Zack s Choice is a crime heist mystery novel Zackery Gresham has his life all planned His mother is a lawyer his father is a federal judge and he is Pre Law at Yale, with Harvard Law School to follow before he joins his mother s prestigious law firm He plans to marry his high school and Yale girlfriend once he graduates from Law School During a school break Zack takes a once in a lifetime motorcycle trip through the southern states In New Mexico he has a chance encounter with a strange hitchhiker The resulting chaos will bring Zack face to face with a choice that could alter his life forever


10 thoughts on “Zack's Choice

  1. Tony Tony says:

    You, a highly intelligent student at Yale University and the son of two well respected attorneys, one of whom is a federal judge, claim you were persuaded to commit a criminal act of this magnitude within a few days of meeting this young woman Do you really expect me to buy that Just how dumb do you think I am Not as dumb as the author expects us to be, it seems The plot repeatedly stretches credulity well beyond breaking point, without offering even the flimsiest of lifelines to readers wi You, a highly intelligent student at Yale University and the son of two well respected attorneys, one of whom is a federal judge, claim you were persuaded to commit a criminal act of this magnitude within a few days of meeting this young woman Do you really expect me to buy that Just how dumb do you think I am Not as dumb as the author expects us to be, it seems The plot repeatedly stretches credulity well beyond breaking point, without offering even the flimsiest of lifelines to readers willing to suspect disbelief At least three times the central character, when pressed on how he could possibly have done something quite so stupid, replies with a I guess you had to be there But we were there, and it didn t help The author s job is to show us how it happened what caused Zack to make his fateful decisions But instead all we get is a bland I ve thought it over As crazy as it sounds, I m going to help you , that would have made me throw the book across the room had I not been reading an electronic copy on my laptop.The book is full of jarring Tell, Don t Show moments like this We re lazily informed, for example, that Zack somehow felt responsible for the lad s safety and well being , so as set up what happens next but why We ve no background at this point as to who Zack is we re only on the second page of the book , or why he d feel the least bit responsible for a hitch hiker he d only just met that afternoon, especially when they d done nothing but ride in silence for a few hours Instead the author just decrees it so, and we need to meekly follow along And because of this it s never quite clear who we re meant to root for is Zach our hero, who needs to overcome some initial poor choices, or an idiot who deserves everything he gets For a self published book the the basics of spelling grammar etc are surprisingly good with refreshingly few typos the author either has excellent English skills, or used a good copy editor and how I wish that weren t so surprising these days , but even aside from the major plot issues, the book also needs a muchsubstantive edit The writing is quite clumsy at times, with some appallingly bad info dumps the Wikipedia style Introduction to Split is especially noteworthy , and the dialogue is particularly wooden, in a manner that often gets in the way of the plot When Zack repeatedly speaks to his parents in such a stilted manner is it meant to reveal something about the nature of their relationship Or is it just bad writing With some heavy work this could possibly be transformed into a passable comedy caper, but for now it s best avoidedreview copy provided by author


  2. Glen Glen says:

    I won this book in a goodreads Firstreads drawing.A shallow book that doesn t really live up to its potential.A college boy, on a motorcycle ride across America picks up a hitch hiker He thinks the hitcher is a young boy, but it turns out to be a girl, who convinces him she is the Chosen One by God to steal a religious artifact from a museum and save the world.From there the college boy finds himself in all kinds of problems.The book could be improved quite a bit, if the heist and the chase sce I won this book in a goodreads Firstreads drawing.A shallow book that doesn t really live up to its potential.A college boy, on a motorcycle ride across America picks up a hitch hiker He thinks the hitcher is a young boy, but it turns out to be a girl, who convinces him she is the Chosen One by God to steal a religious artifact from a museum and save the world.From there the college boy finds himself in all kinds of problems.The book could be improved quite a bit, if the heist and the chase scenes werein depth They almost seem incidental Still managed to keep my interest


  3. Hazel Hazel says:

    I received a free copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review.The first few chapters actually annoyed me as they were so totally unbelievable that I nearly gave up but I persevered.It did get better as the story moved on but remained unbelievable and, at times, laughable by it being so unrealistic but I did like the style and pace of writing and although it took me a while to get to like Zack, I did eventually although his naivety astounded me.I do feel that this book is aim I received a free copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review.The first few chapters actually annoyed me as they were so totally unbelievable that I nearly gave up but I persevered.It did get better as the story moved on but remained unbelievable and, at times, laughable by it being so unrealistic but I did like the style and pace of writing and although it took me a while to get to like Zack, I did eventually although his naivety astounded me.I do feel that this book is aimed at a teenager or young adult but, sadly, it just wasn t for me


