Dr. Alex Hoffman is a legend. An American physicist once employed on the Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland, he now uses a revolutionary and highly secret system of computer algorithms to trade on the world's financial markets. None of his rivals is sure how he does it, but somehow Hoffman's hedge fund - built around the standard measure of market volatility: the VIX or 'Fear Index' - generates astonishing returns for his investors. Then, late one night, in his house beside Lake Geneva, an intruder disturbs Hoffman and his wife while they are asleep. This terrifying moment is the start of Robert Harris' new novel - a story just as compelling and timely as his most recent contemporary thriller, "The Ghost". Set entirely over the course of a single day, "The Fear Index" follows Hoffman's quest to find out who is trying to destroy him, even as the world's financial markets head for collapse.