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What to read this week: New books by Cristina Alger, Francine Prose and Nancy Rommelmann

"The Banker's Wife," by Cristina Alger. Photo Credit: Putnam

THE BANKER'S WIFE, by Cristina Alger. A glossy new thriller set in the world of international banking, this novel from the author of "The Darlings" begins with the crash of a private plane in the Swiss Alps. A banker at an offshore Swiss institution is presumed dead, but his widow wants to investigate — and what she finds may land her in trouble. (Putnam, $27)

WHAT TO READ AND WHY, by Francine Prose. The novelist ("Mister Monkey,") has collected a series of essays about the books she loves and why you should read them, too — catnip for bibliophiles. Discussed here: Mary Shelley's "Frankenstein," Roberto Bolaño's "2666" and Mohsin Hamid's "Exit West," among others. (Harper, $23.99)

TO THE BRIDGE: A True Story of Motherhood and Murder, by Nancy Rommelmann. Why did a 31-year-old woman drop her two children — a girl, 7, and a boy, 4 — off a Portland, Oregon, bridge into the Willamette River in 2009? (The boy drowned, but the girl survived.) A journalist thoroughly explores the story behind this unthinkable tragedy. (Little A, $24.95)

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