Need to Know

An Instant New York Times Bestseller!

Perfect husband. Perfect father. Perfect liar?

“Terrific.”—John Grisham
“Superb.”—Lee Child
“Breathtaking, heart-pounding.”—Louise Penny
“A fast-paced, relentlessly gripping read.”—Chris Pavone

In pursuit of a Russian sleeper cell on American soil, CIA analyst Vivian Miller uncovers a dangerous secret that will threaten her job, her family—and her life. 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—is 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?

Film rights sold to Universal Pictures for Charlize Theron • Rights sold in 30 markets

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Praise for Need to Know

“An early contender for next year’s Gone Girl.”

—GQ (UK)

“I raced through this gripping tale of domesticity and deceit. Cleveland deliciously ratchets up the tension at every turn…you won’t be able to put it down until the final, stunning page!”

—Shari Lapena, New York Times bestselling author of The Couple Next Door

“Perhaps there will be two or three readers out there who manage to finish the first chapter of this terrific debut and put it down for more than an hour. But they’ll be back. And they’ll devour Need to Know like the rest of us, skipping lunch, losing sleep, turning pages until the end, where we’re all left waiting for more.”

—John Grisham, New York Times bestselling author of The Rooster Bar

“Prediction: If you read chapter one, you’ll read chapter two. If you read chapter two, you’ll miss dinner, stay up far too late, and feel tired at work tomorrow. This is that kind of book. Superb.”

—Lee Child, New York Times bestselling author of The Midnight Line

“The Russia page-turner that should be on everyone’s list.”

—New York Post

“This is a compelling debut about a timely issue… 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.”

—Booklist (starred review)

“[A] pulse-hammering first novel… This suspenseful espionage tale is a rousing Act 2 to the excitement of TV’s The Americans and the novels of Chris Pavone.”

—Library Journal (starred review)

Need to Know carves out a uniquely compelling space among thrillers: high-stakes international intrigue combined with high-drama domestic suspense. These richly overlapping layers of tensions create a fast-paced, relentlessly gripping read.”

—Chris Pavone, New York Times bestselling author of The Expats

“I am consumed with awe that this is a debut novel. Breathtaking, heart-pounding, it manages to be at once intimate and sweeping, characterful and plot-driven. A really astonishing achievement for any writer, let alone a first-time novelist. I love it!”

—Louise Penny, New York Times bestselling author of the Chief Inspector Gamache Series

“Heart-poundingly suspenseful and heart-wrenchingly insightful, Need to Know hums with authentic detail, crisp storytelling, and characters that will long stay in your thoughts. A gripping thriller with real psychological depth.”

—JP Delaney, New York Times bestselling author of The Girl Before

“Hold on tight! What a story, brilliantly told. An espionage thriller from deep within the heart of the CIA, told from a woman’s point of view. More modern than tomorrow. Absolutely gripping.”

—Terry Hayes, New York Times bestselling author of I Am a Pilgrim

“Karen Cleveland is the real deal—an exciting new voice in thrillers.”

—Patricia Cornwell, New York Times bestselling author of the Kay Scarpetta series

“First word to last, I needed to know! Karen Cleveland’s spy thriller about a wife, mother, and CIA analyst on the prowl for a Russian cell is a timely dance of intrigue and deception. There are two female heroes here: the author, an actual CIA analyst, and the terrific protagonist she creates. One of my favorite espionage thrillers in a long time.”

—Julia Heaberlin, author of Black-Eyed Susans

“Gripping, tense, and packed full of insider knowledge. A need-to-read.”

—Mick Herron, author of Dead Lions

Need to Know is a pure page turner… a brilliantly executed spy thriller with a terrific female lead. I raced through it in a weekend.”

—Paula Daly, author of The Mistake I Made