The Underbelly is a mystery novella by Gary Phillips in which a semi-homeless Vietnam vet named Magrady searches for a disabled friend who has disappeared from L.A.’s Skid Row. The flashback-prone protagonist must deal with the impact of gentrification; take-no-prisoners community organizers; an unflinching cop from his past in Vietnam; an elderly sexpot out for his bones; a lusted-after magical skull; chronic-lovin’ knuckleheads; and the perils of chili cheese fries at midnight.
Combining action, humor and a gritty street level point-of-view, The Underbelly was originally written in serial form on www.fourstory.org but has been expanded upon and re-written for this hardcopy version.
“The Underbelly is a swift, hard punch to the gut. An attention getter and definitely meaningful. Phillips is a writer who can keep you nailed to the page.” –Edgar winner John Lutz
“Honesty, distinctive characters, absurdity and good writing — are here in Phillips’s work.” —The Washington Post
In addition to The Underbelly, Gary Phillips is the editor and contributor to the bestselling Orange County Noir anthology, and his short story, “Blazin’ on Broadway,” from Phoenix Noir, has been nominated for a Shamus by the Private Eye Writers of America.