The Fear Index, Paperback book

The Fear Index[Paperback]

by Robert Harris

3.30 out of 5 (5 ratings)

Publication Date:
01 March 2012 
Thriller and Suspense 


His name is carefully guarded from the general public but within the secretive inner circles of the ultra-rich Dr. Alex Hoffmann is a legend - a visionary scientist whose computer software turns everything it touches into gold. Together with his partner, an investment banker, Hoffmann has developed a revolutionary form of artificial intelligence that tracks human emotions, enabling it to predict movements in the financial markets with uncanny accuracy. His hedge fund, based in Geneva, makes billions. But then in the early hours of the morning, while he lies asleep with his wife, a sinister intruder breaches the elaborate security of their lakeside house. So begins a waking nightmare of paranoia and violence as Hoffmann attempts, with increasing desperation, to discover who is trying to destroy him. His quest forces him to confront the deepest questions of what it is to be human. By the time night falls over Geneva, the financial markets will be in turmoil and Hoffmann's world - and ours - transformed forever.

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  • A fun book, nothing too serious, about artificial intelligence and stock market trading. Highly implausible, but still quite a page turner.

    4.00 out of 5


  • An enthralling thriller set in the world of hi-tech private banking, with shades of Philip Kerr's "Gridiron" and the financial thrillers of Michael Ridpath. Hoffmann is a physicist formerly employed on the Hadron Collider at CERN, though he had been dismissed after his artificial intelligence experiments generated unforeseen consequences. He used his expertise to develop merchant banking algorithms which had led to his organization becoming a market leader.His bank's unique selling point was the deft analysis of risk and volatility in the markets, and complicated hedging mechanisms. However, odd thing start to happen ...Hoffman receives unlooked for gifts, and is then attacked in his own home. And that is just the start...

    4.00 out of 5


  • A cross between 2001 A Space Odyssey and Frankenstein. Worth a read if like me, you are partial to thrillers that involve finance and computers. Put it on the summer beach read list.

    3.00 out of 5


  • This seemed a 'lazy' book by Harris, a fairly simple plot line, somewhat Sci Fi, could have been a short story or novella but padded out. Characters not very convincing. Reams of financial technical data which I am sure is accurate as he will have done his research, but was goobledygook to me. Finished the book but felt let down - had read it expecting a 'good meal' and felt I was served 'junk food snack'.

    3.00 out of 5


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