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The Fear Index

Robert Harris

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Published by Arrow, part of Cornerstone Publishing

Format: Paperback


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EAN: 9780099553267
Published: 24 May 2012


About the book


Meet Alex Hoffmann: among the secretive inner circle of the ultra-rich, he is something of a legend.

Based in Geneva, he has developed a revolutionary system that has the power to manipulate financial markets. Generating billions of dollars, it is a system that thrives on panic - and feeds on fear.

And then, in the early hours of one morning, while he lies asleep, a sinister intruder breaches the elaborate security of his lakeside home.

So begins a waking nightmare of paranoia and violence as Hoffmann attempts - with increasing desperation - to discover who is trying to destroy him - before it's too late ...

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What the critics say

Harris is a master of pace and entertainment, and The Fear Index is a thoroughly enjoyable book . . . Read the book.
- Observer

The Fear Index is an escapist thriller to rank with the best of them, and as a guide to what hedge funds actually do, it is surprisingly clear and instructive.
- Economist

There are moments when this book feels so up to date it could have been written next week... spookily exciting.
- Express

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
- Financial 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

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

In Harris's latest thriller Dr Alex Hoffman creates an algorithm that anticipates emotional effects on stock markets, but his life takes a dark turn when his mansion is burgled. Prepare for goosebumps.
- Stylist

Robert Harris is our literary Alfred Hitchcock. Just as the portly man with the voyeuristic mind for murder went for years under the label of 'entertainer' before the brass plaque of 'genius' was screwed onto his pediment, so Robert Harris is a 'thriller writer', but in time his canon will be viewed as something far greater . . . What I so admire about Harris as a writer is the surface shine of his prose. It is muscular, utterly functional but still capable of poetry when necessary. George Orwell said that good writing was like a pane of glass through which the reader can see the action. With Harris, we get to see it in 3D.
- Scotsman

Set on election day 2010, Robert Harris's latest novel is a combination of ripping yarn, political and historical verisimilitude and diligent research into a hither-to closed world.
- Guardian

A fine dystopian parable, especially impressive for the fact that instead of giving up on what really goes on in most banks and hedge funds and making them a mere back drop for money-laundering and ancillary skulduggery, as many thriller-writers have done, his heart of darkness is the thing itself. The drama contains, as he notes in the acknowledgments, 'Gothic flights of fantasy' - the story reminiscent of everyone from Michael Crichton to Ian Fleming, Stanley Kubrick and Alfred Hitchcock. Yet there is an uncomfortable core of reality there . . . Quite a few Financial Time readers will, I suspect, not only savour The Fear Index, but wince with recognition.
- Financial Times

For many of us, share prices are strings of dry, indecipherable figures ticking across hi-tech screens. But when stock markets tank, how quickly we become infected with the moist primal of emotions: sick confusion, clammy dread, coldest fear. Expertly mining this deep unease, Robert Harris's thriller presents a fictional nightmare that feels like a wake-up call . . . The novel has a sophistication that lift's beyond banker-bashing. Harris takes aim at a corrupted system from a moral and intellectual height that practically induces vertigo.
- Sunday Telegraph

Mock-gothic variant on Frankenstein relates what happens when a computer programme goes rogue and ravages the money market. Suspense and satire combine in a book that is as up to the minute as a news flash.
- Sunday Times

If you didn’t catch it in hardback, grab it now in austerity-Britain paperback. Harris’s latest bestseller is a gripping, funny and timely tale of money – losing it or, more terrifyingly here, making too much of it… A high-speed plot, deft characterisation… and Harris even manages to explain what a hedge fund is.
- The Lady

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.

Robert Harris

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