Secrets, jealousy, and paranoia collide when a seemingly perfect new family moves into a neighborhood with ties to the CIA in this gripping thriller from the New York Times bestselling author of Need to Know.
“Karen Cleveland ingeniously melds domestic intrigue with the lightning pace of a spy thriller, showing us the devastating personal costs of intelligence work.”—Tess Gerritsen, New York Times bestselling author of Listen to Me
Idyllic neighborhood, perfect family, meaningful career. CIA analyst Beth Bradford has it all—
Until she doesn’t.
Now, facing an empty nest and a broken marriage, Beth is moving from the cul-de-sac she’s long called home, and the CIA is removing her from the case that’s long been hers: tracking an elusive Iranian intelligence agent known as The Neighbor.
Madeline Sterling moves into Beth’s old house. She has what Beth once had: an adoring husband, three beautiful young children, and the close-knit group of neighbors on the block. Now she has it all. And Beth—who can’t stop watching the woman stepping in to her old life—thinks the new neighbor has something else too: ties to Iranian intelligence.
Is Beth just jealous? Paranoid? Or is something more at play?
After all, most of the families on the cul-de-sac have some tie to the CIA. They’re all keeping secrets. And they all know more about their neighbors than they should. It would be the perfect place to insert a spy—unless one was there all along.
At the start of this clever national security cyberwar thriller cum suburban status-envy mystery from bestseller Cleveland (You Can Run), CIA counterintelligence analyst Beth Bradford drops her youngest child off at college, then sees her life unravel. As she mourns the sale of the suburban Virginia house where she raised her family, her husband announces he's leaving her. She's sidelined at work, shunted into a training role instead of continuing her 15-year pursuit of a U.S.-based covert Iranian operative known as "The Neighbor." Dazed by the speed at which everything in her life is upended, she cultivates an increasingly unhealthy obsession with the new occupants of her old house, Madeline and Josh Sterling, conflating her personal crisis with an off-the-books investigation of the Neighbor's identity. She digs into the Sterlings' backgrounds, sets up surveillance of a cul-de-sac in her old neighborhood, and appears increasingly unhinged to her friends and former neighbors. The strong plot takes several convincing twists that vindicate Beth's initially outlandish suspicions as it builds toward a well-paced, if not entirely surprising, conclusion. Cleveland consistently entertains. Agent: David Gernert, Gernert Co.
Great for fans of “Homeland” with Claire Danes!
UNBELIEVABLE! Devoured this book in one setting. Great for fans of "Homeland" starring Claire Danes.
Cleveland's background as a CIA counterterrorism analyst definitely paid off in this story. I truly could not stay ahead of her in this book. Each time I was led to believe I had figured it out, Cleveland spun the plot into an entirely other direction. I loved how her writing style almost came from the mind of a terrorist, always "one step ahead" of the reader. Could not believe the final twist in the last pages of the book! I thoroughly enjoyed this ride & would love to see a sequel centered on the new neighbor!