The 3rd Option

Fiction - Thriller - General
178 Pages
Reviewed on 12/27/2013
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Sharpton has been writing for a long, long time. His first published article appeared about 1978. During the next ten or fifteen years, He wrote more than 100 articles and chapters in more than 30 magazines and books. He also published 2 curriculum books and several short stories.

In the '80s and '90s, he worked in corporate training and development for organizations like Tupperware and Universal Studios, Florida. He also wrote a customer service training book during that time, which was published by HRD Press.

He now writes fiction. His first novel, 7 Sanctuaries, was released in September by Novel Voices Press. His second, The 3rd Option, was released in July, 2013 by Belle Isle Books.

Sharpton has won various awards in contests with Writers/Editors Network, the Center for Writing Excellence, Critique My Novel, Readers' Favorites and Writer's Type.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Eileen Johnson for Readers' Favorite

The 3rd Option by Ben Sharpton opens with Allan Chappel arriving at Inc. Ubator for a job interview with a long-time friend. All he knows about the company is that it is a medical think-tank that is doing cutting-edge research that promises to change the medical landscape. Allan tried the seminary as a young man but was disillusioned and left the ministry before taking his vows. He sees this potential job as a way to escape from a life that does not have much to offer him. As Allan arrives for his interview, the building is destroyed by a blast that kills everyone inside the building. Allan awakens in the hospital with a police inspector standing by his bed asking him why he was at the family planning clinic that day. As they talk, Allan begins to understand that he is a prime suspect in the bombing. After the inspector leaves, Allan runs, knowing that he must leave in order to clear his name. So begins a suspenseful tale that becomes an international event as Allan follows the minimal clues he has.

In The 3rd Option, Sharpton creates an intricate story that examines what might happen if the pro-life/pro-choice debate really did have a third option that might be agreeable to both parties. The characters in this fictional work are very well-developed and each one has their own motivation for the actions they take. As Allan uncovers more of the story, he is pursued by the law and a large, bald, goateed man who is intent on killing him. As he runs, his psychic Aunt Julia sends text messages that keep Allan one step ahead of his pursuers. A well-written thriller that explores the possibility of a 3rd option, this novel is a wonderful read!

Dr. Peter Wallace

This is the kind of rare thriller that I love--one that grabs you on page one and won't let you go until the satisfying conclusion. The Third Option is smart and fresh, combining timely issues with thoughtful insights, relatable characters, and shocking twists. It makes you think while it makes your heart race. Bravo, Ben Sharpton...more please!

Dr. Larry Poston, Profess

With so many literary themes being currently repeated seemingly ad infinitum, it is a pleasure to read a book that introduces new and stimulating ideas. This is especially true when such a work deals with current issues of vital importance both to spiritually-oriented persons and secularists alike. Ben Sharpton’s The 3rd Option introduces a new way of approaching the abortion debate in the context of a suspense-filled mystery novel that draws the reader in from the very first pages. The book provides many excellent points for discussion that bring balance to such works as Michael Crichton’s A Case of Need. Highly recommended for small group discussions and for college classes.

Janie Sullivan

I teach problem solving and decision making classes to corporate clients and one of the tenants of a good problem solving/decision making process is the development of multiple options to choose from. What Ben Sharpton has done in this well-written, suspenseful fiction story is take this basis business tenant to the world of personal decisions. When faced with a problem that will impact heavily in a very personal way, the options may appear to be two-dimensional, black and white, either-or solutions. What Sharpton has done here, although it is a fictional account, is to plant the idea that there are always other options, we just need to look for them.

Sharpton wove a bit of science fiction into the process, envisioning a third option that is not currently in the realm of possibility. This begs the question, however, of the possibility of something like his Third Option becoming reality sometime in the future. I remember, as a kid, the idea that one day everyone would have a telephone they could carry in their pockets, with one number that could be reached no matter where they were. Pure science fiction, right? It was then, and now?

Sharpton has taken an issue discussed in court rooms, across dinner tables, in churches, and across social media and turned it into an international thriller, combining elements of fiction, science fiction, controversy, and even love into a story that you won't want to put down, and one that will make you think about options - there is always a Third Option.