“The Bankers Wife” by Cristina Alger opens with a cringe-worthy scenario; someone is throwing a temper tantrum in an airport. If that were not bad enough, a storm with strong crosswinds and a downpour of sleet has reduced visibility to virtually nothing. In the midst of the chaos, a phone call reports, “It’s done. Only one flight departed and they were on it.” Less than one hour later over the French Alps, the plane simply fell off the radar, as though it had never existed at all.
The book continues as two intertwined narratives. Chapters alternate with differing point of view, and each main character is identified in the chapter heading. Marina is a senior journalist at “Press,” magazine, married to Grant, with a father-in-law contemplating running for president. When her boss, Duncan himself, sends her on a clandestine assignment to pick up a flash drive containing highly important but top-secret information, Marina anticipates being on the tail of a good story with dirty money hidden away in shadow accounts. However, things take an unexpected turn.
“It’s Duncan. Duncan Sander. He’s dead.”
Annabel Werner is living in Geneva and married to Matthew, a successful banker. Although she has a lavish lifestyle paid for with giant banker’s salary, Geneva would never be home to her. Annabel was bored, missed work, and wanted children. With a knock on her door, her life takes an unexpected turn as well.
“Your husband’s plane from London did not land as scheduled. We believe it crashed in the Alps.”
Unexplained deaths, a suspicious plane crash, double dealings, bank improprieties, illegal transactions, and downright theft keep readers turning the pages at a frantic pace. Interesting characters, picturesque international settings, and high finance crime blend to make a riveting story. Little clues are woven into the story to tease the outcome.
I received a copy of “The Bankers Wife” from Cristina Alger, Penguin Group, and NetGalley. It is a gripping book with strong, reliable, female characters who anchor the action. I highly recommend it.