The Fear Index

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 ...

Press Reviews

The Fear Index could scarcely be more of the moment

The Times

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


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.


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


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

Perhaps the greatest thriller writer around, Harris has delivered his best work yet. A modern classic.

Irish Examiner

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.


In Harris's latest thriller, the absurdly gripping The Fear Index . . . Harris's great skill is to inhabit fully and convincingly the worlds he writes about - whether Cicero's Rome, modern-day Russia or Swiss high finance - showing off his vast research yet never allowing the white-knuckle narrative to lose momentum.

New Statesman

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

VIXAL-4 succeeds partly by keeping a close eye on the news and clearly so does Harris: the plot ingeniously combines a number of recent phenomena (financial, political, online, artistic) covered by journalism . . . Grippingly dramatising the workings of the economy (I understood for the first time how hedge funds work), The Fear Index is in another sense, an economic novel, not merely in its condensed time-scheme but its sparing wordage.


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