Bantam, Jan 2001, 23.95, 416 pp.
The terrorists kidnapped Vice President Sophie Payne while she was giving a speech in Berlin. From top to bottom, the entire staff of the CIA is stunned by the abduction of the Vice President. However, no group is as shocked as the Counterterrorist Center (CTC), who see a film of the incident in which a deceased agent Eric Carmichael flies the helicopter involved in the incident.
Eric?s wife Caroline works in the CTC and cannot understand what is happening. Bewildered and hurt by her spouse?s return to life, she reflects back to thirty months ago when they were last together in Budapest before she flew to Virginia while he died in a plane bombing on his way to Istanbul. Her superiors wonder if Caroline, a long time loyal worker, might be Eric?s mole, but decide she is the only hope of acting as a contact with Eric?s group in order to free the Vice President.
THE CUTOUT is an exciting espionage thriller that will provide immense enjoyment to genre fans. The story line from the onset is fast-paced, never slows down even during an insider?s look at the ?spy school? training program, and ends with an exhilarating and realistic climax. Caroline is a fabulous character struggling between disbelief and love while the support cast on both sides of the Atlantic augment the plot with realism and validity. Francine Mathews, author of the wonderful Jane Austen mysteries (under the name of Barron) writes an intelligent work and offers her audience a brilliant counterterrorist tale that will draw her historical mystery fans into a different genre that will be well worth the trip.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner