The Banker's Wife

by Cristina Alger

Hardcover, 2018

Call number




G.P. Putnam's Sons (2018), 352 pages


"On an early November morning, a couple boards a plane bound for Geneva. Soon after, it drops off the radar and the wreckage is later discovered in the Alps. Among the missing is Matthew Lerner, an 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. Desperately searching for answers, she determines that Matthew's death was no accident--and that she is now in the crosshairs of his powerful enemies."--Back cover.

User reviews

LibraryThing member Susan.Macura
This book is about wealthy people hiding money in offshore banks with the assistance of a Swiss bank, a wealthy businessman with many secrets running for president and two whisleblowers trying to speak truth to power. Sound familiar? This is a very entertaining and informative look at the world the wealthy and corrupt move in. Like the real world, people lost their lives in search of the truth, but unlike the real world, truth wins. We have yet to see of this is an accurate reflection of reality today.… (more)
LibraryThing member LisaSHarvey
The Banker’s Wife
Cristina Algers

A fascinating and fast-paced investigative thriller complete with strong and smart women characters.


A handsome couple boards a private plane in London bound for Geneva. An hour after takeoff the plan drops off the radar, and it’s wreckage is thought to be spotted atop Mt. Trélod, in the Swiss Alps. Among the missing is Matthew Werner, a banking executive at Swiss United Bank, a powerful offshore bank. His young widow, Annabel is left grappling with the secrets he’s left behind, including an encrypted laptop and a confidential client list. As she begins to search for answers, she determines that Matthew’s death was no accident. Someone wanted him dead. And now his enemies are her enemies.

Marina Tourneau an investigative journalist for Press magazine, had finally made it to the top. She’s in Paris celebrating her engagement to Grant Ellis, of Ellis Enterprises, a multinational corporation. She will be joining the ranks of one of the most powerful families in the country. Her entry into the upper echelons of New York’s social scene is just about more appealing than any article she could ever write. But after the death of her editor and mentor, Duncan Sander’s she agrees to investigate one more story. While looking into Swiss United, Marina uncovers information from an anonymous source that implicates some of the most powerful men in the financial world, including some who are too close to home. The story is huge and if Marina chooses to publish it, it could also be the answer to Annabel’s heartbreaking search for the truth.

The pages in this compelling thriller turn themselves. It’s a fascinating story and best of all it’s complete with two or three strong and smart women. This is just the type of book I have been looking for all year. Finding books with strong women characters is not quite as easy as you might think.

THE BANKERS WIFE is a perfect blend of well-developed characters, picturesque settings and a riveting story. The story covers the globe, from London to Geneva to Paris to New York to the Cayman Islands and cleverly layers both Annabel’s and Marina’s lives and perspectives, through alternating chapters. The intensity sustained through the novel makes it an easy prediction that you’ll find this book on the bestseller list very soon. I would even love to see THE BANKERS WIFE made into a movie! It’s that good!
CRISTINIA ALGERS has also authored The Darlings (2012) and This Was Not the Plan (2016). A graduate of Harvard College and NYU law school, she worked as a financial analyst and a corporate attorney before becoming a writer. She lives in New York with her husband and children. Thanks to Penguin First to Read for an advance reading copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Publisher G. P. Putnam’s Sons
Publication July 3, 2018
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LibraryThing member teachlz
My Review of “The Banker’s Wife” by Cristina Alger PENGUIN GROUP (PUTNAM) July 3, 2018

“The Bankers’s Wife” by Cristina Alger is a captivating, intriguing , suspenseful, intense and riveting novel. This was a page -turner that I couldn’t put down. The Genres for this novel are Fiction, Mystery, Suspense and Thriller. Kudos to Christina Alger for combining two enthralling storylines, and characters. In this novel are twists and turns, international banking crimes, criminal families, politics, journalism, and the need to seek the truth at whatever the cost.

The author describes the characters as complex and complicated. There are secrets, espionage, danger , betrayal and death. Annabel Lerner, now a widow is searching for the reasons for her husband’s plane crash. Michael Lerner had worked at Swiss United a powerful off shore bank. The more that Annabel investigates, the more danger she realizes she is in.

