"In an alternate reality America where slavery was never abolished, a gifted young black man calling himself Victor has struck a bargain with federal law enforcement, working as a bounty hunter for the US Marshall Service."
An immersive thriller as well as a provocative alternative history, Underground Airlines showcases a fully realized central character who believes his own disturbing past can be kept safely buried. But history has a way of bubbling to the surface of the present. Winters succeeds in rendering the slave catcher monstrous but capable of redemption as Victor’s sympathies shift to the underground side.
Winters brilliantly and horrifyingly imagines how the pairing of corporate capitalism and slavery might look in the modern era ... Underground Airlines honors its genre antecedents by presenting us with an unexpected way of looking at the history of race relations in this country. The novel succeeds so well in part because its fiction is disturbingly close to our present reality ... The one facet of Winters’s alternate history that does not feel fully realized is its rendering of popular culture...But [that is] only slightly distracting. With Underground Airlines, Winters has written a book that will make you see the world in a new light.
An extraordinary new novel of alternate history...Underground Airlines jolts readers to a heightened awareness, making us see just how much of the nightmare of what could have been is part of the all-too-familiar reality of what is ... Like all great works of suspense - and this is one suspenseful tale filled with double crosses and dangerous expeditions down drainage tunnels and into plantations - Underground Airlines is hyperattentive to details. The world Winters conjures up is chillingly credible.