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Need to Know

3.82  ·  Rating details ·  28,702 ratings  ·  4,226 reviews
In pursuit of a Russian sleeper cell on American soil, a CIA analyst uncovers a dangerous secret that will test her loyalty to the agency—and to her family.

What do you do when everything you trust might be a lie?

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-nee
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published January 23rd 2018 by Ballantine Books
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Joy I just finished it this AM (3:30 AM), could not put it down. There was no profanity nor sexual behavior other than hugs and kisses by marriage mates, …moreI just finished it this AM (3:30 AM), could not put it down. There was no profanity nor sexual behavior other than hugs and kisses by marriage mates, yet the book was riveting due to the story. See my review as IndianaHappyTraveler here on Goodreads.(less)

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Average rating 3.82  · 
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 ·  28,702 ratings  ·  4,226 reviews

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Dec 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
* Thank you to Random House UK for my 'wish for it copy' for which I have given an honest review in exchange*

Vivian Miller is a CIA counterintelligence analyst - she's good at what she does, and has developed an algorithm which will enable her department to identify Russian sleepers ( seemingly ordinary people leading everyday lives ), however, their lives are lived within the United States, and they are naturally a threat to national security. When Vivian manages to access the computer of a Rus
Berit Talks Books
Jan 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018, net-galley
4.5 you NEED TO READ it STARS🌟🌟🌟🌟.5

A thrilling breath of fresh air! Just like many of you I am a thriller junkie.... and with the market so saturated with so many thrillers, this book stands apart and strong!

Vivian is a CIA operative focusing on Russia and in particular finding sleeper cells..... but even more importantly she is a mother of four young children..... so when a few clicks of the computer leads to putting her family in jeopardy... you definitely see Vivian’s mama bear come out.....
Lindsay - Traveling Sisters Book Reviews
5 stars! Wow – I simply devoured this book! I felt like I was holding my breath the entire time waiting to see what would happen in the next sentence, paragraph, page, chapter….

This was a gripping, twisty, completely addictive, edge-of-your-seat thriller! I was drawn right into this story from page 1. I am blown away that this is a debut novel! My initial thought was to give a 4.5 rating due to a few slightly impractical details, but the book was just SO good that I can’t give this anything les
Skyler Autumn
Jan 16, 2018 rated it it was ok
2 Stars

Need to Know, revolves around our naive but also idiotic CIA counterterrorism analyst Vivian and her family of a billion kids and her shady ass husband Matt. The novel starts out quickly as Vivian is attempting to break into a laptop that holds the identity of Russian sleeper agents and low and behold whose picture appears, that's right her oh so perfect but bossy ass husband Tom (This is not a spoiler it happens in chapter 2 and the entire novel is about this premise so put the pitchfo
Jan 20, 2018 rated it liked it
I really didn’t need to know about this book. While I didn’t hate it, I certainly didn’t love it. And, it’s not just that CIA counterintelligence analysts and Russian sleeper cells aren’t my usual fare. At the end of the first chapter I thought, “now we’re cooking with oil” but it just didn’t pan out for me. Based on the reviews I had read I was hoping Need to Know would be as exciting and surprising as the first season of The Showtime series Homeland. Unfortunately, it was predictable so I’m go ...more
Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
5 stars - Not just “Need to Know” but also “Need to READ” 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟

Need to Know came highly recommended from several of my Goodreads friends. I read the blurb and wasn’t sure. To be honest, it sounded a little dry, based on my typical reading preferences, but this is not my typical genre. That said, I trusted my friends. Wow, were they ever right!

I thought several times while I was reading that the CIA angle felt authentic, and when I looked up the author’s bio, it clicked. She had been a CIA
Holly  B

The illusion of a cheerful home is about to hit a major speed bump! This edge of your seat spy thriller is so addictive with the full steam plot, it kept me up all night reading!

I love that this spy thriller isn't bogged down with too much analyst mumbo jumbo. You can just enjoy the page turning without having to decipher unfamiliar lingo, but offers enough details to tell an authentic, believable story.

Vivian is a CIA counterintelligence analyst, but also a wife and mom to four young children
Mary Beth
Feb 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars

Vivian Miller is a Counter Intelligence analyst for the CIA. She has four children and a husband. She is on a project where she under covers sleeper cells.

Vivian uses someone else's computer and finds a picture that she isn't suppose to see. She is shocked. What she sees turns her life and her family in danger.

What do you do when everything you trust might be a lie? Everything that matters to Vivian, her job, her family are threatened.
Who can she trust? Her life has changed into a nig
Jan 26, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks
3.75 Stars* (rounded up)

Highly Addictive and Compelling, yet also Highly Unrealistic and Predictable.

