In 1834 in New Orleans, Benjamin January, a free man of color, is asked to return to his former owners plantation to spy on the slaves. Theres been a good deal of sabotage going on and Simon Fourchet feels his enemies, the Daubray brothers, have bribed slaves to destroy him.

Fourchet wants January to investigate; January wants to refuse but cannot. At first, the degrading situation is almost too much for him. However, he does uncover evidence of sabotage and, although his investigation takes a turn for the deadly in the end, January must decide where his own loyalties lie.

The world of antebellum New Orleans becomes our own in the beautifully written and historically accurate SOLD DOWN THE RIVER. Januarys predicament becomes so real to us that we agonize over his situation with him. This is an intense story that will capture your mind as it sets you to thinking. (May., 336 pp., $5.99—Hardcover published July 2000)

Reviewed by: 
Toby Bromberg