In New York, Marina Tourneau, is a journalist, that is engaged to Grant Ellis. Grant’s father is a politician considering running for the Presidency of the United States. Marina has promised to end her journalism career for a short while, but is called to help her mentor with one important story. After her mentor’s death, Marina is determined at any cost to find the truth. As she investigates she uncovers information that could be harmful to powerful men, politics and finances. Marina also discovers that her life is in danger.

I would highly recommend this fascinating and engaging novel to those readers that appreciate the chase, adventure, suspense and intrigue. I received an ARC from Netgalley to read and review.
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LibraryThing member Bonnie.Franks
This book was requested by me and kindly provided by NetGalley and the publisher.

This is the first of this author's books I have read. What a refreshing change this book was for me! Espionage, deceit, danger at every turn, the depths of offshore banking, murder, all combined with wonderful characters and some love stories. Wow. I am so impressed with the writing! I opened the book and did not want to stop reading.

I love that the book is told from different perspectives. I love that the characters are real, complete with some faults. I really can't think of anything about this book that I disliked...except maybe that it had to end.

By all means go grab this one!
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LibraryThing member SilversReviews
Two women in dangerous situations through no fault of their own.

Annabelle was married, but her husband seemed to be married to his job. After a plane crash, she finds out why there had been a plane crash with him in it.

Marina writes stories about men like Annabel's husband, but this current story is a bit too dangerous to continue with even though Marina does.

Actually a lot of folks seemed to be in danger, and the persons behind this situation are aware of every move Marina, Annabel, and others are making.

After the plane crash and when Annabel was out of her Geneva apartment, it was ransacked. Annabel really became angry and frightened when she came home to the damage. Marina really became angry when she found out some information about her future father-in-law and when she found her friend had been murdered for uncovering incriminating information.

What was going on? It all seemed to stem from the Swiss bank and its clients.

So many people were involved in this illegal money hiding. It is a pretty frightening concept that seems like it could be “real” in today’s world.

The behind-the-scenes hacking and finding out information is also a bit on the scary side.

The story line was interesting, but was a little slow at times with all the technical information. As the story continued, though, the tension mounted as everyone involved in the money scheme was coming to the surface and trying to keep those who knew what was going on quiet.

THE BANKER’S WIFE addressed high profile and powerful men and women where money was the catalyst, and as the saying goes “the root of all evil.”

Perhaps it isn’t a good idea to be a “banker’s wife.” :)

If you enjoy secrets, intrigue, corruption, and love, you will enjoy THE BANKER'S WIFE. 4/5

I received an advance copy. All opinions are my own.
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LibraryThing member GirlWellRead
A special thank you to Penguin First to Read for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

On a November morning, a private plane departs for Geneva, but crashes in the Alps after experiencing stormy weather. Among the passengers was Matthew Lerner, a banking insider with the powerful offshore bank Swiss United. His widow, Annabel, is left with an encrypted laptop and a questionable client list. In her desperate search for answers, she learns that Matthew's death was no accident, and she is now involved.

Society journalist Marina Tourneau is on top of the world. She is engaged to Grant Ellis, son of a powerful politician and is finally part of the upper echelon of New York. After the death of her mentor, she reluctantly agrees to investigate one more story. While looking into Swiss United, Marina uncovers information that will not only implicate, but bring down some of the most powerful players in the financial industry. No one is immune, including some who are close to home. The story may also bring answers to Annabel's search, that is if Marina chooses to publish.

Alger's globetrotting thriller was a mixed bag for me. I found the beginning slow, but I'm glad I stuck with it because the story really picked up to a frenzied finish.

The writing was quick and sharp, but I did feel that the characters could have been further developed and I think that Alger hides this weakness behind her clever plot. Written from both female perspectives, the characters needed to be more than they were, they simply lacked the depth needed. What I did like was that they were the perfect pairing—one was trying to uncover a secret while the other was trying to conceal information.

Fans of the thriller/mystery genre will devour this book. Once you get into the story, the pace is quick, just what one would expect.
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LibraryThing member jess_reads_books
In the early morning hours a couple is seen boarding a private plane in London during a storm. News soon hits that the plane has crashed in the Alps and those aboard are believed to be dead. Police arrive at Annabel Werner's door to inform her that her husband was aboard this plane and she is now a widow. Annabel is forced into a world of confusion. For starters, her husband, Matthew, never told her he was in London and just who was this woman he was flying with? As Annabel digs deeper she learns that her husband, who was a successful banker at Swiss United, a powerful offshore bank located in Geneva, was representing the woman on the plane. A woman whose family has close ties to terrorists. Nothing makes sense.

