Dark Pool by Helen Hanson

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    Helen Hanson writes with vivid authority about extremely real people dealing not only with Fate but with computers. She cares about her characters and makes the reader care, too.

    Maggie Fender’s law degree remains a daydream as she supports her ex-felon half-brother and their incoherent father. Suffering from Alzheimer’s, Dad’s rarely lucid, but when he’s accused of murder, only the gorgeous Russian neighbor flickers Maggie’s hope.

    In the news, disgraced hedge fund manager Patty O’Mara awaits trial for bilking investors out of forty billion dollars. The legendary dark pool wizard offered phenomenal profits. But the SEC discovered O’Mara never made a single legitimate investment. His fund was a total scam.

    Maggie’s Dad barely functions, but her hacker brother swears Dad is sending them vital messages about O’Mara’s pot of gold. A private investigator hunts for the money and aims to find it before a notorious Russian mobster. When their efforts focus on Maggie’s father, her remaining hope turns to rampant fear.

    She’s the only adult left in her family, and her weary camel won’t carry a single extra straw. Her teenage brother’s hacking skills landed his ass in prison, but he swears he was framed. No fans of the Fender family, the local police assume Dad ran away when he goes missing. Maggie will never find her father without help. She’s got to trust someone.

    But who can Maggie trust when everyone’s betrayed her?

    Review by B. Guarino:

    Helen Hanson
    Helen Hanson

    This extremely well written thriller was a very smooth read. The characters were well developed and the main character, Maggie grabbed me immediately, as did the others- each shortly after being introduced.

    There are plenty of twists in this plot-line. At each turn the author had me rooting for my favorites. This is a cyber thriller and very exciting. I don’t do spoilers, but I will say that wow, near the end of this book, there was no way I was putting it down for anything. Stayed up late to finish it and yes, I was very satisfied at its ending.

    It was refreshing to have read such a quality novel, and the author even had me laughing at the most unexpected times. Perfect descriptions. If I could have rated it a ten, I would have. Well written!

    Review by The Kindle Book Review:

    If you’re not familiar with Dark Pool by Helen Hanson–or with author Hanson herself–you should be. She writes with vivid authority about extremely real people dealing not only with Fate but with computers. She cares about her characters and makes the reader care, too. Achingly sad one moment, and then slyly witty–but always suspenseful–she knows how to spin a yarn that is driven by both strong plot and strong characters.

    Her protagonist, Maggie Fender, is a young woman of our time; you may well know someone just like her. Maggie keeps meaning to go to law school, but other people’s lives keep getting in her way. Her fifteen-year-old brother has already done prison time. While he was incarcerated, she hated visiting him every week (and she wasn’t too fond of her rundown Subaru, either) but did it anyway. Her father has Alzheimer’s. Oh, and by the way, she gets herself embroiled in a white-collar crime scheme that makes Bernie Madoff seem like petty larceny.

    Hanson’s prose style is fresh, creative, and always pleasantly surprising. For example, someone is described as having a smile like homemade ice cream. An application of mascara is depicted as black-brown sludge. When someone is pissed off, he experiences blood punching his temples.

    In addition to the suspense of the story, the reader sits on edge awaiting the next original observation. Try it, you’ll really like it.