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Thursday 1 January 2015

‘Forty Acres’ by Dwayne Alexander Smith

Published by Faber & Faber,
3 July 2014.
ISBN: 978-0571317424

Martin Grey, a young black lawyer, has just won a prestigious trial. His former opponent invites him to a dinner which turns out to be a test – to see if he’s worthy to join an exclusive group where he’ll be tested as never before ...

This thriller is told in the third person, centring on Martin and, occasionally, his wife Anna. Martin’s a likeable everyman: hard working, humane, aware of the horrors lying in his ancestral past, but taking the view that slavery is now over, and it’s time to move on. His fellow-lawyer, Damon Darrell, and his friends, particularly the charismatic Dr Kisman, are shown as a powerful, convincing but scarily misguided group. Martin’s dilemma – to go along with them, or resist them at the risk of his life – is involving to the reader. The plot is action-filled, the short chapters make the story speed along, and you’d be seriously annoyed if someone disturbed you in the middle of the clock-ticking sequence.

A very readable thriller based around an unusual and thought-provoking theme.
Reviewer: Marsali Taylor

Dwayne Alexander Smith is a screenwriter and author living in Los Angeles. Fory Acres is his first nnovel.

Marsali Taylor grew up near Edinburgh, and came to Shetland as a newly-qualified teacher. She is currently a part-time teacher on Shetland's scenic west side, living with her husband and two Shetland ponies. Marsali is a qualified STGA tourist-guide who is fascinated by history, and has published plays in Shetland's distinctive dialect, as well as a history of women's suffrage in Shetland. She's also a keen sailor who enjoys exploring in her own 8m yacht, and an active member of her local drama group.  Marsali also does a regular monthly column for the Mystery People e-zine.

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