The Russians are here—and they're deeply embedded in the most powerful echelons of the United States government.
FBI Agent Stephanie Maddox has made a career of putting the bad guys away, starting with organized crime in Chicago and moving up to internal affairs in Washington, D.C. No one knows that she's driven by a trauma from her own past and that trying to outrun this pain has consistently caused her to prioritize her job over the raising of her son, Zachary. Now 17 and about to graduate from high school, Zachary suddenly seems like a stranger to Steph. When a colleague approaches her with the news that Zachary has some links to a domestic anarchist group, she fears the worst, yet she can’t help but keep some faith in her son. Drawn deeper and deeper into the web of lies that has been created around Zachary, and desperately fearful for her family’s safety, Steph realizes that the Russians have infiltrated the FBI at the highest levels, and they are planning an imminent attack. Now if she can only find someone to believe her....The Russian connection is, of course, both a classic spy trope and also a fear plucked from our daily headlines; Cleveland excels at twisting her plots so tightly that the “big reveal” in the end truly is a surprise. The writing, sadly, isn’t as sharply honed as the action, but in a novel like this, few fans will complain as they’re swept along by the multilayered plot.
While at times it feels overdramatic, Cleveland's (Need to Know, 2018) second political thriller rings plausible enough to keep the most faithful—or eager—conspiracy theorists reading along.