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Forty Acres

3.92 of 5 stars 3.92  ·  rating details  ·  642 ratings  ·  221 reviews
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, wealth
Hardcover, 384 pages
Published July 1st 2014 by Atria Books
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Patrice Hoffman
Where do I begin with this review? I guess from the beginning.

Forty Acres is the debut political thriller by Dwayne Alexander Smith composed of a plot I never saw coming. Off the high of winning a civil rights case, Martin Grey is ready to live the good life. The latest verdict is set to bring the small civil rights practice he shares with his good friend Glen, into the limelight and some serious cash flow.

Seemingly out of the blue, Martin is approached by Damon Darell, who happens to also be o
OMGOSH, if you happen to enjoy a good mystery-thriller, read this super fast-paced debut novel with a shocking theme by Dwayne Alexander Smith. Forty Acres (great title) is a suspenseful story about a secret society of rich & powerful black men who capture and enslave white men and women to do their bidding in an act of revenge against their ancestors.

Great entertainment here with evil doings and brutality that gave me the willies! (view spoiler)

Tim "The Enchanter"
Posted to The Literary

A Compelling First Effort - 3.5 Stars

I feel a bit torn over this one. On one hand, I really liked the concept of the novel. The author manages to make a point, avoids being "preachy" while still managing to entertain. Just so the previous comment does not mislead, I do not consider this to be "message fiction". It simply deals with real issues (Slavery and racism) through a plot that it purposely overblown and deeply in the fringes of the most radical of any
Judy Collins
A special thank you, to Atria Books and NetGalley for a complimentary ARC, in exchange for an honest 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 charact
'Forty Acres' is earnest and implausible, just like the actions of its protagonist, Martin Grey. It's a thriller, so I understand its need to move quickly but for the first third of the novel to be spent in expository setup before reaching the titular Forty Acres, that 1/3 didn't do enough work making the relationships between Martin and his law partner Glen or his professional rival Damon as strong as they could've been. I would've liked to know more about how his friendship with Glen informed ...more
Temeca Curry
Two wrongs don't make a right but it damn sure makes a statement. The secret society that took place on forty acres led by Dr. Kasim was a black man's Utopia that had everything any one could want or possibly need. Every detail was in order to fill a black man's mental, physical or sexual need and security was tight so in order that there was protocol for any possible scenario. What they didn't expect was the conscious of Martin Grey a new inductee in this secret society.
This page turner had me
Paul Pessolano
“Forty Acres” by Dwayne Alexander Smith, published by Atria Books.

Category – Mystery/Thriller Publication Date – July 01, 2014

This book may be the most controversial book of the year, a book that not only provides the reader with a good mystery but one that also takes a look at racial history.

Martin Grey is a lawyer involved in a case that pits him up against one of the best trial lawyers in the country. He manages to win the case and is invited to join a very exclusive club. An African-American
This book is a top-notch thriller! Tension builds from page 1 and will keep your heart rate high until the end. If you enjoy thrillers, do yourself a favor and avoid reading detailed reviews of Forty Acres by Dwayne Alexander Smith because spoilers abound. For those who would enjoy a "spoiler free" summary of this excellent book, which will be released in July 2014, the first couple of paragraphs of the publisher's summary are copied below:

"What if overcoming the legacy of American slavery mean
This was a thriller that I had to pull an all-nighter on. I wouldn't want to be Martin Grey. The world won't be ready for this to hit the big screen any time soon, especially not with all the protesting currently going on. lol..
Quick but intense read! What a thought provoking and unusual plot. This would make a good book for discussion. Loved the protagonist. A nightmarish thriller.
"An eye for an eye...", "Sins of the father...", "Two wrongs don't make a right..." So how do you properly address the sins of slavery? How does one avenge a sin committed against their forefathers?

The concept was interesting: a secret society of African-American men who wish to preserve the institution of slavery for their own benefit. This book takes an uncomfortable subject and twists it into something new. And although the story is outlandish at times, it does seriously address the issues of
Ryan Dejonghe
Dude buying a Seinfeld DVD gets tossed into the back of a van: so this adventure takes off. As far as thrillers go, this one had me turning the pages. That’s good. We’re witness to a big court battle and then taken to an exclusive club. It all ties together, but I can’t help leaving a bit infuriated.

From this book’s description, you can see that this is about reverse discrimination (slavery to be exact). The author did a great job of bringing forth the issues, but then got me ticked off: mostly
Could not finish. Got to page 193 because I really wanted to see if this was going to get any better, but sadly it just started turning more and more into a roll-my-eyes kind of joke.

The book is about a group of affluent and influential black men who under the tutelage of Dr. Kasim have created a secret hideaway mansion where white people are the slaves. Right away I thought, 'Wow! How daring. This should make for some thought-provoking discussion and reflection.' Well, that was not to be the c
Forty Acres – Brilliant

Before I begin I too would like to thank Mr Bill Teitler for encouraging Dwayne Alexander Smith to complete the manuscript which became Forty Acres, without it this brilliant thriller may still be sat in a desk draw. This is the debut novel of Dwayne Alexander Smith, an American screenwriter and now with Forty Acres; novelist.

If you think of American white supremacists you automatically think of them with their compounds out in the woods and forests especially in what had
I absolutely loved FORTY ACRES. The novel made me think a lot about race, power, money, and history. I could NOT put the book down to save my life! I found myself reading when I woke up, while brushing my teeth, during breakfast, as I walked to the bus stop, on the bus, walking to work, during my lunch break! I was even reading during worship time at my church's watch night service!!!! Dwayne Alexander Smith's writing kept me so intrigued. The plot is interesting, the subject matter is thought p ...more
Ryne Kitchen
When this book comes out in July, and when the movie based on the book inevitably follows it soon afterwards, this story is going to be one of the most controversial things to happen in years.

