The Fear Index
By Robert Harris
Alfred A. Knopf, 2012. 285 pgs. Fiction
In “The Fear Index” by Robert Harris, Dr. Alex Hoffman is a renowned computer scientist who has, for the past few years, used his brilliant mind to create predictive software that controls a hedge fund that consistently outpaces the market. Though he has already earned himself and his investors millions of dollars, his latest software version is almost guaranteed to increase profits even more. However, on the day Alex and his partner present their new investment strategies to their biggest clients, the software begins to act strangely, ignoring preprogrammed precautions, and investing with terrifyingly profitable results. Alex’s dreams seem about to come true, but the costs may be more than he can afford.
“The Fear Index” is a fast-paced financial thriller that is almost too plausible for comfort. Readers may need to fight the urge to sprint to the nearest ATM and withdraw a sizable chunk of money to safely store beneath their mattress.