Need to Know
What would you do to save your family?
Vivian Miller is CIA analyst whose primary task is to locate Russian sleeper agents. One fateful day, she gains access into one suspect’s computer and finds a file labeled “Friends,” which contains five photographs. One of the photographs is of her husband. Need to Know, by Karen Cleveland (Ballantine Books, 2018, $26), is the story of a woman whose love for her family leads her down a dangerous path.
She expects denial or excuses, but when Vivian Miller confronts her husband, Matt, with the picture she found on the Russian’s computer, he quietly admits his guilt. The ramifications are unbearable: Matt will be arrested, she will lose her job—and maybe be arrested—and their four children will be sucked into the foster care system. Panicking, Vivian deletes the picture and hopes it won’t be noticed.
Later, one of her coworkers tells her there are rumors of a mole in their department. Vivian tries to act normal at work while desperately searching for the truth about her husband, who lies so convincingly that she’s forced to question everything. But she’s started down a shadowed path and can’t turn back, even as Matt pressures her to commit treason to cover up his status and protect their family. Can it get any worse? Yes.
Karen Cleveland spent eight years as a CIA analyst, the last six in counterterrorism. This experience gives her a depth of knowledge that brings an aura of authenticity to this story. As the reader follows Vivian farther off the straight and narrow, there exists only the hope that she will find her way, somehow, to survive the journey. If you enjoy suspense that keeps you up past your bedtime, this book is for you!
Doug Gallogly lives in Fort Myers with his wife, Jackie.