  4. Sarah-Jayne Briggs Sarah-Jayne Briggs says:

    I received this book for free as part of Goodreads First Reads giveaways This review may contain spoilers.Ideally, I would have given this book 3.5 stars It was an entertaining read, but I did feel that there was a bit too much telling rather than showing.I did like Zack as a character, despite the fact he was a bit too innocent He did come across as one of the nice guys and there were times I did feel a bit sorry for him.The title could have applied to a lot of what happened in the book, I received this book for free as part of Goodreads First Reads giveaways This review may contain spoilers.Ideally, I would have given this book 3.5 stars It was an entertaining read, but I did feel that there was a bit too much telling rather than showing.I did like Zack as a character, despite the fact he was a bit too innocent He did come across as one of the nice guys and there were times I did feel a bit sorry for him.The title could have applied to a lot of what happened in the book, which I did think was quite a clever thing to do.I did also like Zack s relationships with the other characters I felt that some of the interactions could have been extended to have the writing showing the development of said relationships, rather than just summarising how conversations went and the feelings developed.I have to say, there wasn t a whole lot of mystery in this book, but I still found myself reading it quickly, wanting to see what would happen next I did care about what happened to Zack.This was a light, easy read and I would probably look at other books by this author at some point in the future


  5. Mollie Waters Mollie Waters says:

    This review was published on Bookkaholic on March 31 You can see the article at Harry Gilleland, Jr., is the author of several collections of poetry and five books of prose, including A Wandering Warrior which was released in 2013 In early March of this year, Gilleland published a new book titled Zack s Choice A short novel at only 175 pages, the book is a fast paced study of the consequences of choices.The forces of evil are threatening to destroy th This review was published on Bookkaholic on March 31 You can see the article at Harry Gilleland, Jr., is the author of several collections of poetry and five books of prose, including A Wandering Warrior which was released in 2013 In early March of this year, Gilleland published a new book titled Zack s Choice A short novel at only 175 pages, the book is a fast paced study of the consequences of choices.The forces of evil are threatening to destroy the world, but God s Chosen One has emerged to defeat them At least, that is the story Zackary Gresham hears from the young hitchhiker he picks up during a cross country motorcycle trip Instead of running for safety, Zack believes Bobby Smith s story that God has sent Bobby on a mission to steal the Sword of Damascus, a holy relic valued at 300 million Bobby must secure the sword before the Devil s minion Escabar can use it to open a portal between earth and hell Zack agrees to help Bobby steal the sword, but before long, he learns Bobby is actually Robbie, a girl whose family has already been carried off by Escabar and his helpers After the heist, Zack goes on his way, but before long, FBI Agent Sam Escabar arrests him for international theft Turns out, Robbie is professional thief Darby Fitzgerald, and Escabar is the one who caught her parents and spirited them away to the local prison for their numerous art related thefts Obviously scammed, Zack is arrested and imprisoned, but Escabar offers him a deal help the FBI find Darby and recover the sword, and in return, Zack will regain his freedom Will Zach s choice this time lead him intodanger or a chance at redemption The strength in Zack s Choice is Gilleland s touches of humor When the FBI first interrogates Zack after his arrest, his parents are shocked that their son could be involved in a crime of this caliber Incredulously, his mother asks, Oh my God Are you doing drugs at Yale Were you high on drugs when you met this desert person Later, Zack is told that a plea of insanity will not work, and he replies, I m not insane I m a sopho in Pre Law at Yale, for Christ s sake His lawyer tells him, That hardly constitutes acceptable proof that you are sane Gilleland peppers the novel with several humorous conversations.Times occur, though, when the dialogue slows down the action of the work Some details would be better related in short descriptive paragraphs instead of the characters telling the same events multiple times For example, when Zack is asked why he helped with the theft, he tells the story in its entirety on at least three separate occasions In a few places, certain phrases or words are repeated in the same sentence, but the author may have been drawing on the inspiration that teens and young adults are often redundant with their favorite catch phrases Yet, Zack relating that a flock of crows made such a din of caws sounds uncharacteristic of someone who had been saying totally unique only a few scenes earlier.Zack s Choice is a departure from the author s usual themes and settings, but change is good, and Gilelland is certainly developing as a writer with each new novel he releases


