Underdog Manifesto

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Underdog Manifesto

By M. J. Neary

After serving time for nearly killing his student—a crime he maintains he didn’t commit—Sean McLaine, a puny drama teacher finds himself broke and friendless on the streets of South Boston at the peak of the Great Recession. His joints have been destroyed by compulsive weightlifting and his mind poisoned by the subtly sadistic prison psychologist.

Salvation comes in the form of an Irish mobster who welcomes Sean into his clan and offers him a chance at a new life. A few plastic surgeries, fake documents, and a sham marriage help the underdog reinvent himself as a philanthropist. His radiant face now fronts one of the largest organ trade enterprises.

To add a finishing touch to his saintly image, he adopts a mentally ill orphan named Casey. Diagnosed with juvenile schizophrenia and believed to be a menace to society, the girl spends most of her days in isolation with no access to electronics. When the flimsy child morphs into a moderately attractive teenager and catches the eye of a film student, Sean’s lukewarm paternal affection takes a sinister turn. His inner demons that had been dormant for years become more active, and the weight of his secrets becomes a bit too heavy for his shoulders.

Amidst the political upheavals and school violence of post-election America, the battle for Sean’s soul begins. Very soon he discovers that hell has no bottom—you can always sink lower.

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