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  • Writer's pictureJudith D Collins

Forty Acres

forty acres

ISBN-13: 9781476730530

Publisher: Atria Books

Publication date: 7/1/2014

Format: Other

My Rating: 5 Stars + Top Books of 2014 What if overcoming the legacy of American slavery meant bringing back that very institution? A young black attorney is thrown headlong into controversial issues of race and power in this page-turning and provocative new novel.

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.

My Review

One word . . EPIC! A “deal with the devil” has never been so evil!

FORTY ACRES was the most intense thriller --thought-provoking, and gripping debut novel (my pulse is still racing) - full of power and revenge. Has my vote for “Thriller Debut Novel of 2014”, a talented author, Dwayne Alexander Smith, has just won me over as a “fan for life.” Amazing writing, brilliantly developed characters, well researched, and an astounding storyline.

There is so much depth to this THRILLER, as so want to discuss, debate, and challenge the “what if’s” (as I booked marked something from every chapter); however, this is one of those “ONE in a million books” you dare not say a word to spoil, or hint of anything within a review, to give away the suspense for the readers. From controversial issues of race and power, hatred, wealth, love, trust, betrayal, and secrets--it has it all.

Whereas, “Devil’s Advocate” raised the preposition that “winning is everything”, FORTY ACRES is about “revenge and power.” Several similarities –both had smart intuitive wives, devil/master, and both main characters are attorneys who get sucked into a world of mystery, power, and wealth. (Of course, Forty Acres in a “class by itself”) A WINNER out of the gate!

FORTY ACRES deserves an unveiling, with no hints of any sort as each and every page is just too BLOODY GOOD. You feel yourself experiencing every setting, footstep, movement and facial expression, trying to predict the next move, with details so realistic, you are holding your breath, as you swish to the next page to see what lies ahead.

Martin, black attorney and main character totally ROCKS, and so fell in love with him – brilliant strategies, witty one liners, and oh the dedication of the book by the author was PRICELESS.

As the author is a screen play writer, I can envision a movie based on this predicted best seller, with a cast of stars (I want a front row seat) for a total blockbuster. With a surprise at the end – one can only hope for a series to follow. “I guess, my heart can get back to normal until his next book” . . . Here’s hoping it is soon!

This provocative new novel is most deserving of a 5 STAR +. Compliments to the author and publisher for an appealing front cover and overview, which drew me in immediately, and exceeded all my expectations!

A special thank you, to Atria Books and NetGalley for an early reading copy. Also purchased the hardcover and audio.

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About the Author

Dwayne Alexander Smith

Born in Harlem. Raised in the South Bronx.

I decided that I wanted to make movies after seeing Star Wars. Clichéd but true. My mother bought me a Super 8 camera. I made an animated short titled SHOES that won me a scholarship to a summer long filmmaking camp.

After film camp I went to college for electrical engineering but dropped out, against my mom's wishes, to pursue my dream of making movies. My first job in the industry was at Camera Service Center, a film equipment rental house in New York City.

While I was making 16mm shorts in my spare time I went on to work as a locations assistant on numerous feature films such as Money Train and HBO’s Subway Stories.

I started writing screenplays in an attempt to earn enough money to finish Doomsday Stew, my first feature film. I never did finish my feature but one of my screenplays, Joe’s Last Chance, sold to Intermedia. After that… doors in Hollywood began to open.

Today I earn a living as a professional screenwriter represented by Resolution and Circle of Confusion. I have sold or optioned six spec screenplays and I have been hired by studios for numerous rewrites.

About three years ago, between screenwriting jobs, I decided to write the novel Forty Acres. To my surprise and delight my first novel found a home at Atria Books.

The Unkind Hours Coming Summer 2018!






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