Need to Know by Karen Cleveland (4 Stars)

34404002Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for an advance copy of this book in return for an honest review.

The book’s narrator is Vivian, who alternates her perspective between the past and present.  Vivian is a CIA analyst whose algorithm uncovers secrets of Russian sleeper cells in the US. Unfortunately, she soons finds that this means her family (husband and four children) and life as they know it is in jeopardy. How does she choose between family and country? Well, at times she doesn’t do a good job of making decisions. Once this is made into a movie, we’ll be yelling at the on-screen Vivian, “no, don’t do it, ah geez, what were you thinking?” Then again, once you place yourself in her position, you wonder what choice you would have made and it will raise some questions. What choices do our CIA operatives make? How do you separate love of country from love of family? Which is more important? Does it depend on the situation? How will you live with the consequences of the choices you make?

This was an entertaining and page-turning thriller, which you had to keep reading to see what happens next. The book starts off with a bang and the remainder deals with the fallout. The characters and their dialog were realistic, the plot was well-thought out and the ending was perfect! This is a great book to curl up with on a cold and snowy weekend spent indoors.


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