The Dark Pool
by J.E. Fishman
Read: March 6-14, 2013
Challenge: No Challenge
Yearly count: 14
Source: Publicist for review
Blurb: Shoog Clay: The nation’s winningest inner-city high school football coach resists pressure to move up to the college level because his kids in the Bronx mean everything to him. But more powerful people won’t take no for an answer.
Antwon Meeps: One day Harriet Tubman High School’s star running back is a shoe-in for a college scholarship. The next day he’s accused of a rape he didn’t commit, his life begins unraveling, and he doesn’t know how to stop it.
The Mean: This incognito Greenwich hedge fund manager is so rich he keeps a giant sea creature as his pet. But a risky investment threatens to ruin him, and a stubborn high school football coach holds the key to his redemption.
Soon a tragic hanging in the school gymnasium will lay bare a secret force that none of these men understands. In a “dark pool” marketplace, insatiable Wall Street players have wagered everything on certain real-world outcomes. When fortunes hang in the balance, financiers cloaked in anonymity won’t hesitate to pay off their claims with the blood of others.
Review: Financial thrillers aren’t necessarily my cup of tea, but when I was pitched this book, I figured that the rest of the description would cover enough of the financial aspects for me to enjoy this one. And I was right to take a chance on this book. I really enjoyed it.
If J.E. Fishman is good at one thing, it sure is character development. By the end of the book, I felt like the characters were family to me and I was rooting them on to make it out of the mess they were in. But that’s not to say that they were absolutely perfect. First, I have to admit that I found Shoog Clay’s character really sticking his neck out the entire book for one of his football players was a little unrealistic. Not very many high school football coaches are going to go on the run with their star football player. And the idea that Clay’s boss would harbor both of them, as well as keep important details from the police, well that is a little unbelievable as well. And while that might have come out negative, it really didn’t have an impact on my feelings toward the book. In fact it was quite the opposite – I was flying through the pages trying to figure out exactly how Shoog, Miranda and Antwon would get out of the mess they were in.
The writing was very good. The chapters were short, which kept the pages turning. And the action, while not what I would necessarily consider fast-paced, was definitely not slow either. The storyline was interesting – the so-called dark pool is a secret marketplace where the richest investors bet on certain things, and you definitely don’t want to be on the short end of the bet. But what’s really interesting is just how far some people will go to manipulate the dark pool in their favor.
Overall, I felt like this was a very good thriller that will appeal to a wide variety of audiences – financial thriller readers as well as crime fiction fans will all enjoy this book. I highly recommend it.
Disclosure: I received a copy of this book to review in exchange for my honest opinion. I received no monetary compensation.