  6. M.C. M.C. says:

    Zack s Choice is a fun read because the author had me completely discombobulated for the first few chapters I am just as soundly conned as the main character, and that hooked me quickly into finding out what really happened With a concise, one event after another style, Mr Gilleland accommodates my need to know in spades and I pretty much inhaled the tale in short order Zackery Gresham is living a planned yet perfect life Pre Law at Yale, with a beautiful girlfriend whom he has known since Zack s Choice is a fun read because the author had me completely discombobulated for the first few chapters I am just as soundly conned as the main character, and that hooked me quickly into finding out what really happened With a concise, one event after another style, Mr Gilleland accommodates my need to know in spades and I pretty much inhaled the tale in short order Zackery Gresham is living a planned yet perfect life Pre Law at Yale, with a beautiful girlfriend whom he has known since high school, this perfect son of a lawyer and federal judge will finish at Yale then move on to Harvard before joining his mom at her law firm But right now, Zack s just taking it easy, riding his Harley across the southern states, heading leisurely back to his parents in Oregon Everything was perfect as usual, until he runs into Bobby Smith, a teenage boy who turns out to be Robbie, a teenage girl and the Chosen One Tasked by God to take a holy relic off the Vatican s hands in order keep an army of demons from gaining access to this world, Robbie s parents have already been spirited away by the demon s human agent Escabar, and she really needs Zack s help Zack chose to help, and when he got arrested by FBI agents and found out the Chosen One is really named Darby Fitzgerald, his perfect life pretty much went to Hell Zack has onechoice left, and that choice will determine whether he can still get a good life despite already losing the planned and perfect one Mr Gilleland has a very matter of fact way of telling a tale that makes me assume Zack s Choice is one thing before the author flips it around into something I didn t expect He has a character, supposedly the Chosen One, talking about a hidden war between good and evil, where a relic called the Sword of Damascus controls a portal that holds an army of demons from entering the world of humans That s pretty heady stuff to hear in a forthright, rational tone Then the author flips the story on me, and I feel just as stupid as Zack did when he found out what really went down when he was helping save the world With the initial events having a firm hold over me, I am now watching a cat and mouse game in the hopes that Zack is vindicated I start assuming the course of action Zack is going to take, and I got lulled into what I thought was a predictable end then I am given onesmall plot twist that succeeded in hooking me till the very end Mr Gilleland s rational sounding voice makes for a very interesting rollercoaster ride not one that changes pace or peaks high and low, but instead flips me around from one plot twist to another I found it a thoroughly entertaining way to keep me guessing and reading Zack s Choice is a light, easy read It is also an enjoyable adventure that I would certainly recommend to readers looking for a fast paced but interesting story


  7. Katherine Katherine says:

    The best laid plans is an often used expression that describes the plot in Harry Gilleland s book, Zack s Choice perfectly Zack plans to marry his high school sweetheart and follow in his parents footsteps in the legal world First, though, he decides to take a motorcycle trip through the south In New Mexico his trip turns into a not to be believed adventure He meets a young hitchhiker who convinces him to help save the world Zack s Harley headed into the late afternoon sun as he glid The best laid plans is an often used expression that describes the plot in Harry Gilleland s book, Zack s Choice perfectly Zack plans to marry his high school sweetheart and follow in his parents footsteps in the legal world First, though, he decides to take a motorcycle trip through the south In New Mexico his trip turns into a not to be believed adventure He meets a young hitchhiker who convinces him to help save the world Zack s Harley headed into the late afternoon sun as he glided across the highway, engulfed by the vastness of the desert southwest when he first saw the hitchhiker Zack slowed and eased to a stop a few yards from him Zack removed his helmet, and the two slowly eyed one another, assessing each other s potential threat What Bobby, the hitchhiker tells him is unbelievable, but Zack believes it anyway Following Bobby s directions, Zack s journey takes him to California and then to Europe where he has to flee to stay out of jail Don t pass up a chance to read this incredulous story The twists and turns and the subtly humorous dialogue combine to make you wantWho knows Maybe Dr Gilleland will carry on the adventures of Zack If not, you are le ft with a very unusual development that will make you wonder if something this fantastic could actually happen Read it Then decide I always enjoy Dr Gilleland s books His imagination and writing style keep me enthralled from beginning to end and this book is no exception If this is your first introduction to Harry E Gilleland, you will definitely want to read his other works Harry E Gilleland, Jr is an award winning poet and author of nine published books, four books of his personal poetry and five prose books He was born in Macon, GA, and has lived in Shreveport, LA since 1975, making him a proud and confirmed Southerner He spent two long years in London, Canada in the snow, ice, and freezing and I do mean freezing cold He moved back south to thaw out in 1975 and has no plans to ever leave the South again Dr Gilleland retired in 2004 after twenty nine years as a Professor of Microbiology at LSUHSC S s School of Medicine Since his retirement, Harry has devoted his efforts full time to creative writing, both poetry and prose, and to editing


