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Pittsburgh, 1995. Twenty-two year old Bobby Saraceno is a biracial 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.
'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' -- Attica Locke
'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' -- Sujata Massey, author of The Widows of Malabar Hill
'A sad, swift tale bearing rueful observations about color and class as urgent now as 24 years ago' -- Kirkus Reviews
'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' -- Library Journal (Starred Review)
'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' -- Stephen Mack Jones, author of the August Snow thriller series
'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' --David Joy, author of The Line That Held Us
'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' -- Rob Hart, author of The Warehouse and the Ash McKenna crime series
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' -- Matt Coleman, BookRiot