The Banker’s Wife is a mystery thriller following two women, Annabel and Marina, and their pursuit to uncover the links between a deadly plane crash and a larger international conspiracy. If that description is vague, it’s meant to be. I had a lot of fun reading this book, and I despair robbing anyone else of that pleasure.
Easy to read and compelling, Cristina Alger excels at deepening the female protagonists’ inner lives and motivations without resorting to cheap stereotypes or dependence on the men in their lives. Annabel and Marina act upon both logic and emotion, drawing a realistic representation of what it means it be human in difficult and dire situations. Not to nitpick, but Alger describes both Annabel and Marina as slender, striking beauties on occasion, falling into the trope that someone has to be beautiful in order to engage an audience. I could contend that it’s a plot point in which their beauty helps the heroines move forward in their investigations, duping people into trusting them along the way through their outward appearance; however, I’m not so sure that was the intent.
The narrative’s progression benefited from the parallels between the women’s stories. These parallels were occasionally on the nose, but felt necessary in order to bind their stories outside of the mystery plot. Alger built tension without leaving me feeling breathless. There was mystery without convolution, and in the end, the strings tied up pretty neatly. The story contained no glaring plot holes by my estimation (then again, I would probably be a terrible detective).
I recommend this book, especially if you are someone coming off of a particularly laborious read. It’s something I see enjoying while traveling – especially for the public transit commuters out there. It’s a fun ride!