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The Pattern of Fear by Drew Chapman

Garrett Reilly is a genius. A money-grabbing, Wall Street genius with shady morals, perhaps, but a genius nonetheless. His brilliance may be why he’s the only person to stumble across a threat of war while reading the stock market. 200 billion dollars worth of bonds have just been dumped, potentially sinking the American economy into rapid decline – and it looks like the Chinese government may be behind it.

Naturally, Reilly’s first move is to work out how he can capitalise on this the most – after all, there’s a lot of cash to be made. But the government has other plans for him, and there is suddenly a whole lot more than money at stake.

Though The Patter of Fear is a debut novel, it doesn’t read as one: Drew Chapman handles his characters and storyline with the ease of a seasoned professional. Once a few awkward character introductions are out of the way the story takes off, and it’s no-holds-barred the entire time. Reilly is a compelling antihero, and most of the cast of characters that surround him are equally engaging. The plot itself is nail-bitingly tense, with a semi-fictional present setting allowing for some very interesting questions to be considered. How far would a government go to stop its own people rebelling? What happens when the line between “good” and “bad” is blurred? How could our reliance on technology be used to start – and win – a bloodless war?

Much of this book is made of Garrett Reilly’s extraordinary ability to find and understand patterns, but I’ll be honest: to me, anyone who can take stocks and shares and turn them into an exhilarating can’t-put-down novel is the real genius. In The Pattern of Fear, Drew Chapman has managed to do exactly that.

REVIEWER: Tanya Allport

In the Pattern of Fear, the debut novel from Drew Chapman, is published by Penguin. RRP is $37.00.


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