Multi-layered and absorbing, Vercher’s sensational debut interrogates the toxic relationship between a Black man passing as white and his best friend - who has returned from prison a violent racist – with nuance, power and almost unbearable suspense.
Shortlisted for the John Creasey (New Blood) Dagger 2021
Twenty-two year old Bobby Saraceno is a biracial black man, passing for white. Bobby has hidden his identity from everyone, even his best friend and fellow comic-book geek, Aaron, who has just returned from prison a newly radicalized white supremacist.
During the night of their reunion, Bobby witnesses Aaron mercilessly assault a young black man with a brick. In the wake of this horrifying act of violence, Bobby must conceal his unwitting involvement in the crime from the police, as well as battle with his own personal demons.
A harrowing story about racism and brutality that is more urgent now than ever.
Publisher: Pushkin Press
Dimensions: 198 x 129 mm
Vercher's searing first novel is set 25 years ago, but its subject couldn't be more timely... this mesmerising debut doesn't shy away
John Vercher has such love and compassion for his characters in Three-Fifths that I couldn't help but be sucked into their lives from the very first pages. It's so incredibly suspenseful that I was continually surprised by the story and deeply moved by the time I turned the last page
John Vercher takes a timely, yet tragically timeless, cautionary tale and turns it into something so heartfelt, so frightening and dazzling that it sits easily amongst the best crime fiction novels I've read this year. Brutal and powerful, I adored it
Short, lucid and harrowing
Dark, gritty and thrilling
Three-Fifths is compelling and powerfully moving
Three-Fifths by John Vercher is the emotional gut punch we need at this moment. Vercher puts us in the tortured mind of man who's very existence is an inflection point of race, masculinity and ultimately redemption. Three-Fifths is not to be missed
I loved this thriller... powerful and disturbing
Three-Fifths is a seriously impressive and timely debut, and I'm excited to see what Vercher does next
Intelligent, heart-rending psychological novel... utterly devastating
Multi-layered and absorbing, Vercher's sensational debut interrogates the toxic relationship between a Black man passing as white and his best friend - who has returned from prison a violent racist - with nuance, power and almost unbearable suspense
Tightly written... Vercher paints a resonant picture of a country seemingly willing to sacrifice generation after generation of young men over its historic failures on racism
Vercher's timely debut asks searching questions about race, identity and violence in this story of a biracial man who finds himself the witness to a terrible crime
Any world Vercher turns his hand to - the service industry, a hospital, the break-up of a marriage, racist America - comes alive on the page. The novel's title might deal in fractions but Three-Fifths delivers as a whole
John Vercher has achieved what few others have... This is a crime story that masterfully, beautifully, ingeniously reveals the duplicity of racial psychology and the far-reaching violence it spawns on the American landscape.
Vercher deftly explores identity and the ethics of accountability in this debut. Fans of realistic social issue narratives will be immersed in the moral dilemmas of this timely novel.
Feverishly entertaining. Resoundingly important. A book treading this kind of ground should not be able to move this fast. THREE-FIFTHS is an honest, fearless page-burner. Vercher is a writer to watch.
In THREE-FIFTHS, John Vercher uses an explosive act of violence to tell a very harrowing, very relevant story about race, but also family and friendship and masculinity-and all the dangers that come with those things. Keep your eye on Vercher-any writer who comes out of the gate this strong is bound for great things.
A brilliant page-turner. John Vercher is a gifted new voice in the crime fiction genre; I can't wait to see what he does next
A fierce, heart-rending story set in 1995, about race and identity, secrets and the perpetuation of violence. An American tragedy that left me reeling
A sad, swift tale bearing rueful observations about color and class as urgent now as 24 years ago
If a book can be both difficult to read and impossible to put down, it's this book. You should read books that challenge you. This is such a book.
A complex narrative with far-reaching societal calamities prevail in this riveting and gripping drama consumed by flaw and emotionally driven characters festering along the racial divide.
Cuts through racial psychology, obsession and the impact of violence on human life, BEAUTIFULLY. Top Boy meets The Wire.
A vicious murder is at the centre of Three-Fifths, an impressive debut
Three-Fifths is a hard-hitting portrayal of race, class and violence in nineties America. Unflinching with moments of unbearable pathos, it is as urgent today as two decades ago