Book Review – “Need to Know” by Karen Cleveland

Book Review – “Need to Know” by Karen Cleveland

When I read publisher Sarah Adams’ suggestion to “cancel my evening plans, take the phone off the hook and disable the doorbell” I admit I was sceptical and a tad wary about being duped by a canny marketing campaign.

I was wrong.

book jacket

Need to Know is the best thriller I have read for a long time and for a debut novel it is astonishing. The Couple Next Door meets Homeland is as good a description as any I could use to explain its impressive mix of tense plot, convincing CIA scenes and unobtrusive dialogue. Crucially the author has also created a central protagonist whose dilemma I defy any reader (especially female) not to empathise with.

CIA agent Viv, on the verge of revealing a sleeping cell of Russian agents, discovers to her horror and disbelief that one of the traitors she recognises as the love of her life and father of her children. You can imagine her loyalties are torn, her world turned upside down and she is not at all sure who she can trust anymore…

I anticipate Need to Know is the book we will all be reading this Spring. At some point, Charlize Theron will produce the film of the book for Universal Pictures, but I recommend you bag yourself a copy of the book first. Just don’t start it on a school night unless you are prepared to explain a serious reading “hangover” at work the next day.

Once you start reading you won’t be able to stop – you have been warned!