The Interim (2007)

The Interim captured strong reviews after its 2007 release.

The Interim captured strong reviews after its 2007 release.

This was supposed to be Robb Markstran’s first desk job. After an unsatisfying career as a reporter, Robb joins a Big Ten basketball program as an administrator. Yet when a plane crash kills the team’s coaches, Robb takes over.

Relying on old friends and new contacts for the basics of the coaching business, he discovers the deep levels of corruption within the program and even the college. The Interim takes the reader on a realistic yet thrilling ride, showing exactly what can happen when the worst does happen.

Alright, that’s what is on the back cover. Here is a little more, if you’re still on the fence. Set between over a dozen cities, The Interim will take you inside college basketball at the highest level. Though fiction, Chris’ years of sports journalism provide an authentic tale of a man forced into a position where expectations are unforgiving.

Wisconsin State has enough talent for its first run at a national title ever. But after bagging the most high-profile victory in program history, one of the team’s planes goes down, taking with it coaches, players and support staff. Through a quirk of fate, Robb Markstran is the only surviving staff member.

He takes over a nationally-ranked Big Ten team without a loss but one where most of the players have taken cash, cars and apartments to play at State in the past. One booster pledges $35 million to a much-needed new arena…but only if he gets to call the shots behind the scenes. Amid this, Robb finds himself a rich man for the first time in his life but one where the feeling is hollow.

The Interim is inspired by today’s atmosphere of major-college basketball but also the events of the past. The Interim is Chris Earl’s second novel. 342 pages. $14.95.

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