I very much enjoyed Cristina Alger’s last book. The Banker’s Wife was suspenseful, fast read with both good characters and good settings. So, I was very excited to be given a copy of the author’s newest novel in exchange for my honest review. Thanks NetGalley and e publisher.
Girls Like Us does its author proud. It, too, is an exciting, fast paced story with a great setting. This time, the locations are all in Suffolk County, New York. Towns in that county like Southampton are populated by many fabulously wealthy and (self) important folk, especially during the summer. Nearby, in towns like Hampton Bays and Riverhead, the locales are not as gentrified and are where many of those who care for the summer dwellers reside. Ms. Alger clearly knows her geography and presents both places with accuracy.
Nell, the protagonist of this novel, works for the FBI. She was injured on her last case and has come to New York following her father’s death. She and he lived in Hampton Bays, on the grittier, more realistic end of Suffolk County. Nell’s father was a Suffolk County cop. Was his death in a motorcycle crash an accident or murder? Did he kill his wife when Nell was just a young child? What was happening at the parties of the wealthy Mr. Meachem? Why were young Latinas being murdered? Who is covering up what and for whom? Who are the guilty parties? There are questions and questions that are answered over the course of this excellent summer read.
Pick up Girls Like Us if you enjoy suspense stories. Like me, I hope that you will enjoy spending time with Nell and in her world.
Bustle’s “Perfect Vacation Read[s]” and a Beach Read Pick
PopSugar‘s “Best Books of July” and “Best New Books to Put in Your Beach Bag This Summer”
New York Post‘s “20 Beach Reads Sure to Send Chills Down Your Spine”
PureWow‘s “Best Beach Reads of Summer 2019”
Crime Reads‘s “Most Anticipated Crime Books of Summer”
Read It Forward‘s “Summer 2019 Thriller” Picks
“Gripping…Brisk…Nell’s work on the case is smart and efficient, which gives the book a crisp tone and pace. Her final discoveries startle her and the reader…Readers will hope to savor more of her gimlet-eyed takes.”—Newsday
“[An] excellent crime novel…[Alger] captures the social dynamics of Suffolk’s eastern extremes perfectly. The first-person narrative is appropriately terse—Nell delivers a thorough report—but it occasionally surprises with a gripping depth….Highly recommended.”—Booklist (starred review)
“[A] propulsive thriller…Alger expertly ratchets up the suspense all the way to the explosive finale. Readers will hope to see more of tough, smart Nell.”—Publishers Weekly
“[Nell] has a vulnerable, empathetic core that will pull readers in, and Alger has a feel for small-town dynamics….The tension becomes nearly unbearable as Nell realizes she truly can’t trust anyone. Readers can expect a few genuine surprises, and the light Alger shines on society’s most vulnerable members is an important one. Melancholy and addictive.” —Kirkus Reviews
“This fast-paced psychological thriller…will intrigue mystery readers as they shadow Nell’s precarious quest for the truth at all costs, despite the consequences.” —Library Journal
My earlier review of The Banker’s Wife:
The Banker’s Wife is a great summer read, especially for those who enjoy novels like The Expats by Chris Pavone. The set up…Annabel is married to Matthew. Matthew is a banker at a Swiss bank that keeps secrets for its depositors. Marina is a journalist who is engaged to a prospective presidential candidate’s son. She works with Duncan. They are trying to locate a notorious Ponzi schemer. The story, of course, is even bigger than this.
Matthew is reported killed in a plane crash along with a cousin of Syria’s dictator. Annabel is left bereaved and unsafe. Marina is unsafe as well. While the two do not meet, they are both impacted by the business practices of Swiss United Bank.
Both Annabel and Marina are connected to a myriad of other characters. There are questions about whom to trust and how to unravel the bank’s schemes and hold those who are guilty accountable. The reader experiences doubts too regarding what has happened and who all of the ‘bad guys’ are.
Christina Alger has written a book that is suspenseful and engaging. The plot is complex but not too hard to follow. The reader will understand more about financial shenanigans and the private banking worlds that are fascinating and not part of many readers’ daily lives.
I truly enjoyed the settings, characters and the plot of the novel. I highly recommend it!
“First-rate…Slick, heart-hammering entertainment.”–The New York Times Book Review