Zero Alternative by Luca Pesaro
Scott Walker is a city trader nicknamed “Yours” (which to be honest is a bit confusing in the first half of the book) who is working with a friendly mathematician and programmer to create a set of algorithms called Deepshare. Deepshare is an Oracle of formidable power and is coveted by a rival bank for the fact it can unerringly read the market. Walker is thrust into a world of espionage, conspiracy and betrayal with a cast of billionaires, hitmen and hackers.
This is a punchy thriller that just fizzes with energy and bowls you along. It’s an interesting premise and one that should now be familiar to all of us, The murky world of international trading, secret cabals of billionaires etc & pondering the question - when are banks too big to fail?. But in Pesaro’s hands this feels fresh and exciting and very relevant. Some of the trading went over my head (or I wasn’t paying enough information perhaps) and when Pesaro takes his foot off the accelerator and we pause from breakneck action and go to character development it is hard to feel any sympathy with the main character, who is pretty superficial, or in fact most of the characters if truth be known. Although the characters were mostly well drawn there’s not exactly a lot of women characters (and they may all be beautiful and attracted to our MC too). There’s some really nice set pieces and I really liked the part set in a crumbling mansion which felt very “Uncharted.”
Overall – Enjoyable thriller