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Mathews, Francine (AKA Stephanie Barron)

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ISBN 10: 055310893X / ISBN 13: 9780553108934
Published by Bantam Books, New York, NY, U.S.A., 2001
Condition: Fine Hardcover
From Kathleen Simpson (Simi Valley, CA, U.S.A.)

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About this Item

A 400 page debut thriller featuring CIA Analyst, Caroline Carmichael. SIGNED by the author on the title page. Mapped endpapers. First edition, first printing. Dust jacket is enclosed in a clear mylar cover. Book will be carefully packed and shipped in a box. Bookseller Inventory # 12944

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Bibliographic Details


Publisher: Bantam Books, New York, NY, U.S.A.

Publication Date: 2001

Binding: Hard Cover

Book Condition:Fine

Dust Jacket Condition: Fine

Signed: Signed by Author

Edition: First Edition

About this title


Cutout: A third person used to conceal the contact between two people usually an agent and a handler who do not want to meet because one or both may be under surveillance. A pawn.
The Encyclopedia of Espionage

In an electrifying thriller debut guaranteed to redefine the genre, Francine Mathews brings her expertise and experience as a former CIA analyst to a work of fiction that reads like the real thing — in a breathtaking tale of a world on the brink of chaos ... and the one woman who can stop the deadly countdown to global terror.

They were partners, lovers, soul mates in a business where betrayal is only a heartbeat away. CIA analyst Caroline Carmichael lost her husband Eric when his plane was blown out of the sky by an elite group of terrorists known as 30 April.

For two years she's headed an Agency task force tracking Eric's killers. Now, her dead husband has surfaced among those responsible for an explosion that rocks Berlin — and for the daring kidnapping of the U.S. Vice President.

The news sends CIA headquarters into turmoil. Desperate to bury evidence of a maverick agent, uncertain of Eric's motives and loyalties, the Agency plays its last, best card: Eric's wife — the Cutout — sent to Germany as bait to reel him and his VIP hostage in from the cold.

Someone is trying to rewrite history and Eric alone knows who it is, how it is to be done, and when. Caroline's assignment is to learn whether Eric is a rogue agent gone bad — or if he has thrown himself under deep cover to terminate a ruthless psychopath bent on changing the face of Europe.

Torn between duty to country and the ghosts of her past, the Cutout swiftly finds herself drawn deep into a dizzying maze where one wrong turn will mean certain death. And in a game where even the life of a Vice President is a pawn, Caroline knows that the Cutout will be the first to fall.

This scorching debut was bought by Warner Bros. prior to publication. Peopled by a remarkable heroine and an authentic cast of characters, sparked with dizzying ambiguities and explosive climaxes, The Cutout is thriller writing at its finest — and it introduces a masterful writer who will take the suspense genre by storm.


Former CIA-analyst-turned-author Francine Mathews delivers the goods in this page-turning debut of a husband-and-wife agent team involved in a terrorist plot, one that results in the kidnapping of the American vice president and a threat to destabilize the entire European continent. Caroline Carmichael's husband, Eric, died when the terrorist group known as 30 April blew up a plane full of innocent travelers. Two years later a massive explosion in Germany's new capital city results in the capture of U.S. vice president Sophie Payne. A man who looks suspiciously like Eric is photographed leading the kidnappers. Caroline's colleagues in the intelligence community set her up to be the so-called cutout: the pawn whose invisible presence will conceal the risky contact between a man who may be a rogue agent and the handler who set him on his bloody path. Fans of the spy genre who've been languishing in the literary wasteland created by the death of the Evil Empire will be delighted with Mathews's nail-biting narrative, great pacing, and ability to create complex, multidimensional characters in this novel of revenge, betrayal, and global politics. Her secondary characters, especially Sophie Payne and the conflicted young son of the psychopath--who will sacrifice anyone who stands in his way, including his own child--are very well-drawn. But it's Caroline we hope to see again in a sequel to this suspenseful thriller. --Jane Adams

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