Undercard

Undercard

Written by: Albertyn, David

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Set over the course of twenty-four exhilarating hours, Undercard is the story of four childhood friends, now in their early thirties, unexpectedly reunited by a high-profile prizefight in a Las Vegas casino… and an even higher-profile murder.

When Tyron Shaw returns to his hometown of Las Vegas after eleven years in the Marines, he’s surprised to discover that two of his best friends from childhood are all anyone is talking about: Antoine Deco, three years out of prison, hasn’t lost a boxing match since his release, and tonight

is fighting in the undercard to the fight of the decade; and Keenan Quinn, a police officer who killed an unarmed teenager and escaped punishment from the courts, is the subject of a protest tomorrow morning.

Tyron has trouble reconciling either story with his memory of these men, and the situation escalates when he runs into the love of his life, Naomi Wilks, a retired WNBA player, basketball coach, and estranged wife of Keenan. As Tyron reconnects with his old community, he will learn over the next twenty-four hours that much has changed since he left Las Vegas… and there is much more that he never understood.

The Reef, an aquarium-themed casino and the hottest resort on the Strip, is the backdrop for this bullet-paced narrative, where loyalty to one’s friends, one’s family, and one’s community are ever at odds, and every choice has deadly repercussions.

Set over the course of twenty-four exhilarating hours, Undercard is the story of four childhood friends, now in their early thirties, unexpectedly reunited by a high-profile prizefight in a Las Vegas casino… and an even higher-profile murder.

When Tyron Shaw returns to his hometown of Las Vegas after eleven years in the Marines, he’s surprised to discover that two of his best friends from childhood are all anyone is talking about: Antoine Deco, three years out of prison, hasn’t lost a boxing match since his release, and tonight

is fighting in the undercard to the fight of the decade; and Keenan Quinn, a police officer who killed an unarmed teenager and escaped punishment from the courts, is the subject of a protest tomorrow morning.

Tyron has trouble reconciling either story with his memory of these men, and the situation escalates when he runs into the love of his life, Naomi Wilks, a retired WNBA player, basketball coach, and estranged wife of Keenan. As Tyron reconnects with his old community, he will learn over the next twenty-four hours that much has changed since he left Las Vegas… and there is much more that he never understood.

The Reef, an aquarium-themed casino and the hottest resort on the Strip, is the backdrop for this bullet-paced narrative, where loyalty to one’s friends, one’s family, and one’s community are ever at odds, and every choice has deadly repercussions.

Published By House of Anansi Press Inc — Feb 19, 2019
Specifications 336 pages | 5.25 in x 8 in
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Excerpt
Written By

Born in Durban, South Africa, DAVID ALBERTYN immigrated to Canada with his family when he was ten years old. Since 2005, Albertyn has been a competitive tennis player and coach. A graduate of Queen’s University and the Humber School for Writers, Albertyn lives in Toronto. Undercard is his first novel.

Written By

Born in Durban, South Africa, DAVID ALBERTYN immigrated to Canada with his family when he was ten years old. Since 2005, Albertyn has been a competitive tennis player and coach. A graduate of Queen’s University and the Humber School for Writers, Albertyn lives in Toronto. Undercard is his first novel.

Short-listed, Forest of Reading Evergreen Award, 2018

“[David Albertyn] successfully generates a gritty, dark atmosphere in the novel that draws on the best elements of noir to keep readers edgy and absorbed.” —New York Journal of Books

“The action is fast, the dialogue crisp . . . Albertyn is a writer to watch.” —Globe and Mail

“A rich, exhilarating story . . . Albertyn creates a pressure-cooker scenario for his characters but manages amidst the adrenaline to bring out moments of insight and humanity.” —CrimeReads

“A visceral no-holds-barred novel that’s as tight and strong as the bodies that populate it, [Undercard] grabs you from the get-go. It’s a compelling, character-driven tough-guy revenge story about life’s disappointments and the self-acceptance of being a bench starter … [Undercard] will leave you hoping there’s a sequel in the works.” —Minerva Reader


“Fast-paced, fearless, and psychologically astute, Undercard is at once a terrific thriller and a sharp commentary on our turbulent times.” —David Bezmozgis, author of Immigrant City

“Undercard is a dizzying rollercoaster of suspense and action that examines the complexities of brotherhood and the consequences of tragic masculinity. Albertyn’s pitch-perfect understanding of the bonds of friendship gives this novel a powerful emotional center. If The Hangover were a serious suspense novel, it would be Undercard.” —S.A. Cosby, author of Blacktop Wasteland

“An absolute knockout! Albertyn’s unforgettable voice transports readers to the underbelly of the Las Vegas boxing world, the dramatic ending a sucker punch that will leave you breathless. In Undercard, the emotional resonance, well-drawn characters, and seamless prose will keep you reading until well after the final bell. Best debut of the year.” —K.J. Howe, author of Skyjack

“A gutsy, intricate thriller as intense as it is clever, Undercard had me reading with the momentum of a house on fire.” —Donna Morrissey, author of The Fortunate Brother