At the same time Annabel's life is crashing down around her, Marina Toureau is questioning her future. She is currently a successful journalist set to end her career quite early in order to accommodate a new life with her fiancé whose father is about to launch his campaign for presidential election. Before she walks away for good, she has agreed to help her boss with one last story. A story about Swiss United. A story about how this bank has a client list of not just your typical powerful executives, but also a link to known terrorists, which is a crime in the banking world. As Annabel and Marianna's lives become more and more entwined with their investigations into Swiss United they run the risk of losing their lives. Will these two women find out the truth or will they die trying?

THE BANKER'S WIFE is a multi-faceted story about the criminal side to offshore banking. When I first read the synopsis for this book I was worried I wouldn't understand the topic, as I'm certainly no banking expert, but rest assured, Alger makes everything easy to comprehend. The story is told through alternating storylines where the reader is able to spend time with each of the main characters, which is an element to many recent thrillers that I have come to know and love. That being said, THE BANKER'S WIFE stops being your average thriller here. There is no unreliable narrator trying to convince you that they know who committed a crime or that they aren't guilty of something. The voices of Annabel and Marianna are those of strong, badass female characters determined to stop at nothing in the quest for the truth. Alger has a gift for writing a quick-paced, thrill ride of a story that sucks the reader in with a plot that will hold your attention until the very end. THE BANKER'S WIFE has all the elements needed to be your favorite thriller of the summer!
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LibraryThing member kmartin802
This story begins with a plane crash over the Alps taking the live of personal banker Matthew Werner and one of his clients. Werner leaves behind his grieving wife Annabel who can't come to terms with her loss. She does her own investigating which leaves her with more questions than she started with and makes her the target of those who don't want Matthew's secrets to come to light.

While Annabel is in Geneva, Marina is in Paris with her fiance Grant Ellis. She is getting ready to give up her career as an investigative journalist in order to marry into the powerful Ellis family. Her future father-in-law is soon to announce his candidacy for President of the United States. But a phone call from her mentor has her making a detour to pick up a USB drive that will blow the lid off the corruption in the personal banking industry. Before she can get the USB to him, she receives another phone call telling her that her mentor was killed in a home invasion. She cuts her vacation short to go back home for his funeral.

Marina begins her own investigation to continue her mentor's work and finds direct ties to money laundering, illegal offshore accounts, and ties to terrorism that implicates the family she was ready to marry into. Each step of her investigation puts her and her colleagues into more and more danger.

Meanwhile Annabel is facing dangers of her own as she gets her husband's work laptop from his young assistant Zoe who then disappears. She doesn't know who she can trust at the bank Matthew worked for when all his boss and best work friend are acting suspiciously.

This was a fast-paced thriller that kept ratcheting up the danger and tension throughout the book. Fans of thrillers and international intrigue won't want to miss it.
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LibraryThing member susan0316
This is a great book about secrets and corruption and money - LOTS of money. It's a clever mystery that keeps you guessing over whether characters are honest or corrupt and your opinion is going to change several times until you get to the fantastic ending of the book.

There are two strong female characters that most of the book revolves around - Annabel the widow of a banker killed in a plane crash who left clues behind over what was going on at the Swiss bank that employed him and Marina - a journalist who gets a tip about money laundering by Swiss banks and has to follow the story to the end. Both women end up being pursued by people who don't want them to share any of the information that they have and will stop at nothing to make sure that they remain silent. I really can't say much about the plot without giving away potential spoilers but I will say that it's fast paced and a real page turner! I loved it.

I read an advance copy of this book. All opinions are my own.
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LibraryThing member Beamis12
Book prejudices. Despite my love for mysteries, thrillers and police procedurals, I had myself convinced that I disliked anything to do with computer crimes, money laundering and politics. The publisher, however, sent me a copy and if they send it I will read. As soon as I started reading I was hooked, all preconceived notions thrown out the window.

A female journalist, about to marry the son of the man who may be the next US President and a young wife in Geneva, whose husband works for a Swiss Bank, will find themselves in the same danger. When the banker is killed in a suspicious plane crashes, and the journalists mentor is murdered in a suspicious supposed robbery, the game is on. Enjoyed both these characters, their intelligence, their integrity, and the quest to get to the bottom of what is really happening. Off shore banking, powerful men willing to do anything it takes to keep the truth from coming out, make for a fast paced read.

