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.
"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."
– John Ridley, Academy Award-winning screenwriter of Twelve Years a Slave
"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."
– David Baldacci, #1 New York Times bestselling author of King and Maxwell
"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!"
– Terry McMillan, New York Times bestselling author of Waiting to Exhale and Who Asked You?
“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."