Englischsprachige Literatur

Cleveland Karen

Need to know

Ballantine Books, New York 2018


Karen Cleveland worked as a CIA analyst. She lives in northern Virginia with her husband and two young sons. This is her first novel.

All these details about the author are important, as her heroine Vivian Miller is modelled after her creator. It is a kind of autobiographic story, dealing with all the angst bordering to paranoia, that CIA counterintelligence analysts might have, if their task is to identify Russian sleeper agents.

Vivian finds out, due to a programme she has developped, that her husband and father of their four children, is a Russian sleeper. He and his handler play her to plant a bug programme into the CIA computer system, she fears for her life and that of her family and is prepared to do almost anything to save them. Her husband swears everlasting love. They find out, that her boss is a traitor, he is eliminated and the family can get away to some tropical island.

A colleague of hers, now the boss of the department, persuades her to come back to her job. In the unsettling end, not only her husband is shown to still be a Russian spy, but also her new boss. Paranoia must run deep in the DNA of the CIA.