Will tie into the criminal activities of not only banks, but people we have heard about on the news. Gave this a realistic feel, in fact this was incredibly believable, I have no doubt that these are common practices in the monied world. A very good read, and while my opinion may have changed on these types of reads, one book prejudice gone, I will not read books about zombies or shape shifters. Well, maybe I should never say never. LOL!

ARC from G. P. Putnam
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LibraryThing member breic
A forgettable thriller. The plot is ripped from the headlines, which is unfortunate for two reasons: first, you know exactly where it is headed (I found the plotting almost unbelievably unoriginal in the main, although there's a minor twist at the end), and, second, because it seems the author brings nothing more beyond the headlines. There are no details, nothing to give the story any further atmosphere or sense of authenticity. It is bland and shallow, with stereotyped characters and poor dialog.… (more)
LibraryThing member jfe16
The crash of a private plane carrying a hedge fund manager and a banking executive leaves a widow searching for answers and opens a Pandora’s box of difficulties for a the ultra-powerful upper echelon of a Swiss bank.

Journalist Duncan Sander has received information regarding offshore banking but, before he can write the sensational story, he is murdered. Marina Tourneau, engaged to society scion Grant Ellis, reluctantly steps back into the journalism career she’d just abandoned to look into Duncan’s story.

But the truth these women believe they must find may be far deadlier than either has imagined.

Told from the alternating viewpoints of three women, the story unfolds around Annabel’s determination to learn the truth about her husband’s death, Marina’s difficult decision regarding her mentor’s final story, and Zoe’s secrets. The women are strong characters, stepping up to take charge and find the answers they need. However, the unfolding of the investigation seems too pat, too easy for the women . . . despite their lack of experience in this sort of investigating, there are no hesitations, no missteps.
The deceivers, men who know the ins and outs of the money business, are more one-dimensional with predictable attitudes and behaviors; all are unlikeable and unlikely to draw any sympathy from readers.

There are several surprising missteps in an otherwise engaging narrative: references to characters using the wrong name and a puzzling substitution of “phased” for “fazed.” But the overuse of an insulting expletive . . . unnecessary to the telling of the tale . . . is likely to be the most annoying to readers.

The plot offers several unexpected twists, but lengthy passages regarding the inner workings of the flawed banking system tend to drag the story down, making the narrative more pedestrian than suspenseful.
Although easily pulled into the story as it opens, astute readers will figure out the ending long before the big reveal.
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LibraryThing member MM_Jones
A novel of international corruption in the banking arena. Some jet-setting glamour thrown in and multiple plot-twists. Most of the novel was plotted in the thriller genre, but the ending was straight out of a romance novel, i.e. not particularly believable. Definitely readable, mildly interesting, but not gripping.
LibraryThing member shazjhb
Interesting. Good read.
LibraryThing member jwrudn
After her husband dies in a plane crash, his wife Annabel discovers he has been working for a bank that launders money for cartels and despots. She begins to suspect that the crash was not an accident and finds herself in danger. The story is told in alternating chapters about Annabel, Marina, an investigative reporter, and Zoe, an assistant at the bank. A good international thriller and an entertaining read.… (more)
LibraryThing member jenn88
Annabel is now living in Geneva with her banker husband Matthew. But her life has just crashed and burned much like the plane that was carrying Matthew. But something doesn't add up when she finds clues surrounding her husband's death. He may not have been the man she thought he was. Journalist Marina is looking into Swiss United, the bank where Matthew worked, and she uncovers evidence of a global financial scandal that will put her life in danger.

This was a very interesting look into the dark world of offshore accounts and the powerful, corrupt people who will stop at nothing to keep secrets. It was a realistic read that kept me tense. These women were living in a dangerous world and I didn't really know what would happen to them. I'd hate to be on the run and looking over my shoulder for the rest of my life. Well-written right to the satisfying end.
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LibraryThing member Sharn
Every now and then I read a book that I can not keep the characters straight, it was my time, this was that book.
LibraryThing member nyiper
This was TERRIFIC---I couldn't put it DOWN and carried it around with me --- I need to hunt for her other books---no libraries in our library system have them!!




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