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The Fear Index
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The gripping new race-against-time financial thriller, from the award-winning master of the literary thriller genre: Robert Harris. Shortlisted for the Ian Fleming Steel Dagger for best thriller of the year at the 2012 Specsavers Crime Thriller Awards.

About the Author

Robert Harris is one of Britain's most famous writers of thriller novels and gripping historical fiction. He is the author of eight bestselling historical and contemporary thrillers: Archangel, Enigma, Fatherland, The Fear Index, The Ghost, Imperium, Lustrum and Pompeii, all of which were worldwide bestsellers. Harris has been shortlisted for three notable literary awards: the Walter Scott prize for historical fiction, the Whitbread first novel award (now known as the Costa Book award) and the British Book Awards Popular Fiction Award. His most recent bestselling thriller, The Fear Index, was shortlisted for the Ian Fleming Steel Dagger, for best thriller of the year, at the 2012 Specsavers Crime Thriller Awards. Robert Harris has worked with international film director Roman Polanski to create the Golden Globe winning film The Ghost Writer, starring Pierce Brosnan and Ewan McGregor. Enigma was adapted into an award-winning film starring Kate Winslet and Tom Hollander. His work has been translated into thirty-three languages. He was born in Nottingham in 1957 and is a graduate of Cambridge University. He worked as a reporter on the BBC's Newsnight and Panorama programmes, before becoming Political Editor of the Observer in 1987, and then a columnist on the Sunday Times and the Daily Telegraph. In 2003 he was named Columnist of the Year in the British Press Awards. He lives near Hungerford in Berkshire with his wife and their four children.

Reviews

In this smart but uneven thriller on technology run amok from bestseller Harris (The Ghost Writer), Dr. Alex Hoffmann, an American scientific refugee from the abandoned Texas supercollider who lands on his feet at CERN in Geneva, eventually goes on to found one of the world's most successful hedge funds. Hoffmann's secret VIXAL-4, an artificial intelligence project that forecasts financial market movements, appears to have a mind of its own, which is more than can be said for its creator. Unbeknownst even to his English avant-garde artist wife, Hoffmann has shown signs of serious mental problems in the past. Could a series of strange occurrences in the present be random, the work of a mole in Hoffman's company, or part of his unconscious pattern of self-destruction? Pure science enjoys an uneasy existence with large profit making at the expense of downward-market spirals. Despite some less than engaging characters and a story that sags a bit, this novel's philosophical underpinnings will keep most readers engrossed. 200,000 first printing; 5-city author tour. Agent: Michael Carlisle. (Feb.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Dr. Alex Hoffman, one of the world's most brilliant mathematicians, has created an algorithmic program that permits his Geneva-based hedge fund company to make obscene profits. In the course of a single day, his empire comes under attack from an unseen source that bypasses the highly secure program and slowly drives Hoffman insane. He is brutally attacked in his own home, but the Swiss police officer investigating the crime begins having suspicions about the victim's claims. No matter what actions Hoffman takes, the assailant always is one step ahead. Harris has created a financial world far beyond what most readers will understand, but the tension and suspense are just as powerful as the often-confusing stock market jargon. VERDICT British reader Christian Rodska does a great job presenting the slow disintegration of Hoffman's seemingly untouchable life, and readers won't be disappointed in the breathtaking sequence of events that culminates in a startling climax. Highly recommended for all public libraries. ["Get ready to enjoy a brilliant integration of fascinating research, compelling themes, and vivid characterization," read the review of the New York Times best-selling Knopf hc, LJ 1/12; the Arrow: Random mass-market pb will publish in June 2012.-Ed.]-Joseph L. Carlson, Vandenberg Air Force Base Lib., Lompoc, CA (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

"The Fear Index could scarcely be more of the moment" The Times "In The Fear Index , the latest thriller by Robert Harris, now heading for the Christmas bestseller lists, a brainbox hedge fund manager with little in the way of interpersonal skills discovers that his computer-driven trading system has flown out of control and threatens to send the world's stock markets into a tailspin. Anyone familiar with Mary Shelley's Dr Frankenstein will recognise the genre of the oddball genius consumed by his own creation - populist fiction at its best." Spectator "I would recommend The Fear Index, the new novel by Robert Harris that delves into the world of modern finance. The writing is as elegant as ever" -- Lionel Barber Financial Times "Robert Harris is renowned for his historical novels, although his eighth offering, The Fear Index, could hardly be more contemporary and relevant ... Harris writes with a deceptively languid elegance, so that the novel straddles not only the crime and sci-fi genres but also that of literary fiction. A satisfying read on a number of levels, it is strongest as a character study of a man who discovers, pace Hemingway, the true meaning of the phrase "grace under pressure"." Irish Times "Robert Harris's eighth novel is a timely blockbuster of a thriller that takes the global financial meltdown as its backdrop, with nods to Mary Shelley's Frankenstein ... An assuredly intelligent and deftly-paced novel, the fear of the protagonist is increasingly palpable as he's buffeted by genuinely unexpected spine-chilling twists. Perhaps the greatest thriller writer around, Harris has delivered his best work yet. A modern classic." Irish Examiner

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