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.
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.
PRAISE FOR DAVID ALBERTYN AND UNDERCARD
“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 The Freedom Broker and 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 Kit’s Law and The Fortunate Brother
“Gritty, dark, and cinematic, Undercard is as tough as the Nevada desert of its setting. As a diverse cast of characters struggle to find meaning in fractured lives and a fractured world, Albertyn’s taut writing makes the pages fly by. The climax descends like a prizefighter’s knockout punch.” — Grace O’Connell, author of Magnified World and Be Ready for the Lightning