Review: Need to Know by Karen Cleveland


My Mom and I share book recommendations all the time. When she left this audiobook for me and insisted I make time for it I…well…I did! And, I’m glad. I’ve let thrillers fall out of my reading life for the most part in the last few years. Too much profanity. Too much violence. Too creepy. But this one! Wow! I sat in the driveway and listened to more each night! I didn’t want to stop!

The Story

Vivian and Matt are a perfect 30-something couple with four young children, a mortgage they can barely afford and careers in tech (Matt) and the CIA Russian counter-intelligence unit (Vivian). [This caught my attention right away. Lots of my fellow Russian Studies students went on to careers in the CIA and NSA and the military. It was fun conguring up faces from the past to populate those desks!] One day everything Vivian thought she “knew” about her life changes when she opens a document and discovers…. [Sorry, can’t do spoilers!] There is another reason this book attracted MY interest and now my son’s interest, but to explain that would also be a spoiler.

Everything about this story rang true to a non-CIA employee except maybe the plot was a bit….but who knows? I somehow envisioned Nicholas Cage as one of the major characters near the end of the story and Christopher Plummer as Peter, but couldn’t cast anyone else–my knowledge of 20/30-something actors and actresses needs to expand. No matter this will be a tremendous movie and, apparently, is already cast with (click the link to read more)  Charlie Theron as Vivian.

Need to Know by Karen Cleveland

My Rating

4 Stars



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