A Psychological Thriller

Date Published: September 15th, 2020

Publisher: The X-Press     

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Who wins and who loses when you’re playing with other people’s money... and their emotions?

World-renowned scientist Victor Safir can’t resist his inexplicable attraction to Alex Lynne, a brilliant, beautiful financier—but his addiction to her may drive him over the edge. Thrust together as unlikely partners in the high-stakes world of London finance, their game of seduction might prove riskier than any business deal.

Victor begins to suspect that Alex is behind the sinister actions involving others in the firm, and might have an insatiable appetite for dangerous games. Is she using his desire to her advantage? Or is Victor destined to become another victim?

In a work that is equal parts thriller, intrigue, and exotic travelogue, Prey for Me weaves the power players of the financial world with the realm of top academia to craft a mystery that will keep the reader guessing.

Praise for John Casti's Paradigm Lost

"A Deep and careful pleasant consideration of what science is and how it is done. It would make anyone want to be a scientist." --Isaac Asimov

"Extraordinary...brought off with considerable erudition...absorbing reading" --Kirkus Reviews


 Praise for John Casti's X-Events

 "I am assiduous reader of John Casti's books. He is a real scientific intellectual." --Nassim Nicholas Taleb, author of The Black Swan

"One of America's greatest pioneers of simulation." --London Times

"Casti is at his best in presenting difficult philosophical ideas enthusiastically and lucidly, and in presenting everyday examples to illustrate them...Entertaining and absorbing." --NY Times Book Review

"Dazzling ... A delightful tour de force ... Casti [is] a good teacher." --LA Times



Five Years Earlier


The lecture hall at the London School of Economics was filling fast as she made her way to a seat in the first row. Wearing a pair of sheer black stockings with a short skirt, she wanted to attract the attention of the professor, whom she’d been seeing in a secret relationship for a few weeks now.

She thought to herself that coming from New Zealand to the LSE was the best decision she’d ever made. Her course of study was Behavioral Psychology and Finance, the two sides of which she hoped would shed light on what had happened to her in her past, as well as what could happen with her life in the future.

The professor entered the room and moved to the podium, which was directly across from where she was sitting. As he started shuffling his notes to begin the lecture, she sat up straight, crossed her legs to attract his attention and showed him a coquettish smile.

She thought he was extremely attractive: a tall, dark, Italian-appearing man in his early forties, slightly graying hair and very dark brown, sensuous eyes. She liked everything from his appearance and behavior to his slight accent that mimicked her own Kiwi twang. It was that common geographical background that had brought them together in the first place, she recalled. And for dinner tonight they would revisit the scene of their first meeting, the Radio Rooftop Bar.

Radio Rooftop is one of London’s most iconic venues, situated on the 10th Floor of ME London, one of the most luxurious hotels in London with striking views across the River Thames and London’s impressive skyline. They took a table outside on the terrace to enjoy the changing views of the capital as the sun set, stretching from the Shard and St. Paul’s downstream, to the London Eye and Big Ben.

“This place is so special,” she told him. “I’m sure you remem-ber when we began our time together here, five weeks ago and counting. I’m very happy you chose it tonight.”

“Yes,” he replied, “it seems a fitting location for a conversation about the lovely time we’ve spent together and where dame fortune may be leading us.”

She looked across the table with an almost predatory gaze, which then softened into a welcoming smile as she told him, “I’m enjoying you so much. I hope we can continue to develop our relationship into something very, very special. Maybe even into a permanent partnership. How would you feel about that?”

“I think I’d be very happy about such a future with you. But we’re getting ahead of ourselves. First you have to finish your studies here, then turn that new-found knowledge into a good job in The City. That should all be completed by the end of the year.

Let’s talk about escalating our life together then. Meanwhile, we should just enjoy what we have now and be thankful for it.”

“I’m so happy since I asked you to be my mentor,” she said, knowing it would please him. Then, deliberately trying to mimic his slightly formal way of speaking, she continued: “Here we are now already speaking about a lifetime partnership. I would never have believed that I’d have such amazing luck.”

Lifting his glass to hers, he said, “Let’s have a nice dinner and talk about that mentoring and luck just a bit more. Okay?”

“Perfect,” she said, opening the menu.

In the end, they decided to share a Mediterranean Tapas Board for their main course. While going through the olives, beef meat-balls, padron peppers and guacamole, he described in a bit more detail the type of mentoring he could offer to accelerate the development of her career.

He told her he would provide consultations on various questions that came up as she made her way from the LSE lecture halls to the trading floors in The City. He would also open doors for her at various financial firms and offer letters of recommendation to influential managers at those firms. Taken together, these actions should suffice to have a good job waiting for her immediately upon graduation, he assured her, “but only if you work hard and graduate with honors.”

“That’s exactly what I have in mind,” she told him.

“I will do all those things with pleasure,” he confirmed. “Maybe we can get started on it as early as next week. What do you think?”

She agreed and they moved on to the dessert course, a bowl of coconut and vanilla rice pudding for her, a chocolate crumble for him.

He looked around and then said, “The restaurant is getting a bit crowded and is really too noisy for a serious conversation. If you’re agreeable, perhaps we could talk more comfortably about the future together over a nightcap at my place. As you know, I live rather near here so we can stretch our legs a bit on the way.”

“That sounds lovely.”

About the Author

John Casti is an author, mathematician, and entrepreneur. John has written more than 120 scientific articles and seven technical monographs and textbooks on mathematical modeling. Prey for Me is his first novel.

Isaac Asimov said of Casti, “A Deep and careful pleasant consideration of what science is and how it is done. It would make anyone want to be a scientist."

Nassim Nicholas Taleb calls him “a real scientific intellectual." 


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