By Sara Vilkomerson
January 18, 2012 at 05:00 AM EST

Bond Girl

A-

It’s hard not to love a protagonist who confesses — on page 2, mind you — that she’s suffering from a hangover after a night alone drinking too much pinot noir, watching Law & Order, and smoking a pack of Parliaments. That’s our introduction to Alex Garrett, a whip-smart college grad toughing it out in a pressure-filled entry-level job at a Wall Street brokerage firm in 2008, just as the country wobbles on the precipice of economic disaster. Duffy gives us a glimpse into a world most of us know nothing about, and as Alex grapples with self-doubt, an overload of male swagger (her colleagues simply call her Girlie), and a complicated office romance, she becomes a character you really, truly root for. Bond Girl is a sparkling debut, smart and snappy but never weighed down by financial terminology. Who knew Wall Street could be this much fun? A?

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