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Harry E Gilleland

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A Man in Control
by Harry E Gilleland   

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Books by Harry E Gilleland
· Zack's Choice
· A Wandering Warrior
· Poetry Books Don't Sell!
· Aldric and Anneliese
· Poetic Musings of an Old, Fat Man
                >> View all



Publisher:  Amazon Digital Services, Inc.

Copyright:  October 29, 2014

Price: $2.99 (eBook)
Download to your Kindle (eBook)
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Gilleland Poetry and Prose

A Man in Control is a fiction novel in the genre of Mystery, Thriller, & Suspense – Crime – Murder.

David Wynthers, a microbiology professor who needs to control all aspects of his life, is thrown into turmoil by the death of his wife, which causes a cascade of events for Dave to cope with – murder, mystery, terrorists tracking him, sudden wealth, a female police detective, and the FBI. Can Dave maintain control of the events swirling around him?

A Man in Control is the tenth book published by Harry E. Gilleland, Jr. 
A Man in Control By Harry E. Gilleland, Jr.

Chapter 1

“I don’t want to talk about it any more!” Brenda Wynthers shouted as she slammed the bathroom door, leaving her husband, Dave, lying frustrated on the bed in the ski lodge’s honeymoon suite. Dave knew time was rapidly running out for him to convince her to change her mind.

Dave got dressed and walked down to the expansive lobby of the lodge, with its two-story-tall ceiling, three huge, floor-to-ceiling windows facing the ski slopes, and split-log-covered walls and ceiling. He took a seat before the massive, floor-to-ceiling stone fireplace and watched the skiers riding the lift to the top of the mountain’s ski runs. He and Brenda had come to the lodge in celebration of their twelfth wedding anniversary. He’d thought a return to where they enjoyed themselves so much on their original honeymoon might make his wife be more amenable to a discussion of alternative measures for obtaining a baby. He could see now he’d been wrong.

Brenda swept into the lobby and headed past Dave toward the door to go out to the ski lift. Surprised by this, Dave called after her, “Wait for me. I’ll join you. It’ll only take me twenty minutes to get ready.”

Brenda turned and replied forcefully, “I’m ready to go now. If you come looking for me, I’ll be on the double black diamond slope.”

Her destination alarmed Dave. “You know you aren’t expert enough to ski that advanced slope. Stay with the slopes we’ve been skiing. Don’t let your anger toward me make you do something foolish. You’ll get yourself badly injured or killed.”

Brenda started to respond but then hesitated and turned away. Instead she stormed out the door toward the lift. Dave thought, There’s simply no reasoning with her when she gets like this. She’ll cool down in a while. I’ll give her some time alone.

As he watched Brenda walk to the ski lift platform, he found himself admiring her svelte figure. She still looked great in ski pants, even better than she did on their honeymoon. She certainly had kept herself fit, unlike so many of his friends’ wives who had packed on extra pounds as they grew older.

Brenda disappeared up the slope on the lift. This thought flashed into Dave’s mind: I’d better give up for now trying to get her to discuss a means for us to have children. Persisting will just ruin our trip. This trip was supposed to be fun and romantic, but the last thing I just said to her was “Don’t let your anger toward me make you do something foolish. You’ll get yourself badly injured or killed.” … badly injured or killed! An uneasy feeling swept over Dave. He hurried back to their room, put on his ski gear, and went to the ski lift. The crisp morning air stung his face as he exited the lobby.

People were pointing toward the mountain. There was a lot of activity on the upper section of the dangerous double black diamond slope. The bright morning sunshine sparkling off the snow made it difficult for Dave to see clearly what was happening that far up the ski run. Dave asked a lodge employee at the ski lift, “What’s going on? Why all the excitement?”

The man answered, “The ski patrol is bringing down a skier injured in a bad accident. He hit a tree dead-on after losing control on the upper section of the double black diamond slope. I don’t know why some people go down our most dangerous slope when they aren’t an expert skier.”

The tension in Dave’s shoulders dissipated. Whew. Thank God, he said “He.” Brenda must be safe.

The ski patrol placed the injured skier in a sled and zigzagged it down the slope quickly. A crowd gathered at the bottom of the ski run in anticipation of the patrol’s arrival. Dave pushed his way toward the front to get a look at the injured skier. A blanket covered the skier’s body, leaving only the lower legs and boots exposed. Dave’s heart skipped a beat. Adrenalin surged through his veins. He pushed forward and said, “Excuse me, but can I see the person’s face? Those look like boots my wife was wearing. But isn’t the injured skier a man?”

The ski patrol’s leader motioned Dave forward and pulled back the blanket to reveal the victim’s face. “No, it was a woman. She was dead with a broken neck and head injuries when we reached her. There was nothing we could do.”

Dave sank to his knees in the snow and sobbed, “That’s my wife. That’s my Brenda. Oh, God!”

Life as he’d known it died that morning at the foot of that double black diamond ski slope.

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Reader Reviews for "A Man in Control"

Reviewed by kevin peter 12/31/2014
Losing Yourself – A review of the novel ‘A Man in Control’

“Life is to be lived, not controlled” - Ralph Ellison

Author Harry E. Gilleland’s new novel ‘A Man In Control’ tells the tale of Dave Wynthers, a control freak trying to come to terms with the numerous changes happening in his life. He is a professor of microbiology who suddenly finds his hands full of surprises and sudden changes that disrupt his every laid out plan for the future. These changes include and vary from new love interests to death of family members and to ones as extreme as dealing with terrorists with biological weapons and also tackling the law enforcement agencies. A Man In Control is a mystery thriller centred around the setting of a social drama.

The timing of the book’s release is without question bang on, whether intentional or not, it has come out at a time when the whole world is talking about the main theme discussed in the book. And a few important and contemporary social and political issues too have been added to make it a highly relevant story. The author has also used his own background in microbiology to good effect by conjuring up various scenarios and terms and blending it nicely with the fictional story being narrated.

A shocking first chapter actually sets the pace and mood for the rest of the book. Harry gets into the mind and psyche of his lead character quite brilliantly, he plays with the reader’s perception and connection to his lead character by constantly pulling the strings from the background and gets the reader to love and hate Dave in the same book. The mature handling of relationships, even if they were flawed to begin with of both Dave’s and Heather’s and then Dave’s and Lorrie’s is another highlight. The author then goes on to extrapolate these relationships against the relationship of Lorrie and Caleb, as if to portray how an ideal relationship is supposed to be.

The book has a host of highly interesting characters but none who can match up to the uniqueness of the protagonist. Dave’s calculative and measured mind of a scientist is never switched off, whether he is talking to the authorities or even when he is making love to his girlfriend. But ultimately it is Dave’s insistence on domesticating his powerful and independent women partners that leads to his downfall. Sometimes Dave’s scenes with the police and FBI reminds you of the author’s previous book Zack’s Choice and the similar scenes in them but the content here is far more serious and Dave is no innocent, naive young character like Zack and therefore our attitude towards him too remains different. And it is quite a risk that the author has taken by creating a lead character like Dave, who isn’t easy to cheer for. But it is also a brave step in portraying a lead with grey shades rather than typecast him as either a bad guy or a goody two-shoes.

Anyone who has read Harry’s previous books will know that no matter what the theme or subject matter is, he writes in a casual and easy to read manner and this has been repeated in A Man in Control as well. It is an easy to read fiction with no hidden agenda and its only intention is to keep you entertained for the few odd hours you will spend on it.

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