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2018 Reading Challenge

2018 Reading Challenge
Jill Elizabeth has read 25 books toward her goal of 175 books.
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Book Review: The Banker’s Wife by Cristina Alger

“There’s a whole world offshore, Ms. Tourneau.. A world of dirty money, hidden away in shadow accounts, and it belongs to some very powerful and dangerous people.”

I thoroughly enjoyed this one… The double-focus tale, with the story developing through the parallel eyes of the investigative journalist breaking the story of her career and the widow trying to survive (literally) the death of her husband, offered a perfect point-counterpoint that kept me engaged and furiously flipping pages from the opening until the ending.

Marina and Annabel were great female characters, well-rounded and fascinating as they navigated their separate ways through the increasingly dangerous waters they found themselves in because of the actions of the men in their respective lives. Alger’s writing style was exceptionally well-paced, blending just the right amount of detail and backstory into the unfolding drama.

The supporting cast offered a marvelous set of contrasts and added just the right amount of suspenseful motive questioning to keep me guessing. Even after I had guessed on where a couple of the characters’ true motivations (and loyalties) lay, I was still engrossed in the way things played out right up until the very last pages.

I did not know much about the world of private banking (or any other kind of large-scale money handling, really) prior to this book. I have, however, been to Geneva – and one of the first things I noticed (it’s difficult not to) was the preponderance of vast, gorgeous, palatial buildings with discreet yet still noticeable names on them. Private banks are one thing to think about, and another to actually see. While I never went inside of one, I couldn’t help but be impressed by the scope and scale of the grandeur their buildings represented – even within the larger expansive context of a gorgeous city like Geneva. It was obvious there must be epic money represented by these companies; there’s no way the numerous multi-story castle-like edifices could exist in a European capital where real estate is at a premium if there was not. That imagery really fed my interest in and engagement with this novel, and made the trillions at issue seem not only possible but plausible.

This was a fascinating look behind the (even if fictionalized) curtain, and I loved it. I will definitely be on the lookout for more from Cristina Alger!

My review copy was provided by the Penguin First to Read program.

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