Forty Acres: A Thriller [NOOK Book]

Overview

A young black attorney confronts issues of race and power as he uncovers a shocking conspiracy in the most page-turning and provocative thriller since The Firm.

Martin Grey, a smart, talented black lawyer working out of a storefront in Queens, becomes friendly with a group of some of the most powerful, wealthy, and esteemed black men in America. He’s dazzled by what they’ve accomplished, and they seem to think he has the potential to be as ...
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Forty Acres: A Thriller

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Overview

A young black attorney confronts issues of race and power as he uncovers a shocking conspiracy in the most page-turning and provocative thriller since The Firm.

Martin Grey, a smart, talented black lawyer working out of a storefront in Queens, becomes friendly with a group of some of the most powerful, wealthy, and esteemed black men in America. He’s dazzled by what they’ve accomplished, and they seem to think he has the potential to be as successful as they are. They invite him for a weekend away from it all—no wives, no cell phones, no talk of business. But far from home and cut off from everyone he loves, he discovers a disturbing secret that challenges some of his deepest convictions…

Martin finds out that his glittering new friends are part of a secret society dedicated to the preservation of the institution of slavery—but this time around, the black men are called “Master.” Joining them seems to guarantee a future without limits; rebuking them almost certainly guarantees his death. Trapped inside a picture-perfect, make-believe world that is home to a frightening reality, Martin must find a way out that will allow him to stay alive without becoming the very thing he hates.

A novel of rage and compassion, good and evil, trust and betrayal, Forty Acres is the thought-provoking story of one man’s desperate attempt to escape the clutches of a terrifying new moral order.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
06/15/2014
Attorney Martin Grey just won the biggest racial discrimination case of his career, putting his law firm in the media spotlight. The opposing counsel, superstar lawyer Damon Darrell, invites Martin and his wife, Anna, to a small party at his estate. Martin is welcomed into Damon's small group of friends, all of them powerful, extremely wealthy African American men. Despite Anna's growing suspicions that all is not right, Martin goes on a men-only retreat to a plantation-style mansion called Forty Acres. A horrified Martin is offered membership into a secret society that aims to avenge the past injustices of slavery through the kidnapping and enslavement of descendants of slaveholders. Knowing his refusal would mean his death, Martin desperately plans his escape not only to save himself and the slaves but to expose the immorality of all he sees. VERDICT With an intriguing premise and gripping action scenes, screenwriter Smith presents a satisfying thriller in his debut novel.—Joy Gunn, Paseo Verde Lib., Henderson, NV
John Ridley
"Forty Acres is an absolutely enthralling thriller, one that also has the capacity to challenge the readers' perceptions of right and wrong. With supreme confidence and a mastery of storytelling, the author asks hard questions, provides no easy answers… But delivers maximum suspense. It’s an unforgettable work by an amazing new voice. Easily my favorite of the year."
David Baldacci
"A thought-provoking novel that, like a wave, builds strength and intensity as it moves forward. Smith has done something special here using as his primary tools earnest, straightforward language and an eye and ear that probes bone-deep. This story will resonate long after the last page has fallen."
New York Times bestselling author of Waiting to Ex Terry McMillan
"Wow! FORTY ACRES is a thriller in a class all by itself—brilliant and scary. The characters are masterfully well-drawn—Martin was so vulnerable and his confusion grew on me so that I ultimately cared and worried about him. I was on the edge of my seat!"
Booklist
"Top-grade suspense... [A] disturbingly powerful, well-wrought story."
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
“On the surface this is a skillful re-imagining of John Grisham's "The Firm," but because Smith has made race an integral part of his narrative and its themes, he's elevated the book to a more layered read."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781476730554
  • Publisher: Atria Books
  • Publication date: 7/1/2014
  • Sold by: SIMON & SCHUSTER
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 16,771
  • File size: 3 MB

Meet the Author

Dwayne Alexander Smith is a screenwriter and author living in Los Angeles. Forty Acres is his first novel.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 13 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(8)

4 Star

(4)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 13 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 7, 2014

    It's very difficult to write a review of Forty Acres, Dwayne Ale

    It's very difficult to write a review of Forty Acres, Dwayne Alexander Smith's debut novel: not because the story is poorly conceived (the plot is fascinating) or the writing is bad (it's quite good), but because I am a white Southerner reviewing a black man's novel on race relations. There are those who will say I have no business judging Smith's description of the black experience, and to some extent I recognize the point they are making. However, I believe that improving the relations between blacks and whites in America requires that we try, and are allowed to try, to step into the other's shoes, and this is where Smith shines. While it is clear from the publisher's description that protagonist Martin Grey, and Smith himself, are appalled at the notion of blacks deliberately enslaving whites, I was disconcerted to find myself nodding in agreement with some of the arguments antagonist Dr. Thaddeus Kasim proffers in support of his "new moral order": the psychological concept of "black noise," the reality that "revenge is an essential human trait." Like Grey, I could see holes in the logic, but I could understand the logic .

    Independent of his thought-provoking plot, Smith has written a fast-paced thriller, one I didn't want to put down; I particularly enjoyed the way in which he plays with the reader's expectations in the final chapters. I did have one relatively minor quibble with Smith's legal jargon, which I hope was corrected before the final printing; although most laypeople probably wouldn't have noticed, this attorney-reader cringed at the statement by "the number one legal website in the world" that Grey represented the "prosecution" in a civil case (the correct term is plaintiff) and the repeated references to Grey's contingency fee as a "commission check."

