* Copy courtesy of Penguin Random House UK *
I don't typically read spy novels (in fact, if I see the word espionage in a blurb I usually run a mile) but Need to Know by Karen Cleveland is an espionage thriller and I absolutely loved it!
Main character Vivian Miller is a working mother with four children and a perfect husband, but something soon happens to change all that. Need To Know is believable, fast paced and reads like a domestic thriller. When I wasn't reading it, I was thinking about when I could get back to it, which is a ready indicator of a great book.
It's hard to believe this is a debut novel from the author, but when I learned she had spent 8 years as a CIA Analyst, I understood why I'd been in such competent hands. Karen Cleveland knows what she's talking about.
The pitch for this book was the best I've seen from a publisher in more than 11+ years of reviewing and I was instantly hooked. Arriving in a classified envelope containing my redacted mission and an ID pouch, my advanced reading copy also had phrases printed on the page edges (see below). It's my favourite review copy in distant memory and the novelty made me excited to read the book and I wasn't disappointed.
Need to Know by Karen Cleveland will be released on 25 January 2018 and I highly recommend it. Even if you don't think spy thrillers are for you; this novels breaks through the genre in a new and surprising way.
My rating = *****