Need to Know – Karen Cleveland

Happy release day!

Thanks to Ballantine and Random House for the advanced copy in exchange for my honest review.

NEED TO KNOW – Karen Cleveland (out today!)

As you know, I love me a great espionage/political thriller!

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My Thoughts: 5/5 stars!

If you’ve followed my reviews before, you’ll know that I love a great political or espionage thriller. So when I read the synopsis for Karen Cleveland’s debut NEED TO KNOW, I needed it! Russian sleeper cell in the US and a CIA agent uncovering a conspiracy – what more could I ask for in an espionage thriller?

Vivian Miller works in the CIA counterintelligence as an analyst, her job is to uncover the leaders of Russian sleeper cells within the United States. She’s developed an incredible system for identifying and uncovering different Russian agents – they’re always living in plain sight and leading seemingly normal lives. Vivian is working hard for a promotion, and in her work she stumbles upon a secret dossier including deep undercover agents within the US. As she continues searching through the dossier, she quickly finds herself and her family in grave danger.

As a devoted CIA agent, Vivian finds herself in a place she never wanted to be. She has vowed to protect the United States at all costs against all enemies, foreign and domestic. But with her family on the line, she must make the impossible choice between allegiance and treason, loyalty and betrayal – who and what can she trust?

Being a political science and international relations major in college, this is the kind of thing I love. My senior project was on espionage (Cuban Missile Crisis) so this is a topic that I have some knowledge on and every new story I hear just fascinates me. Cleveland’s background as a CIA analyst and from working in counterterrorism shines through in this novel. I would love to see more suspense novels like this from her in the future.

Overall, if you want a gripping thriller with a CIA conspiracy woven in, then you’ll love this! If you aren’t a big fan of anything with a political flair, then this might not be for you. That being said, it’s not too technical or overly political – so it doesn’t read as heavy as some political thrillers can.

Check back for the #allthebookreviews thoughts later!

–Jess

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