Nevin is a bad, bad man. I don't mean a cool bad guy like Parker or something. I mean a slimy, vicious, evil, arrogant, violent, self absorbed, sociopathic son of a bitch. He is one of the least sympathetic protagonists I have ever read. Nevin is just fucking evil.
Things Nevin gives a shit about;
1. Killing Red Mahoney
Things Nevin does not give a shit about;
1. Killing women
2. Killing children
3. The innocent
4. Puppies (I'm actually just making an educated guess here)
5. Everything else
The story begins with South Boston Irish gangster Kyle Nevin being released from prison after an eight year stretch for armed robbery. He refused parole and did all of his time. Nevin was set up by his one time mentor, a Whitey Bulger type character known as "Red" Mahoney. Nevin deeply wants revenge against Red, who has fled Bulger like. In order to fund his search for Red, Nevin cooks up a kidnapping plan that goes horribly wrong.
From the text it is clear that what we are reading is a draft written by Nevin for future publication. (he gives notes to his editor in a few places.) Also from the text it is clear that Nevin is quite unreliable in his narration.
One of the more interesting twists is Nevin's entry into the world of publishing after his crimes make him a celebrity. The skewering of the publishing industry is a nice touch but most interesting is the thing Nevin finally does, the thing that makes him the pariah of the title, the one unforgivable thing that Nevin does after all the heinous crimes he has committed.
Pariah is a pretty damned good book, 4/5 stars, but the protagonist is such an unsympathetic asshole that this may cause problems for some readers.