  8. Moon Moon says:

    Zack s Choice is a brilliantly written book about a young man named Zack who is going home for the holidays from Yale Driving his motorcycle across America to see the sights has always been something he wanted to do Picking up a hitchhiker, he decides to help the boy, with a bed in his hotel and a hot meal only to discover he has been stolen from in the morning when he runs into the boy later he hears an apocalyptic tale and a dire need of help in saving the world that literally changes Zack s Choice is a brilliantly written book about a young man named Zack who is going home for the holidays from Yale Driving his motorcycle across America to see the sights has always been something he wanted to do Picking up a hitchhiker, he decides to help the boy, with a bed in his hotel and a hot meal only to discover he has been stolen from in the morning when he runs into the boy later he hears an apocalyptic tale and a dire need of help in saving the world that literally changes his whole life.This book was a real page turner It s incredibly well written and very fast paced Zack s character is developed so well, you can really understand the reasons why he makes the choices he does There were a few twists that I didn t expect and some great action at the end that literally had my heart pounding out of my chest.I would recommend this book to anyone really I had so much fun reading this book I can totally see it being made into a movie some day not a dull moment in the whole book


  9. Britt Britt says:

    Zack s Choice by Harry E Gilleland, Jr was an amazing action, drama, growing up read I truly enjoyed this novel and could not put the book down Young Zack just wants to live his life and have a little cross country adventure before buckling down and going to law school at Yale He never expected to meet and get mixed up with the likes of Robbie Gilleland gives you the adventures of Zack and Robbie, what starts out as as weird mission turns into waythan Zack can hope or dream about Gil Zack s Choice by Harry E Gilleland, Jr was an amazing action, drama, growing up read I truly enjoyed this novel and could not put the book down Young Zack just wants to live his life and have a little cross country adventure before buckling down and going to law school at Yale He never expected to meet and get mixed up with the likes of Robbie Gilleland gives you the adventures of Zack and Robbie, what starts out as as weird mission turns into waythan Zack can hope or dream about Gilleland creates a vision of youthful bad decisions on for Zack that puts this story in motion We follow Zack s journey from being a good young adult to a troublesome soul with a good heart This novel reads like a movie, each scene carefully displayed out with great transitions Gilleland has a way of giving you just a hint of what may happen next to keep you the reader interested in the overall scheme of things Excellent read proof that a good novel does not have to be a million pages long


  10. Harry Jr. Harry Jr. says:

    Zack s Choice has received its first review 5 stars, Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers FavoriteExcerpt Harry E Gilleland s contemporary fiction novel, Zack s Choice, is a first rate adventure tale The plot is fast paced and very entertaining There s a lot of humor Zack s Choice is literate, fun, and entirely unpredictable, and I enjoyed it immensely for full reviewAnother Review The Feathered Quill, Kristi Benedict This book will keep Zack s Choice has received its first review 5 stars, Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers FavoriteExcerpt Harry E Gilleland s contemporary fiction novel, Zack s Choice, is a first rate adventure tale The plot is fast paced and very entertaining There s a lot of humor Zack s Choice is literate, fun, and entirely unpredictable, and I enjoyed it immensely for full reviewAnother Review The Feathered Quill, Kristi Benedict This book will keep you guessing at all the twists and turns right up until the very end See complete review at Third Review from Palmetto Review The total package has cinematic appeal especially when you throw a sexy romance into the mix.Zack s Choice is sure to appeal to anyone who likes a well told tale about clever, risk taking characters in love and in danger See complete review at