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Publisher's Summary

At the nexus of high finance and sophisticated computer programming, a terrifying future may be unfolding even now.
Dr. Alex Hoffmann’s name is carefully guarded from the general public, but within the secretive inner circles of the ultrarich, he is a legend. He has developed a revolutionary form of artificial intelligence that predicts movements in the financial markets with uncanny accuracy. His hedge fund, based in Geneva, makes billions. But one morning before dawn, a sinister intruder breaches the elaborate security of his lakeside mansion, and so begins a waking nightmare of paranoia and violence as Hoffmann attempts, with increasing desperation, to discover who is trying to destroy him.
Fiendishly smart and suspenseful, The Fear Index gives us a searing glimpse into an all-too-recognizable world of greed and panic. It is a novel that forces us to confront the question of what it means to be human—and it is Robert Harris’s most spellbinding and audacious novel to date.
©2012 Robert Harris (P)2012 Random House
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Critic Reviews

"Unputdownable.... Harris has achieved the impossible, or at least the improbable: an explanation of the extravagantly esoteric nature of hedge funds, which normal people can understand.... I gorged myself, devouring his dystopian vision of free markets enslaved by a sinister artificial intelligence in one breakneck sitting.” ( The Daily Telegraph)
“Reminiscent of everyone from Michael Crichton to Ian Fleming, Stanley Kubrick and Alfred Hitchcock.” ( Financial Times)
“A virtuoso specimen.... Inventively exploiting current anxieties about algorithmic trading to update the Frankenstein story, The Fear Index is both cutting edge and keenly conscious of its literary predecessors.... A tour de force.” ( The Sunday Times, London)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Ted on 11-29-13

The Book Dan Brown Wished He Wrote

Have you read "Digital Fortress" Dan Brown's clanky stew of improbabilities? Pity, you should have read, and still should read "The Fear Index". I'm an economist with a specialty in finance. And I wondered throughout this book if Harris sat behind me in class, taking better notes? Or maybe he was off studying the art market? Or maybe he spent those study years in cyber studies… or…

A number of authors have played with the general theme of "The Fear Index"… none better than Harris does here. And Christian Rodska is so superb that he'd surely win some sort of Academy Award for excellence in the audio genre if only one existed (Does it? Why not?).

I'm giving copies of "The Fear Index" to friends this Christmas. When you do that, you're reputation for picking thrillers is on the line. I'll walk that line ho-ho-ho-ing with Harris in my Santa bag.

Treat yourself, listen to this one.

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12 of 13 people found this review helpful

2 out of 5 stars
By Zaubermond on 11-19-14

Trading at the speed of thought....but whose?

Robert Harris is a wonderful writer, but this book is not his best by any means. Unfortunately I was stuck in airplane mode with this the last book in my downloads. Otherwise, I don't think I would have finished it. It felt like being stuck at a very long cocktail party with a quant. I kept looking at my watch wondering when it would be over, which is not something that happens to me when I listen to a Harris book! I was really surprised at how little I cared about the characters and how unbelievable the plot became. This is really a sci-fi book.

Rodska's narration was uneven. He's great at portraying a pompous corporate character, but falls short with the foreign accents. He seems to believe a Dutchman sounds like either a concussed Swede or someone who has a broken jaw. Very annoying.

So if you want my opinion, give this a miss unless you're obsessed with numbers, trading, and computers. Choose another of Harris' excellent books.

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4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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