Does she protect her country as she has sworn to do, or protect her family?! 

Great read!  I wasn't able to put it down!
I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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I believe fireworks just went off as I opened the cover. Holy heck Karen Cleveland nailed it!
Need to Know was a chock full of nuts emphasis on the latter with a whole other worldly feel like say Russia.
You'll feel like a Spy on a Secret Mission by the time you're finished but I will do my best to follow after this special piece of true magic!
This was superb reading. A thriller. Characters full of specialty, charm, charisma, and emotional vibrancy.
Vivian and Matt seemed so perfect together especially as a young couple starting their married life together soon to add 4 lovely kids. 
What a beautiful tranquil scene well that was until the truths emerged.
Two sides to every coin...
Matt had a secret in which he had a name alteration at 15 yo after both parents died in a crash leaving him orphaned.
Alexander Lenkov was his Russian name before the name change. 
Karen Cleveland is a CIA analyst much like her protagonist Viv.
The idea here is to close in on the 'sleeper' cell but who is the 'mole'?
A "sleeper” is a planted spy, whereas a “mole” is recruited to gather intell from prior networks and or connections.
Now with 4 kids she worries about her safety as well as their own. 
She unearths a discovery on a laptop of a suspected Russian Spy that could turn right side up without even knowing the true nature of it all.
It's a hit or miss situation literally as shots are fired and one goes down.
The tension was palpable, the anxiety could be cut with a knife.
In some cases deception is needed to save yourself .
Well it's all I got so Dosvedanya from this Russian gal....
Thank you to Karen, her publisher, Goodreads Giveaways and NetGalley for this awesome ARC copy. I'm a little late in reviewing but that's because I save the best for last.
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This is one of the most "un-put-downable" books I've read in a long time, found myself carrying my Kindle around the house with me to take advantage of every free minute to continue the story. Not only is the story that engrossing, but it's clean, one I feel comfortable recommending to others!
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Completely surprised that I enjoyed this novel as much as I did. I’m not a conspiracy theorist can of reader. However I’ve been trying to read my woman writers of all categories. I loved the characters some more than other of course. I enjoyed Vivian Miller an analyst for the CIA. Would enjoy reading something from this writer again.
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There's a fascinating plot device in this immersive and sometimes maddening book. I won't give it away here, but it leaves the central character in a quandary. Some of her choices are believable, some excruciating, and some stretch the bounds of credulity. There are things that become obvious to the reader, with no more evidence than she has herself, and she seems unable to grasp them. For a seasoned intelligence analyst she also seems naive about the standard tools of spycraft. The book can try a reader's patience, but it is originally conceived and the payoff is worth the wait.
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Boy, did I have serious problems with this book.  It started out so well: the main character, Vivian, is a CIA analyst, married with 4 children, and she comes to suspect that her husband in a Russian sleeper operative.  As you are reading, you can't help but think about what an awful position she is in, and how terrifying it would be to trade places with her ....  It sounds terrible, and then it all gets worse, and she has herself to blame for just about everything.  She makes horrible decisions and she also seems incredibly naive.  Honestly, if our CIA is made up of agents like Vivian, I am seriously worried for our country.  I figured out just about everything in this book way before it happened, including the "twist" at the end.  Ugh.
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This was a fast paced, impossible to put down, keeps you on the edge of your seat read!  
The story line had realistic and relatable qualities sprinkled with excitement and thrill.

It starts when Vivian a CIA analyst discovers a secret about someone close to her. This causes many internal and external struggles. She has a decision to make....Does she choose her family or her career and her country?The characters were very well defined, believable, and the plot was excellently constructed. Great dialogue, some very good twists and turns.
I loved it. I need a sequel........SOON
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The only good thing about this book is its pace, which is why I gave it 2 stars instead of 1.

Anyone can probably become a CIA analyst if the dumb as bricks protagonist can become one. She is an agent who does not question anything and accepts ludicrous excuses. She writes algorithms yet just asks her husband to test the program without even trying to verify on her own or use her own resources. I kept reading hoping that at some point she will be back to her senses and recognise the signs..no such luck. There is a lot of flashback which makes you hopeful but alas no, most of it just filler. There is a lot written about her kids but not in a way that makes the reader care about them.
This is not a spy thriller.

I thank Netgalley for providing me a copy of this book.
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LovedLovedLoved this story with all it's twists and turns! Can you EVER really know somebody, and what lengths would you go to for your kids? Viv has to address these issues and more as this story unfolds. 

This is a fast read - I couldn't put it down as I read how Viv and Matt worked together to "fix" what could be a national security threat. I couldn't predict how it would play out as Viv needed to make a decision after decision regarding her job and the safety of her four children.

Loved the ending! Highly recommend to those who are looking for a contemporary sophisticated read.
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What a fast-paced thriller! This one really kept me on the edge of my seat. I literally felt sick for the main character as she made some impossible decisions. I LOVED it until the epilogue. I honestly wish it wasn't there. I had guessed that it would go in that direction, but I was hoping it wouldn't. That's all I'm going to say about that, so I don't give anything away, but it was still a fantastic book overall!
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Maybe it was the hype but I was excited to read this book...it just didn’t completely deliver. It was good and I read it quickly, but it wasn’t as tightly written as I hoped it would be. Moments of predictability mixed in with some twists and turns.
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I couldn’t remember exactly why I originally requested this because it wasn’t my usual type of thriller but I was hooked from the start. The Russian sleepers and CIA talk was thrilling during a particularly interesting time in history. Bringing Vivian into so many situations that were terrifying and exhilarating.
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