The new Robert Harris thriller The Fear Index is a timely warning about what can happen in nervous world financial markets when a hyper-powerful computer trading program gets too smart and decides to go rogue.
Dr. Alex Hoffman, a mathematics genius, creates the VIXAL algorithm to execute large scale, instantaneous financial trades for a hedge fund. But when VIXAL begins to operate autonomously outside of human controls, the result is potential market chaos.
At the same time, Hoffman himself comes under attack in a series of anonymous actions that threaten to destroy his entire life.
This stylish, literate thriller is a cautionary warning about the potential for a sudden financial market collapse and the threat of unchecked artificial intelligence advances. What happens when the technology outgrows its human creators?
For those new to British writer Robert Harris, his previous work includes the chilling political suspense novel that was the basis for the film "The Ghostwriter." He is also the author of the excellent suspense novels "Enigma," "Fatherland," and "Archangel."
BEACH RATING: 3 and 1/2 Palm Trees