And I can't wait!

This book was truly unlike any I have read before, and unlike any I will read again. While reading it I could tell just how big this is going to become. Thank you Mr. Smith!

The sins of the fathers...

When up-and-coming lawyer Martin Grey is hired to fight a racial prejudice lawsuit against a big corporation, he finds himself up against a fellow black lawyer, the slick and successful Damon Darrell. Pulling off a shock victory, Martin is surprised when Darrell shows up at the celebration party and begins to draw Martin into his circle of exclusively black friends. As well as growing to like Darrell, Martin sees how useful these successful and powerful men could be to
Barbara Morgan
This was a great read. This book kept you intrigued wondering what was going to happen next, even when you thought you already knew. The author did a great job of adding enough twist to the story line.
This was a provocative read and it was kind of intense and kind of disturbing. I was hooked from the very first page of this thriller. It had the same feel for me as Room did by Emma Donoghue. I couldn't look away. I felt like I was being voyeuristic. The attitudes were so wrong but yet so riveting.

It took the author a fair amount of time to set the stage for the huge shock that was about to be revealed, but it was well written so it didn't even phase me that the action hadn't happened yet. Wel
Maxine (Booklover Catlady)
I received an ARC of this novel via the publisher and NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review, thanks

It's SO nice to finally read a book that's a bit different to a lot of other novels being published at the moment, Forty Acres, for me, delivered a very exciting and unique read, one of the more memorable reads of 2014.

Martin Grey is an up and coming lawyer, he is invited (rather cleverly) to come along for a weekend trip away that he considers to be all about male bonding and white water raf
Leona Romich
Amazon Rating: 5 stars

The Forty Acres Conspiracy

What would you do if you were invited into a small group of powerful and wealthy people that could potentially push your career to another level? That could provide opportunities to open new doors for you? Would you play their game? Would you hesitate for even a second if you knew the rules they really played by? How far would you be willing to go?

Martin Grey is a young, talented, black lawyer who just won a big case against a high profile lawyer.
ARC for review.

So many thrillers have premises (premi?) that have been done to death. Not this one. In fact, I really wish the book jacket hadn't given so much away because the reveal would have been truly surprising. If you enjoy a good thriller take a chance on this one and read nothing more about it, including the shaded portions of the review below.

Martin Gray, an African American attorney is finishing up the case of a lifetime as plaintiff's counsel on a racial discrimination case against
I must say I really enjoyed this book. The content was different than anything I've read before and it was very thought provoking. If I have to say one thing I didn't like about it it would have to be the ending. I didn't like the way it ended. This is an author to look out for. Can't wait to see what else he has coming out.
Jenny (adultishbooks)
If you've read the summary or premise of this novel, you can guess it's a provocative read. I found the premise to be engaging and terrifying as well as excellently-executed. Some of the modern touches were interesting and thoughtful.

This book is marketed as a thriller (that's the subtitle even of Forty Acres). The chapters are short, sometimes ending on a cliffhanger and you do want to keep reading. I found it unputdownable, finishing it in two days (it comes in at about 367 pages so it's not s
The main thing I can say about this book is that it is DISTURBING! I really wish I could unread it. However, I can not. The story is captivating from the start. Like a horrible accident where you know someone has probably died yet you can not look away. Dr Kasim and his followers ideology is abhorrent. To make a gross understatement- TWO WRONGS DON'T MAKE A RIGHT!!!

One of the scariest things about this story is how innocently Martin fell into this situation. How easily your life can change direc
Adrienne Thompson
Dwayne Alexander Smith has penned what might be the best read of the year! Forty Acres is a nail-biting, edge-of-your-seat kind of read that will leave you thirsty for more. This is the type of book that readers wish for and writers wish they'd thought of. An absolutely brilliant read!! Kudos to Mr. Smith!

Adrienne Thompson
Author of See Me
African Americans on the Move Book Club
Forty Acres is an interesting historical thriller. In this novel, a story unlike any other takes place. A story that leaves a chill running down your spine. The author wrote a story about a place where black men who are wealthy and have high positions in life created a world in which the white men are the slaves and the black men are called “masters”. Slavery of any kind is a chilling and horrific thing to happen. This unique novel tells us what happens when the opposite races switch positions. ...more
Review to come. 4.5 stars. I have issues with ending/closure.
I am shocked at all the reviews praising the fast pace of this novel- absolutely flabbergasted. In the famous words of Mugatu, "I feel like I'm taking crazy pills!" This book is SO SLOW. Perhaps part of the problem with the pacing is that it is also extremely predictable, and despite this, the author still feels the need to try to draw things out, tiptoeing around obvious information, in an attempt to add suspense. Example- at one point a woman is thinking about this surprising news she simply c ...more
While looking at new books at my local Barnes and Noble, I came across “Forty Acres”. I like to look at the beginning pages and I happily found the dedication that author Dwayne Alexander Smith made to his mother. I wish to have such wonderful words said about me by my children. After that dedication, I had to read this book.

“Forty Acres” is the story of Martin Grey, a young black storefront attorney who wins a high profile civil rights case against a large corporation whose counsel was Damon Da
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Working 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. Currently I have two movies in post-production, STUCK and THE CLOSET. Both are due to be released in 2014.

My first novel, a thriller titled FORTY ACRES, is scheduled for release by Simon & Schuster July 1st, 2
More about Dwayne Alexander Smith...
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