“Need to Know”

need to know“Need To Know” by Karen Cleveland is a spy thriller distinct from most others. It opens similarly enough:

“a flash drive, the little rectangle, nondescript. So small, but with so much power. POWER.”

But then … the unthinkable…

What does a “sleeper cell spy chaser” do when the spy is someone she knows; not even just knows, is married to? Readers are thrown into the rollercoaster life of imbedded spies, sleeper cells, and Russian espionage, with personal deceit, deception, and betrayal. It is just like the movies, but the face of the spy is that of her husband. (Not a spoiler, readers find out in the first few chapters)

Now what? Through flashbacks we learn all we about this relationship in the past, but it is the future of this relationship that is problematic. The situation is complex and fraught with complications to say the least, her background, his background, the conspiracy, the children, and on and on.  Day by day life becomes more and more complicated. Without giving anything else away, the story moves desperately forward. Who can be believed, and who cannot? What about her husband and her children? The children?

“There’s no danger to the kids… I work for them. In their mind, the kids are …theirs.”

The plot is amazingly intricate and specifically current in today’s brutal world of intelligence and surveillance. The action, suspense and intrigue will keep readers on the edge of their seats all the while looking behind to see who is watching. The characters are complex; the action is non-stop, and the ending unexpected.

I received a copy of “Need To Know” from Karen Cleveland, Random House Publishing Group, and NetGalley. I could not put it down. It was a mash-up of TV spy shows and espionage movies, but way, way better. This is absolutely a “must read” book for everyone. It will not disappoint.