The most hyped thriller this summer traces a world of heady excess and rotting corruption

Cristina Alger’s new book tracks a group of globe-trotting financial criminals and the women who take them to task.

Money is haircuts whenever you want. Money, also, is the ability to have people killed. In Cristina Alger’s new novel, The Banker’s Wife (G.P. Putnam’s Sons, $27), a world of wealth is one of both heady excess and rotting corruption.

A lot of rich men throw their money and power around in this thriller peppered with British secret agents, encrypted messages, and murders to solve. Thankfully, a few good women are prepared to take them to task.

The plot concerns the exposure of trillions of dollars hidden in offshore bank accounts. Marina Tourneau, a resourceful journalist at a society magazine, is taking the lead in getting it to press. But not everyone wants her to go with the story, including her future father-in-law, James Ellis, a billionaire developer running for president. He issues a

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