For inner city high school coach Shoog Clay, it's not enough that his players do well on the field. He makes it his job to ensure that the kids are doing well off the field too. And his players are succeeding. They're winning and they're making the grades all while staying out of trouble. But Shoog isn't the only one with a vested interest in his players' success. When rising star Antwon Meeps gets arrested while visiting family in Georgia, it's not Shoog who comes to his rescue. It's a lawyer representing someone who wants to make sure Antwon doesn't go down. This person has put a lot of time and money into Shoog's team and will do anything to guard his investment. Antwon and Shoog soon find themselves in a tough spot, forced to play along as someone else pulls the strings behind the scenes.
J.E. Fishman's The Dark Pool reminded me a bit of Harlan Coben's work. The idea of the fairly decent, average guy (in this case Shoog, who is a really likable character) being manipulated and forced to face sometimes overwhelming obstacles, not to mention the sports aspect here (very Myron Bolitar minus Win) and the fact that Dark Pool is a mystery/thriller.
The Mean came across a bit cartoonish at times. Kind of pushing the limit of becoming overwhelmingly so. Fortunately Fishman did reign it in before it became too far fetched... for the most part. I have to say the end came really close again. There was enough action to keep it moving that it was easy to let the outlandishness slide.
From the very first page I was pleased with the pacing and Fishman's over all style. The combination of Wall Street and sports wasn't going to be an immediate draw for me but I'd heard really good things about Fishman's work. I thought it really worked. It's a plot that I can see easily being reality (barring the ... no spoilers). When it got to the real nitty gritty of the long and short and the Q scores, I did get a little lost for a while, unfortunately. Overall, though, I have to say I had a lot of fun reading The Dark Pool.