Vivian is a CIA Analyst who loves her job. She also loves her husband Matt and her four kids. Life is crazy but it’s also pretty picture perfect. That is of course, until Viv stumbles across something at work that blows her world apart. That “something” and everything that happens thereafter admittedly had me glued to “Need to Know.” I listened to the audiobook and had to find out exactly what V
Diane S ☔
Dec 15, 2017 rated it liked it
3.5 Vivian has been married to Tom for many years, they have four children together, the last two a set of twins, one that has medical problems. She also works for the CIA, as an analyst, working on the Russian problem of sleeper cells, trying to uncover agents embedded in the States. One day, while working, she masnages to infiltrate the computer of a suspected handler. What she sees will change her life, and those of her family.

I enjoyed this, liked Vivian, she struggles so hard to keep things
Holy guacamole, this 📚 is off the charts!

***Woot! Just read that this is being made into a movie, with Charlize Theron playing the lead, Vivian. This will play out well on the silver screen!***

Whether you are into political thrillers or not, I highly recommend you grab this book, as it is so much more than that! I typically shy away from this genre, unless it comes highly recommended or has high ratings, which this absolutely does. This has to be one of my top 5 fav books for this year.

It reads
Jan 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
4.5 stars, rounded up
I’m not a big fan of thrillers. But I saw a lot of positive reviews on GR about this book and decided to take a chance. And I’m so glad I did!

Vivian Miller is a CIA counterintelligence agent searching for Russian sleeper spies in the US. She finally manages to infiltrate the computer of a suspected handler and whose picture pops up in his files? Her husband’s. Boom.

In truth, this book isn’t so much a spy thriller. It’s much more about how much you know about the one you lo
Jan 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
"The worst thing about being lied to is knowing you weren't worth the truth." (Unknown)

Hunched apprehensibly over the keyboard of her computer, Vivian Miller's eyes seem to ache and burn with the prospect of something on the precipice of a break through. Her years as a CIA counterintelligence analyst gnaws at her that something is within reach......something elusive at her very fingertips.

Vivian is a phantom figure with the ability to access the computer of a suspected Russian operative. The pay
Caro (Bookaria)
Jan 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is an excellent political thriller!

Vivian Miller works for the CIA and is assigned to the Russian division trying to uncover sleeper cells. One day, she is analyzing the computer of a known Russian operative and finds a folder named "Friends", when she opens it up her life is turned upside down and her family is immediately in danger.

This story is a suspense-filled journey. The story is told from the point of view of Vivian and it gives you a glimpse into the everyday life of a CIA analyst.
Karen Cleveland writes a twisted and tense espionage thriller through the prism of a family and a marriage, where the life of a CIA counterintelligence analyst, Vivian Miller, begins to unravel after coming up with an algorithm that will allow her to access the computer of a suspected Russian spy and handler of sleeper agents in the US, Yury Yakov. Living in a small home in the suburbs, close to Langley, Vivian has been happily married to her adored husband, Matt, for a decade, and have 4 young ...more
Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
This spy thriller novel is now on sale!
A CIA counterintelligence analyst investigating Russian sleeper spies finds a face she never expected in a hidden file, and her world is immediately turned upside down. And it only gets more tense from there...

Vivian Miller has been happily married to Matt, a software engineer, for almost ten years, with four young children. She works full-time for the CIA, trying to uncover a network of Russian sleeper spies. Viv has developed an algorithm for identifying
Fun and fast-paced!

CIA counterintelligence analyst Vivian is close to a big breakthrough at work. Her department is trying to find Russian sleeper agents living in the United States and she's developed an algorithm to identify likely handlers. Her eagerness to break the case dissipates when she gains access to a suspected handler’s computer and finds a file that makes her question every decision that she's made for the last decade. When forced to choose between her oath to the U.S. Constitution
Marialyce (absltmom, yaya)
Oct 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: net-galley
5 extremely suspenseful on the edge of your seat stars!
This one was so good, so very, very good!

"I've always wanted to be a spy because it is the ultimate acting exercise. You are never what you seem."

Vivian is a trusted, loyal CIA analyst. She has a harried life with four children, one of who is ill with a heart ailment. She has a loving but also harried husband, Matt. Vivian is looking for a promotion since the money is desperately needed for her family. It seems to be a guarantee for her as
Lou (nonfiction fiend)
Nov 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
In pursuit of a Russian sleeper cell on American soil, a CIA analyst uncovers a dangerous secret that will test her loyalty to the agency—and to her family.

What do you do when everything you trust might be a lie?

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 a
Jul 10, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller-crime
A thriller that was edgy and gripping from start of finish. The reader may have to suspend disbelief just a little, but well worth it as this one is a suspenseful and gripping espionage thriller that is full of drama.

The first couple of chapters of this novel had me gasping for air and holding on to the edge of my seat.

