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Extended Audio Sample The Cutout Audiobook, by Francine Mathews Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (108 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Francine Mathews Narrator: Trini Alvarado Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: January 2001 ISBN: 9780553753851
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CUTOUT: A third person used to conceal the contact between two people. A pawn.

They were partners—lovers in a business where betrayal is 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.

Now her dead husband has surfaced among those responsible for an explosion that rocks Berlin—and the brutal kidnapping of the U.S. Vice President. Uncertain of Eric’s motives and loyalties, the Agency plays its last, best card: Eric’s wife—the Cutout.

Is Eric a rogue agent gone bad? Or has he thrown himself under deep cover to terminate a ruthless psychopath? Caroline is drawn into a dizzying maze where one wrong turn will mean certain death… and in which the Cutout will be the first to fall.

Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards


  • And coming soon in hardcover from Bantam Books:
  • The Secret Agent

    By Francine Mathews
  • A high-action thriller. USA Today
  • Fascinating, harrowing, page-flipping intrigue ... A vivid tale of seduction, betrayal,revenge, and international political intrigue. The Christian Science Monitor
  • Fast moving. Mathews has no shortage of imagination. People
  • Thrills you with the CIA, a kidnapping and the hunt. Starts with a bang. The Denver Post
  • A brilliantly intelligent and thrilling read. Liz Smith, Newsday

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Susie | 11/6/2013

    " I like a good spy novel. This one was good, not great. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Megan | 8/6/2013

    " A little long in the tooth but a great story and wonderful characters. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Robert | 5/21/2013

    " Brave ending but otherwise a by the numbers thriller. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Alana | 11/19/2012

    " probably not worth the time it takes to read it "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tara | 8/4/2012

    " A femaile CIA analyst learns that her case officer husband did not die but instead became a deep undercover agent with a terrorist group that kidnapped the Vice President. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Amanda | 7/27/2012

    " I have been reading to many books like this lately "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Mark Pool | 7/13/2011

    " I read this book because I read at the NPR website that this author had been a CIA analyst. Conclusion: Not very good. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Elsie | 6/27/2011

    " A complicated plot that involves a kidnapping of the VP of the US. The author brings too many minor characters into the story and this makes it hard to keep everyone straight. Not all that entertaining "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Annie | 4/13/2011

    " A fantastic story about a woman who works for the CIA. I always wondered about them, I know the author and she was a CIA analyst. She writes beautifully and the story flies off the pages. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 False Millennium | 2/26/2011

    " Another good thriller set mainly in Berlin, Budapest and Sarajevo. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Mark | 9/4/2010

    " I read this book because I read at the NPR website that this author had been a CIA analyst. Conclusion: Not very good. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Elsie | 7/20/2010

    " A complicated plot that involves a kidnapping of the VP of the US. The author brings too many minor characters into the story and this makes it hard to keep everyone straight. Not all that entertaining "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Susie | 2/1/2010

    " I like a good spy novel. This one was good, not great. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tara | 1/22/2010

    " A femaile CIA analyst learns that her case officer husband did not die but instead became a deep undercover agent with a terrorist group that kidnapped the Vice President. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Alana | 9/2/2009

    " probably not worth the time it takes to read it "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Amanda | 5/27/2009

    " I have been reading to many books like this lately "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Robert | 9/20/2008

    " Brave ending but otherwise a by the numbers thriller. "

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About the Author
Author Francine Mathews

Francine Mathews was born in Binghamton, New York. She grew up in Washington, DC, and attended Georgetown Visitation Preparatory School, a two hundred year-old Catholic school for girls. She attended Princeton, and later worked as a journalist for the Miami Herald and the San Jose Mercury News. She spent four years as an intelligence analyst at the CIA; the highlights were her work on the Counter Terrorism Center’s investigation into the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103, over Scotland in 1988, and her chance to debrief ex-President George Bush in Houston in 1993. She wrote her first book in 1992 and left the CIA a year later. She has since written over fifteen books. When she’s not writing, she likes to ski, garden, needlepoint, and buy art.

About the Narrator

Trini Alvarado's film credits include The Perez Family, Little Women, Stella and The Babe. On stage she played Melinda in Broadway's Runaways and appeared off-Broadway in Yours, Anne and Godspell.