Need to Know
by Cleveland, Karen

"Vivian Miller is a dedicated CIA counterintelligence analyst assigned to uncover the leaders of Russian sleeper cells in the United States. On track for a much-needed promotion, she's developed a system for identifying Russian agents, seemingly normal people living in plain sight. After accessing the computer of a potential Russian operative, Vivian stumbles on a secret dossier of deep-cover agents within America's borders. A few clicks later, everything that matters to her-her job, her husband, even her four children-are threatened. Vivian has vowed to defend her country against all enemies, foreign and domestic. But now she's facing impossible choices. Torn between loyalty and betrayal, allegiance and treason, love and suspicion, who can she trust?"-

Karen Cleveland is a former CIA analyst. She has master’s degrees from Trinity College Dublin (international peace studies) and Harvard University (public policy). Cleveland lives in northern Virginia with her husband and two young sons. This is her first novel.

*Starred Review* What would you do if you found out that your entire life, including your husband, your children, and your career, might be part of an orchestrated effort on the part of the Russian government to infiltrate the CIA? Vivian Miller, a dedicated agent within the Company, is about to face that dilemma. She has developed a system to identify Russian operatives who control sleeper agents in the U.S., those seemingly normal people who live among us in plain sight, much like the Jennings family team in the TV series The Americans. "Call me paranoid," she says, "or just call me a CIA counterintelligence analyst." While accessing the computer of a suspected Russian handler, Vivian opens a folder named "Friends," and what she finds there will change everything. Between alternating waves of panic and resolve, her patriotism and devotion are put to the test when she realizes that she has placed the Agency, her family, and herself in immediate danger. This is a compelling debut about a timely issue-Russian threats to our security loom large in every news cycle-from a writer with a background in CIA counterterrorism. Perfect for fans of Shari Lapena's thrillers and Chris Pavone's The Expats (2012), and for just about everyone who loves the thrill of finding themselves in a book that can't be put down.HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: One of the buzziest thrillers of the season, Cleveland's debut comes with AAA-list blurbs from Louise Penny and Lee Child, among others, and with film rights sold to Universal for a Charlize Theron movie. Copyright 2017 Booklist Reviews.

In Cleveland's debut novel, a CIA analyst tracks Russian sleeper agents—to her own front door.On the surface, Vivian and Matt live a traditional American life: they have a happy marriage based on a lucky meeting and love at first sight; a house in the suburbs near the best schools; four beautiful children. There is some financial strain, but Vivian feels fulfilled by her work on the Russia desk at the CIA, and Matt's IT job allows him flexibility to pick up the kids as needed. Vivian's team is working hard to uncover the system used to keep track of Russian sleeper agents, and as she secretly navigates through the hacked computer of a midlevel Russian handler, she's thrilled to discover photographs of his five agents—until she realizes that one of the faces is that of her husband. Suddenly, everything she thought secure—her marriage, her patriotism, and her very life—lies on shaky ground. Whose side is Matt really on? Should she turn him in? Can she be tray her country to keep her family together? The fast-moving plot will appeal to fans of The Americans and to conspiracy theorists, and Cleveland was herself a CIA analyst, so she knows her way around secrets and those who fight to keep them. The problem is that the characters lack human development. Vivian's inner conflict is clear and somewhat poignant, especially as she looks back over the years of her life and has to reconsider every word her husband ever said, every decision they made, even the way they met. But Matt seems a somewhat slippery character from the beginning, so maybe she just wasn't very good at reading people. If you don't expect a deeply thoughtful thriller, you'll get carried away by the action enough to enjoy it. Copyright Kirkus 2017 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.

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