The Banker’s Wife – Cristina Alger
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons
Release Date: July 2018
Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️ 1/2
Synopsis: On an early morning in November, a couple boards a private plane bound for Geneva, flying into a storm. Soon after, it simply drops off the radar, and its wreckage is later uncovered in the Alps. Among the disappeared is Matthew Lerner, a banking insider at Swiss United, a powerful offshore bank. His young widow, Annabel, is left grappling with the secrets he left behind, including an encrypted laptop and a shady client list. As she begins a desperate search for answers, she determines that Matthew’s death was no accident, and that she is now in the crosshairs of his powerful enemies.
Meanwhile, ambitious society journalist Marina Tourneau has finally landed at the top. Now that she’s engaged to Grant Ellis, she will stop writing about powerful families and finally be a part of one. Her entry into the upper echelons of New York’s social scene is more appealing than any article could ever be, but, after the death of her mentor, she agrees to dig into one more story. While looking into Swiss United, Marina uncovers information that implicates some of the most powerful men in the financial world, including some who are too close to home. The story could also be the answer to Annabel’s heartbreaking search–if Marina chooses to publish it.
Review: I have this 50 page rule when reading books–if you don’t hook me in the first 50 pages, I’m out. Too many books, too little time and so on. I nearly dropped The Banker’s Wife before that 50 page mark simply because I was bored with it and I couldn’t seem to get into it. Looking at other reviews, I’m not alone here. I did see potential in Alger’s writing, however, so I pushed on past that 50 page barrier just to see if things picked up. I’m glad I did because The Banker’s Wife turned into one little firecracker of a novel real quick.
I don’t feel like I got to know the characters as much as I could have throughout the book–Annabel remained aloof for me–but what is lacking in character development is more than made up by a twisty turny plot that surprised even this seasoned reader! I enjoyed the back and forth perspectives of Marina and Annabel, even if sometimes I had to backtrack to remember whose p.o.v. I was reading at the time if I’d put the book down for a bit.
The Banker’s Wife would have been a solid four stars for me had it hooked me and kept me interested at the beginning. Perseverance pays off with this one, especially if you enjoy financial/political intrigue and plucky female leads who save the day.
Thank you to the publishers and NetGalley for offering a free copy in exchange for an honest review.