The Last Card

Kolton Lee
The Last Card

‘Kolton Lee, award-winning writer-director, The Last Card is a simmering noir novel set in the sleazy end of the London boxing circuit and illegal gambling dens. H is a boxer past his prime, full of regrets and in debt to a vicious psychopath. He is dragged into a multiracial underworld of violence and extortion. Can he find a way out? The Last Card is sweaty, brutal and powerful.’ The Observer

‘This impressive debut novel from ex-editor of The Voice and writer/director Lee features boxing and cards. H, the protagonist, was a young boxer who had the world at his dancing feet until he lost a crucial fight and with it, his confidence. Seven years on, and a gambling addict – Lee’s terse but vivid descriptions of the lure of the shebeen gaming table imbue the playing cards with just as much deadly magic as a voodoo priestess’s tarot pack – H finds himself in debt, losing his wife and child, and dragged into the backstreet world of gangsters and extortion. Eschewing sentimentality, Lee serves up spot-on dialogue, excels in explorations of how violence can escalate in the blink of an eye, and gives the tried and tested tale of a beleaguered man facing his demons a thrilling new twist in an unusual setting.’ The Guardian

H is a boxer past his prime. Haunted by the memory of the fight that should have made him great, he is chasing his dream through the seedier side of the London boxing circuit. When a gunfight at an illegal gambling shebeen drags him down into an underworld of violence and extortion, H finds himself in debt to the sinister sociopath, White Alan. Only now does he realize that once and for all that he must face his demons and enter the ring one final time.

Set on the meaner streets of London, this striking noir thriller from a great new talent is authentic, fast moving and entertaining.

‘He cranks up the tension and keeps it simmering like the best film noir … reveals a London we are all fascinated by but are scared to tread.’ Alex Wheatle, novelist


  • Maia Press/Arcadia UK

Material: English edition and pdf (259pp)