The Banker’s Wife by Cristina Alger: book review

The Banker’s Wife by Cristina Alger
Published July 3, 2018 by G. P. Putnam’s Sons
341 Pages
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From PublisherOn 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. 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. Ambitious society journalist Marina Tourneau is engaged to Grant Ellis whose father is set to run for President of the US. 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…


I’ll admit, when I first came across this title I assumed it was another domestic psychological “wife” thriller (although one with a great cover). The Banker’s Wife , however, was not at all what I expected. I knew from the opening scene in the London airport that this financial thriller was not only going to keep me on my toes, but it had such an international flair and hint of conspiracy and secrets to come that I couldn’t wait to find out more. 

We first meet Marina, an investigative journalist for Press magazine, whose fiancé’s father is close to securing the bid for the next US Presidential election. Although she’s been contemplating quitting the further immersed she gets in the upper echelon of New York society, she’s enticed by her editor to help gather secret evidence from a source in Paris. What follows propels Marina into an investigation of a top Swiss Bank, Swiss United, which may or may not have close US ties. From there we get to be flies on the wall, immersed in the secrets and scandals that cross the globe.

The story alternates perspectives between Marina and Annabel, whose husband Matthew is missing after his plane goes down in the Swiss Alps. Matthew is a banking executive with Swiss United (can you start to see the threads?) and it’s not long before Annabel is questioning not only what happened to her husband’s plane but also if she really knew her husband. 

I was equally invested in both these smart, sophisticated, take control women and the way Alger structured the novel, with lightening paced chapters that combined phenomenal dialogue with increasing tension, was just brilliant. Seriously, I felt like I was watching a movie while reading this book, if that makes sense? It is one of the most cinematic, globe trotting novels I’ve ever read, taking us to Switzerland, Paris, London, and New York.  I could picture each place and I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough to find out how all the little threads were connected…or not. Some advice though, this is a close reading type of story where details can be missed, especially in the second half where a few more characters were introduced. I had to really pay attention so as to not feel confused. I highly recommend this intelligent, tightly plotted thriller if you’re looking for something original and fast paced. 

Many thanks to G. P. Putnam’s Sons via Netgalley for my copy



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21 thoughts on “The Banker’s Wife by Cristina Alger: book review

  1. I liked this book as well and think your review sums it up perfectly! I especially liked how Alger made Annabel seem so innocent and helpless when she really wasn’t.

    If you liked this one you should add Alger’s debut novel, The Darlings, to your TBR. She mentions them in this novel and I liked it better.


    1. Thanks for that recommendation Catherine! I didn’t even realize she had a backlist. I’ve already requested that from my library, I’m very excited that you say you liked it better:)


    1. Thanks Yvo, I really hope you can read it soon, although it may keep you up late:) Let me know your thoughts if you do read it


    1. I think that’s been the consensus on this title, chalk it up to so many readers being burnt out on the “wife” and “girl” titles that don’t live up to the hype. Good news is this one does and it’s also pretty original imo. I hope you enjoy it if you read it and come back and let’s chat if you do!


    1. Thanks Holly! I’m glad you found it too…my subscribers from the other wordpress were supposed to have automatically been redirected here but I don’t think that’s happened. Technology! This book was fantastic, hope you enjoy it!


  2. Great review! I precisely avoided it because of the “wife” in the title but now that I read your review… hahaha mmmm 😛 will think about it


    1. This definitely has a traditional thriller format with fast pace and increasing tension. I’m glad you’re going to give it a try, I hope you enjoy it!


  3. I really like the sound of this one especially because of all the different settings. Never read a financial thriller before though. Glad you enjoyed this book. Fab review.


    1. Thanks Diana! I know you love thrillers so I really think you’ll like this one and with it being set in the world of high finance it’s got a different feel to it than all the other domestic thrillers out there. Let me know if you decide to read it


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