Radio 2 Book Club: Need to Know

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Need to Know by Karen Cleveland will be featured on the Radio 2 Book Club on Monday 5 February.

We have the chance for you to win 10 copies of this exhilarating thriller for your reading group! Please enter by Friday 9 February.

Not yet a member of Reading Groups for Everyone? Sign up now.

We also have an exclusive extract available for you to read as well as a discussion guide for your reading group

Need to Know

Vivian Miller is a dedicated CIA counter-intelligence analyst assigned to uncover 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 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 is threatened – her job, her husband, even her four children.

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?

Selection panel review

The book was selected with the help of a panel of librarians from across the UK. They loved Need to Know – here are some of their comments:

“This felt like a good old-fashioned spy novel. Within a few pages I was hooked into the plot. Just like Vivian, we as the reader are never quite sure who to trust, which means it is a roller-coaster ride to the end.”

“This is a tense read from start to end! Who can Vivian trust? Can she trust her husband? How can she get herself and her family out of this mess? There are twists and turns right up to the very end of the book. A real page-turner.”

“We follow Viv, torn between loyalty to Matt and to her job, trying to work out if he is a spy – should she turn him in? Flashbacks explain how they met, pivotal moments in their marriage, is he lying to her or telling the truth? Can she trust him? The story is told by Viv and we, the reader, follow her every step of the way, trying to work out if Matt is a spy. First it looks like he is and then something will happen and you think no he can’t be. A very readable, unputdownable thriller, lots of twists and turns. This book kept me gripped to the very end, I loved it. Brilliant.”

About the author

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Karen Cleveland spent eight years as a CIA analyst, focusing on counterterrorism and working briefly on rotation to the FBI. She has master’s degrees from Trinity College Dublin and Harvard University. She lives in northern Virginia with her husband and two young sons.

Get involved

Tune in to Simon Mayo’s Drivetime show on Monday 5 February to hear a live interview with Karen.

Have you read Need to Know? You can share your thoughts with us on Twitter or follow Karen Cleveland.

You can also see what other readers thought or add the book to your group’s reading list.

Want to find out more? Take a look at the Radio 2 Book Club Twitter feed or find out more on the Radio 2 Book Club website.

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