Library Journal Review
Former CIA analyst Cleveland's debut novel is premised on a big "what if." What if you found out after a decade that the person you married and built a life and a family with was not only keeping a huge secret but actually had entered your life just to learn the secrets of your job? This is exactly what CIA counterintelligence analyst Vivian Miller learns when she uncovers the identities of five Russian sleeper agents and one of them is her husband. By mixing the action of a spy thriller and the internal dialog of a loving wife and mother, Cleveland sends listeners on a journey into the private hell that Vivian's life becomes. Narrator Mia Barron gives a performance that is understated yet elegant. VERDICT This very detailed, exciting thriller is highly recommended. ["A rousing Act II to the excitement of TV's The Americans and the novels of Chris Pavone": LJ 10/1/17 starred review of the Ballantine hc.]-Scott R. DiMarco, Mansfield Univ. of -Pennsylvania Lib. © Copyright 2018. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Publishers Weekly Review
Former CIA analyst Cleveland's assured if thinly plotted debut is an unusual mix of family drama and spy thriller. The narrator, CIA analyst Vivian, is part of a team in the Counterintelligence Center, Russia Division, that's searching for agents running sleeper cells in the U.S. She lives in Washington, D.C., with her four young children and doting husband. Flashbacks chart the couple's courtship, then their lives as hyperbusy young parents, delving deeply into maternal and marital love. When Vivian isn't fretting about her family, she's trying to extricate herself from a colossal treasonous mess that results from a startling discovery that she makes in the course of her research. The deep backstory may attract readers not usually drawn to espionage novels, but thriller fans who like tradecraft and action will have to look elsewhere. Agent: David Gernert, Gernert Company. (Jan.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Booklist Review
*Starred Review* What would you do if you found out that your entire life, including your husband, your children, and your career, might be part of an orchestrated effort on the part of the Russian government to infiltrate the CIA? Vivian Miller, a dedicated agent within the Company, is about to face that dilemma. She has developed a system to identify Russian operatives who control sleeper agents in the U.S., those seemingly normal people who live among us in plain sight, much like the Jennings family team in the TV series The Americans. Call me paranoid, she says, or just call me a CIA counterintelligence analyst. While accessing the computer of a suspected Russian handler, Vivian opens a folder named Friends, and what she finds there will change everything. Between alternating waves of panic and resolve, her patriotism and devotion are put to the test when she realizes that she has placed the Agency, her family, and herself in immediate danger. This is a compelling debut about a timely issue Russian threats to our security loom large in every news cycle from a writer with a background in CIA counterterrorism. 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. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: One of the buzziest thrillers of the season, Cleveland's debut comes with AAA-list blurbs from Louise Penny and Lee Child, among others, and with film rights sold to Universal for a Charlize Theron movie.--Murphy, Jane Copyright 2017 Booklist