    All quibbles aside, Smith has done a superlative job in using fiction to explore American race relations, and I hope his novel can serve in furthering a non-confrontational dialogue on this topic. I highly recommend it.

    I received a free copy of Forty Acres through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

    8 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 22, 2014

    Compulsive reading

    I was so lucky to have had access to this book! Martin Grey, an up and coming black lawyer realises his new friends, all black are filled with evil, revenge and anger. To avenge their ancestors, who were slaves, they set up a secret compound and capture caucasians who are forced to become their slaves. Martin is invited to join the group and there the best excitement begins. Does Martin concentrate on saving his life, or those of the slaves or does he become one of the group. It has been some time since I have read such a compelling story. Could barely stand to put the book down to go to sleep!

    8 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 6, 2014

    Great book

    This is one of the best books I have read all year!!!! I agree with all the other reviews and hope this author writes more. Totally thought provoking. My family had to fend for themselves for one whole day because I would NOT stop reading. MORE PLEASE!!!!!!!!!

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 18, 2014

    Definitely a page turner

    This book grabbed me from the first page and didn't let go. If you're looking for a really great thrill ride this is it.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 16, 2014

    Loved it

    I was not prepared for what this book had in store. I could not put it down and did not want it to end all at once. Great fast summer read

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 1, 2015

    Brownstone Book Club March 2015 Book Review What can I say abo

    Brownstone Book Club March 2015 Book Review

    What can I say about “Forty Acres” by Dwayne Alexander Smith?

    This is the perplexing question that I keep asking myself as I write this review, because once I finished reading this book all I could say was WOW!!! What a Brilliant Literary Imagination!

    This book didn't really pick up for me until I read about half way through it, but once the action starts it doesn't stop. This novel is not a simple or quick read. I found myself being introduce to a few new words by the author and this is something that I've always enjoyed while reading because it allows for the increase of my vocabulary. For me this novel is a paradigm, if you will. Not saying that there aren't any novels out there written like this one and I've read a lot of books in my life, but I've never read anything quite like this. This was a first for me...

    When I say that this novel is representative of a paradigm, it takes me back to my thoughts when K-mart was that major powerhouse in it's industry but then Wal-mart came along and said yes we're doing what you can do but we going to put a different spin on it and do it bigger and better. Wal-mart flipped it, thus taking over the industry. This is what Author Dwayne Alexander Smith does in his novel, “Forty Acres”, when it comes to our thought process and all that we know about the slavery days of old. In his novel he so masterfully flips the roles of slave and slave master. The story line and characters are so vividly written.

    This novel pulls at that moral compass that should lie within us all as it pertains to revenge and what's really the right thing that should be done. There were points within my reading that I'd ask myself should I be reading this? Should I continue to read on? This novel was so intriguing I was compelled to read on. For all those book lovers, from beginning to end, this novel does not disappoint. This is definitely a “Must Read”! Long after you've read it, it will continue to make you think ...WOW what if?

    Tangela D. Fleming
    Brownstone Book Club
    Founder/President
    5 Stars



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  • Posted January 22, 2015

    Great book, anxiously awaiting his next book!

    Great book, anxiously awaiting his next book!

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  • Posted December 29, 2014

    Excellent writer. Mr. Smith writes like Sidney Sheldon. You don'

    Excellent writer. Mr. Smith writes like Sidney Sheldon. You don't want to put it down.

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  • Posted October 15, 2014

    This book, wow is very good. I enjoyed the read there were parts

    This book, wow is very good. I enjoyed the read there were parts that made cry, laugh and just plain disgust me. Overall it was very thought provoking and I enjoyed it!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 21, 2014

    Hush

    Bai.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 21, 2014

    America

    Ima go. Ttyt.

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  • Posted August 17, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Martin is a black lawyer whose career is taking off, when he is

    Martin is a black lawyer whose career is taking off, when he is approached by Damon Darrell, another black lawyer who is well known and well respected in town. Damon reaches out to Martin as a friend, and their friendship quickly grows into a bond like that found between brothers. Damon introduces Martin to his other group of friends-- all of which are successful black men. One day Martin is invited on a getaway with this group of impressive and powerful friends, and it leads him to some startling revelations and the discovery that his friends are involved in white slavery, and followers of an old black man by the name of Dr. Kasim.

    At times this story seemed awkward and somewhat childish in its simplified assessments. And I always get frustrated with storylines like this that have some mentor spewing crap that everyone views as genius. It seems preposterous to me when the sensible protagonist Martin almost immediately seems to seriously consider the madness as a truth (even if he eventually decides it isn't). Why even pollute and convolute a perfectly fascinating storyline with such ridiculousness? Why not just have simple revenge as the motivating factor? Rather than ridiculous theory and propaganda that fuel this group of mad lunatics, make them simply a group of angry and cruel black men? That would have been more believable, but perhaps the author didn't want to risk playing into the "angry black man" stereotype? I just always have a hard time falling for the group that seem to be under mass hypnosis, perhaps because I am such a strong-minded individual.

    I had such high hopes for this story, but in the end I wound up having a really hard time with the main character Martin, and all of his justifications for his own actions. I thought it was a fascinating idea, but it wound up preposterous. It would have been much better if it had been built on simple revenge, but instead it was convoluted with Dr. Kasim and his propaganda. I don't know. I had high hopes, but in the end I would up pretty disappointed and not liking it all that much.

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 17, 2015

    No text was provided for this review.

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