Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Forty Acres” as Want to Read:
Forty Acres
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Forty Acres

3.87  ·  Rating Details ·  1,536 Ratings  ·  410 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, 372 pages
Published July 1st 2014 by Atria Books
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Forty Acres, please sign up.

Popular Answered Questions

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Patrice Hoffman
Mar 10, 2014 Patrice Hoffman rated it really liked it
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)

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 political 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
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
Mar 16, 2014 stacia rated it it was ok
'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
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
La Tonya  Jordan
Jul 18, 2015 La Tonya Jordan rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Everyone
Recommended to La Tonya by: Go On Girl !
Shelves: good-read
This was an exciting book. It left me wanting more of the story. Martin Grey was the witty attorney who became the hero both inside and outside of the courtroom. The story begins with Martin representing a client against a giant automaker. It appears the odds were stacked against him until he prevailed in court. After this event, he shows his true character as a person when presented with an invitation of a life time to join powerful men in a secret club that could alter his financial and person ...more
Here's a fun drinking game: Take a swig of your favorite beverage every time you have to yell, "That's RACIST/MISOGYNIST/BIGOTED/GAY-HATING/ABLEIST!" at me in this review.
You will be super well-hydrated by the end and I will be a huge asshole.

Ok, so, this is pretty much a Hollywood-style revenge fantasy which is great, I like those. I mean, that's the driving force behind vagina dentata tales and such. Revenge! Such stories are evocative and thrilling and I LOVE revenge! It's also billed as a po
J Beckett
Aug 06, 2015 J Beckett rated it really liked it
Sometimes, but not very often, we stumble upon a gem previously, and perhaps intentionally, overlooked. A gem murky and raw awaiting its founder to discover its core radiance; that magnificence, that alluring, loud, profound, and appealing luminescence; waiting to come through with care and patience, waiting, like all matters of growth, to be quickly discovered. This is what I found within the overly worked diamond mine of the novel forty acres by screen writer/novelist Dwayne Alexander Smith.

Oct 08, 2014 Licha rated it did not like it
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
Temeca Curry
Jan 02, 2014 Temeca Curry rated it it was amazing
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
Adrienne Thompson
Nov 20, 2014 Adrienne Thompson rated it it was amazing
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
Jun 01, 2014 Barbara rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2014-book-shelf
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.
Dec 30, 2014 Lee rated it it was amazing
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..
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
Paul Pessolano
May 21, 2014 Paul Pessolano rated it really liked it
“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
Feb 13, 2015 Laura rated it really liked it
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.
Nov 17, 2014 Kelli rated it did not like it
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
Apr 26, 2014 Shanae rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014-wishlist
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
Jun 06, 2014 Raven rated it it was amazing
Although not ostensibly classified as a crime book, I was very keen to include this title as I believe that there are enough elements to fulfil the best of both genres; crime thriller and contemporary American fiction. Drawing on the theme of the continuing calls in present day America for some kind of reparation for the heinous period of American slavery, and the resonance of the falsely promised ‘forty acres and a mule’ for the emancipated slaves, Smith has constructed one of the most thought- ...more
Feb 16, 2014 bfilbeck rated it it was amazing
Shelves: thrillers
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
Jan 08, 2015 leslye rated it liked it
Shelves: suspense-mystery
"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
Ashley White
Jan 12, 2016 Ashley White rated it really liked it
Here's what I know to be true about this book...for the last 3 days I haven't been able to put it down..if Im being honest I knew more about this books characters than I did about any of my meetings today..Its challenged me mentally, and my sense of humanity, not to mention ethics..It's completely consumed my mind, given me a headache and raised my blood pressure..and at the same time I don't know if I would recommend it to someone else to read...perhaps that's the sign of good book, but then ag ...more
Ryne Kitchen
May 17, 2014 Ryne Kitchen rated it it was amazing
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!

Aug 10, 2014 Leah rated it it was amazing
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
Oct 31, 2014 Donna rated it really liked it
Shelves: suspense
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
Lisa Moulton
Nov 20, 2014 Lisa Moulton rated it liked it
I have mixed emotions about this novel hence the rating 3.5. I feel like what Forty Acres represents is a step back although fictional it had me filled with so many different thoughts. I wonder what the author thought as he wrote the story, was he in a turmoil or is this true to life how we as a race feel. I feel like slavery was wrong back then, it's wrong now and I guess I felt like Martin, something had to be done to stop it. I felt like Dr Kasim was a mad scientist who knew how to brainwash ...more
Nov 03, 2014 April rated it liked it
My 1st Thriller. A very different read for me. It wasn't difficult but I felt that it took to long to get to the meat of the matter.
Oct 06, 2014 Semajh rated it it was amazing
Fabulous. Talk about a book I would gift to everyone. Brilliantly paced, extremely interesting premise. I expect great things from the author in the future.
Arlene (Urbrightside)
Feb 01, 2017 Arlene (Urbrightside) rated it really liked it
Shelves: readsoullit
This book is about a man named Martin Grey who is an up and coming attorney with a beautiful wife, Ana, and a small firm in which he has shared partnership with a good friend named Glen Grossman. One day after a tough civil rights lawsuit is won Martin is invited to a very posh dinner at the apposing counsel Damon Darrell's house. But the gag is, all the attendees of this very posh dinner are some of the cities more important African American men. From CEO's to Financial world geniuses to Adver ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Divine Divas Read...: May Book 11 10 Apr 28, 2016 07:32PM  
Mocha Girls Read: Book of the Month: Forty Acres 27 66 Dec 01, 2015 11:58AM  
Go On Girl! Book...: * What Did You Think of the Book 6 10 Oct 12, 2015 10:02AM  
Go On Girl! Book...: * About the Book 5 10 Oct 03, 2015 07:35PM  
Go On Girl! Book...: About Dwayne Alexander Smith 5 11 Sep 07, 2015 09:37AM  
What's Your First Book of the New Year Going to Be 1 9 Dec 20, 2014 12:11AM  
Could this happen today? 3 35 Oct 06, 2014 02:06PM  
  • Stand Your Ground
  • They Tell Me of a Home
  • Anybody's Daughter (Angela Evans #2)
  • Saint Monkey
  • Too Heavy a Load: Black Women in Defense of Themselves, 1894-1994
  • God Ain't Through Yet (God Don't Like Ugly, #5)
  • The Sisterhood of Blackberry Corner
  • Laws of Wrath
  • Inner City Blues (Charlotte Justice, #1)
  • Mixed Blood (Cape Town #1)
  • If Sons, Then Heirs
  • A Piece of Mine: Stories
  • Sapphire's Grave
  • The Black Rose
  • Black Girl in Paris
  • The Man in 3B
  • Third Girl from the Left
  • Hunting in Harlem
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...

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »