Published by G.P. Putnam's Sons
Publication date: July 3, 2018
Genres: Fiction, Mystery, Suspense
Matthew is a successful young financier so when he has the opportunity to move to Geneva for his job he and his new wife Annabel jump at it. It will be a short-term adventure after which they can return to the States and start a family. And the money! So much of it, beyond anything Annabel can imagine. Except the work takes Matthew away, leaving her alone more often then she likes. Right up until she gets the news that a private plane he was on has crashed. There are no survivors. Almost immediately, questions arise about the passengers and about Matthew’s job itself. The Banker’s Wife combines Annabel’s story alongside that of Marina, a journalist at a society paper whose mentor has recently been murdered. Are the two related and does this have anything to do with a massive story about global banking and hidden money he was working on?
Author Cristina Alger puts together one of those the-deeper-you-go-the-worse-it-gets plots in The Banker’s Wife, but does it well enough that each increment is plausible and generates more tension. She even mimics today’s reality: Marina’s future father-in-law is a New York City businessman who’s decided he wants to run for President. This despite a history of unexplained foreign cash financing and ties to less-than-savory people and countries with lots of criminal activity. The closer Marina gets to connecting all the dots the more the pressure around her builds to back off.
The Banker’s Wife neatly fits the bill for summer suspense reading. But Alger goes a bit further in how cleverly she fashions her characters. Annabel is young and surrounded by wealthy, powerful men. She’s Bambi—naïve and lost in unfamiliar territory. Both of which make watching her fascinating, as she maneuvers through her grief while trying to understand what happened to her husband and why. She’s not alone, as Alger plants her characters well, cultivating a sense of unease as to who can be trusted and who is an enemy.
Once again, as she did in her novel The Darlings, Alger slides the reader into the silky safe embrace of wealth and then shows what happens if you step outside that circle. How extraordinary wealth can lead to corruption, how deep it goes, and what happens to those who threaten the status quo. By the end of The Banker’s Wife all of these questions are answered, with unexpected turns, in this fast-paced, satisfying novel.