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"A thriller about a Black society with a secret"-- - (Baker & Taylor)

Befriended by some of America's most successful and wealthy black men, a talented African-American lawyer working out of a Queens storefront accepts their invitation to a weekend getaway only to learn that they are part of a secret organization that would promote white slavery. A first novel. - (Baker & Taylor)

An African American lawyer, working out of a storefront, accepts an invitation from some of America's most successful and wealthy black men, only to learn they are part of a secret organization that would promote white slavery. - (Baker & Taylor)

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. - (Simon and Schuster)

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Booklist Reviews

After young attorney Martin Grey trumps celebrity litigator Damon Darrell in a ­multimillion-dollar civil rights suit, Darrell inexplicably welcomes him into his circle of influential African American men. For Martin, acceptance into this circle is the realization of a life's dream. He's even invited on their men's retreat, and Darrell cryptically promises a life-altering experience. But when they arrive at their secret destination, a secluded plantation called Forty Acres, Martin enters a horrific alternate reality. The group's charismatic leader, Dr. Kasim, promises to free Martin from the legacy of slavery by avenging his ancestors. At Forty Acres, the slaves are captive descendants of plantation owners and slavers, and Martin's new friends are their masters. Martin has no intention of initiating, but his life and the slaves' freedom depends on convincing these new masters that he shares their brand of brutality. Like Grisham's The Firm (1991), Forty Acres pits a sharp legal mind against a deadly conspiracy of elites, and Martin's survival strategizing builds top-grade suspense. The disturbingly powerful, well-wrought story easily overshadows the few minor improbabilities. Highly recommended for book groups. Copyright 2014 Booklist Reviews.

Library Journal Reviews

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

[Page 87]. (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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