Vivian Miller is a CIA analyst assigned to uncover Russian sleeper cells in the USA. After accessing the computer of a suspected Russian spy she stumbles on a secret dossier of
Jun 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, netgalley
Full Review: Thank you so much to Random House and NetGalley for allowing me to read and review this thrilling spy novel by Karen Cleveland. I squealed when I saw I was approved to read this. I have been enthralled with the idea of Russian sleeper cells and the real/not-real dilemma any relationships that might form as they try to assimilate into American lives ever since seeing the first season of “The Americans.” And this AMAZING offering by Karen Cleveland absolutely lived up to everything I ...more
Rachel (not currently receiving notifications) Hall
Domestic drama with a sideline in espionage, I am unsure whether Karen Cleveland’s debut novel is intended as a spy thriller aimed at female readers or simply an opportunity to cast a kick-ass female actress in the role of protagonist, Vivian Miller, a supermom and occasionally a counterintelligence analyst for the CIA. Juggling domestic dramas along with upholding national security might sound like a tough ask for even the most adept CIA operative (which on the evidence of Vivian’s decision mak ...more
Dec 04, 2017 added it
Shelves: fiction, debut
The Hook - Recommendation by Michael Kindness, voracious reader and Sales Rep for Penguin Random House, in an interview on Book Cougars Podcast, Episode 39 hosted by Chris Wolak and Emily Fine. I trust Michael, and for that matter, Ann Kingman, longtime hosts of the Booksonthenightstand. Though no longer podcasting, all-390 episodes are available for a listen. A huge shout-out to Chris and Emily, Book Cougars, Rahhhh!

The Line - ”…support and defend the Constitution of the Untied States against a
Mar 18, 2018 rated it it was ok
Don't read this expecting a spy thriller. I'm sure that this book will be made into a movie, a cheesy Lifetime network movie. In fact, some of the plot points have already been used in the TV series The Blacklist. If CIA agents really behave this way then perhaps "draining the swamp" is actually called for. Vivian Miller is a CIA counterintelligence analyst searching for leaders of Russian sleeper cells in the US. Wouldn't it be nice if she spoke and could read Russian? I guess competence is too ...more
Feb 15, 2018 rated it liked it
The first five chapters of this book were suspenseful and had me holding my breath, waiting to see what the protagonist, Vivian Miller, would decide. Viv is a CIA analyst working in Russian counterintelligence looking for sleeper cells in the U.S. She discovers something that is a sucker punch to her life. I was on edge right there with her, thinking through what I would have done in that situation.

Once her decision is made, it was a matter of figuring out whether her husband, Matt, could be bel
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ / 5

Happy pub date to this beauty of a book! I absolutely L-O-V-E-D this spy thriller. Need to Know was a real page turner. Espionage and a whoooooooole lot of secrets.

The story jumps between current day and goes back to when Vivian and her husband Matt first met. It continues on through them having kids, and experiences they have had together. I loved that the book jumps back and forth, and it really gives great background on both Vivian and Matt. I think the characters are very wel
Sep 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing

MY RATING ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
PUBLISHER Ballantine Books
PUBLISHED January 23, 2018

A heart-wrenching counterintelligence thriller that is impossible to put down.

Vivian Miller is a CIA counterintelligence analyst trying to identify Russian sleeper cells and their handlers. She's getting close. And then she find something total unexpected when hacking into a suspect’s computer. A picture of her husband labeled as “friend”. Viv and Matt been married ten fabulous years an
Oct 11, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller, 2018, suspense
3.75 Stars

Vivian works for CIA, she is an analyst that works on uncovering Russian sleepers in the US. In one of her assignment she finds a folder with "friends" name on it but what she sees in the folder spins her whole world, threaten her life, her work and her family! She doesn’t know who can she trust anymore! How can she save her family! Is this a mistake? Had her life been built based on a lie? How can she choose between her family and her country!? Is that possible at all!!!

Well, so enjoy
Liz Barnsley
Aug 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have read this book.

That ending though.

Highly Recommended.

Sorry that is all I can tell you if I value my life....
Jan 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really need to thank my Goodreads friends for writing such stellar reviews for this novel because I would of never requested this one otherwise. Political thrillers just aren't my thing. I saw this on NetGalley and kept passing it by but then all the reviews started pouring in and I became intrigued. I am glad I did or I was going to miss out on an amazing thriller.

What happens when the man you've been married to for over a decade turns out to be someone you don't even know? Vivian's life is
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Matt's parents 2 9 Nov 07, 2022 07:36AM  
The Ending 18 225 Jul 23, 2021 11:31AM  
BookFellas: Need to Know 1 10 Jun 01, 2019 09:08AM  
Play Book Tag: Need to Know, by Karen Cleveland, 3.5 stars 5 27 Jan 09, 2019 01:20PM  
Goodreads Librari...: Could you please change a few things for this book? 5 39 Dec 27, 2018 01:52PM  
Goodreads Librari...: Please add details 3 31 Apr 18, 2018 06:41AM  

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Karen Cleveland spent eight years as a CIA analyst, the last six in counterterrorism. She has master’s degrees from Trinity College Dublin, where she studied as a Fulbright Scholar, and from Harvard University. She lives in northern Virginia with her husband and two young kids.

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