Need to Know | Penguin Random House Canada
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Need to Know

Publisher: Doubleday Canada
A chilling psychological thriller from a CIA insider: in hot pursuit of a Russian spy ring on U.S. soil, a CIA analyst uncovers a deadly secret that will test her loyalty to the agency--and to her family. The Expats meets The Americans meets The Girl Before.

Vivian and Matt are a seemingly normal suburban couple, experiencing the same struggles as many North American families: juggling work and children, budgeting for a house in a decent school district. They're in love and life is good. Though Vivian can't share much about her CIA assignment with him, Matt has always been supportive, and his job as a software engineer allows him the flexibility needed to raise their four kids. But when she makes a startling discovery researching the CIA's Russian account, everything about her life and her marriage is cast in a new light--forcing her to make impossible and dangerous choices before she loses her job, her family and her life.


“Bad news, Viv.”
     I hear Matt’s voice, words anyone would dread, but a tone that’s reassuring. Light, apologetic. It’s something unfortunate, sure, but it’s manageable. Anything truly bad and his voice would be heavier. He’d use...
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A New York Times Bestseller

"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, #1 New York Times bestselling author

"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, #1 New York Times bestselling author

"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

"Shaping up to be one of the year's biggest new thrillers." —Entertainment Weekly

"Pulse-pounding." —O: The Oprah Magazine

"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 TVs The Americans and the novels of Chris Pavone." Library Journal, starred review

"The strength in Need to Know is how seamlessly Cleveland pairs the espionage aspect—complete with clandestine meetings on the proverbial park bench—with domestic life." Associated Press

"Karen Cleveland's Need to Know is a swift and sure-footed debut." —The Seattle Times
"The Russia page-turner that should be on everyone's list." New York Post

"Need To Know is an impressive debut from an author who worked for the CIA and uses her personal experiences to pose an interesting moral dilemma. . . . It is an engaging, thoughtful domestic suspense thriller that builds to a satisfying finale with a twist."  —Daily Express (UK)

"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. Need to Know is a really astonishing achievement for any writer, let alone a first-time novelist. I love it!" —Louise Penny, #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Chief Inspector Gamache Series

"Karen Cleveland is the real deal—an exciting new voice in thrillers. Scarpetta would call her a friend." —Patricia Cornwell, #1 New York Times bestselling author
"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
"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
"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, author of I Am Pilgrim

"Thrillers don't get much more twisty and turny than this one. . . . If you don't mind staying up reading till 3 a.m., [Need to Know] is the one for you." —BBC

"An early contender for next year's Gone Girl." —GQ (UK)

"Cleveland deftly brings together old-school espionage and contemporary cyberwar in a novel that may well be the best fusion of the two to date." —The Sunday Times (UK)