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'Sheer Madness' by Andrew McKenna

From the publisher: At just 16 years of age, when a grizzled Californian drug dealer spoke those words of warning, there was no way Andrew McKenna could know that a few decades later, while embroiled in a losing custody battle, heroin would become the most seductive and destructive force in his life. Raised in Schenectady, New York, Andrew’s upbringing sounds familiar—Little League baseball, scraps with boys from the neighborhood, parties, road trips. But below the surface, Andrew always felt different—detached, somehow, and constantly wondering how he fit in the bigger picture, always just steps from the mire of existential crisis. Then, at the urging of one of his older brothers, he joins the military. Next is law school, followed by training with the Marines, and before he knows what’s hit him, this once aimless boy from modest roots is rapidly rising through the ranks as an attorney for the U.S. Justice Department. But years of untreated emotional distress, combined with the physical toll of the military, eventually lead him down a dark path, one riddled with prescription medication, alcohol, divorce, the loss of contact with his sons, and, ultimately, crime. Sheer Madness is a reflection and a reminder. A reflection on Andrew’s multi-faceted life, one of great ambition and success, but also great tragedy—and a reminder that regardless of one’s personal background, life can be a slippery slope, and while the ride down can be exhilarating, it’s the climb back up that truly defines us.