The Only Cafe: A Novel

Category: Book
By (author): Macintyre, Linden
Subject:  FICTION / Canadian
  FICTION / Literary
  FICTION / Political
  FICTION / Thrillers / Psychological
Publisher: Knopf Random Vintage Canada
Published: August 2017
Format: Book-hardcover
Pages: 432
Size: 9.00in x 6.25in x 1.00in
Our Price:
$ 34.00
Available: 3-5 days

Additional Notes

From The Publisher*Scotiabank Giller prize-winner Linden MacIntyre is back with a timely and gripping novel in which a son tries to solve the mystery of his father's death--a man who tried but could not forget a troubled past in his native Lebanon.

Pierre Cormier had secrets. Though he married twice, became a high-flying lawyer and a father, he didn't let anyone really know him. And he was especially silent about what had happened to him in Lebanon, the country he fled during civil war to come to Canada as a refugee. When, in the midst of a corporate scandal, he went missing after his boat exploded, his teenaged son Cyril didn't know how to mourn him. But five years later, a single bone and a distinctive gold chain are recovered, and Pierre is at last declared dead. Which changes everything.
     At the reading of the will, it turns out that instead of a funeral, Pierre wanted a "roast" at a bar no one knew he frequented--The Only Café in Toronto's east end. He'd even left a guest list that included one mysterious name: Ari. Cyril, now working as an intern for a major national newsroom and assisting on reporting a story on homegrown terrorism, tracks down Ari at the bar, and finds out that he is an Israeli who knew his father in Lebanon in the '80s. Who is Ari? What can he reveal about what happened to Pierre in Lebanon? Is Pierre really dead? Can Ari even be trusted? Soon Cyril's personal investigation is entangled in the larger news story, all of it twining into a fabric of lies and deception that stretches from contemporary Toronto back to the massacre at the Sabra and Shatila camps in Lebanon in September 1982.
     The Only Café is both a moving mystery and an illuminating exploration of how the traumatic past, if left unexamined, shadows every moment of the present.

"MacIntyre is a masterful storyteller." -Toronto Star 

"What is Linden MacIntyre, the famous and recently retired host of CBC's fifth estate and the winner of the Scotiabank Giller Prize for fiction and the Edna Staebler Award for non-fiction, doing writing a crime thriller? Well, whatever he's doing he's doing it very well indeed. Punishment is another winner that displays all of MacIntyre's talent for character development, for sympathetic treatment of people's foibles and shortcomings, and for descriptions of landscapes-with the addition of amazing crime novel twists and turns. . . . [A]n absolute frenzy of unexpected exposés." -Waterloo Region Record

"[A] gripping mystery. . . . [T]he reader remains on the edge of his or her easy chair." -The Kingston Whig-Standard
"Knife-twistingly powerful. . . . I have never read anything quite like it. It may echo the work of your favourite crime writers-or chroniclers of caustic small-town dynamics such as David Adams Richards-but this book stands adroitly on its own legs. . . . To say much more about the plot would be a disservice to the serpentine storyline MacIntyre sets in motion from the first page. . . . The momentum is unstoppable. At this point some readers might be saying to themselves, Is this THE Linden MacIntyre we're talking about? The literary writer, veteran newsman, and Giller Prize winner? So you're telling me he's written a … what? Crime thriller? To which I might reply: In my estimation, yeah. It has all the trappings. And if those readers thought that a crime-themed novel could not possibly contain all the touchstones of powerful writing-incisive characterization, setting, and detail, all wedded to a propulsive plot-well, they and I would sit in different camps. The writing on display in Punishment is strong, as it is in all of MacIntyre's work. The characters are utterly believable, their actions making sense within a complex morality-driven narrative. MacIntyre does such a good job at sketching the village of St. Ninian, employing just the right details about its places and people to situate the reader within it. He understands human weakness and motivation; in this novel he has put those talents, so evident in earlier and much-loved works, in the service of a propulsive plot. . . . It urges a reader to stay up deep into the night as I did, flipping pages feverishly. . . . Punishment is not Mystic River. It is its own wondrous beast, every bit as vigorous as Lehane's own brilliant work. With it, MacIntyre cements his reputation as one of our country's most vital writers." -Craig Davidson, author of Precious Cargo and Cataract CityThe Globe and Mail 

"[A] stunning tale of vengeance." -Zoomer

"Linden MacIntyre proves once again how adept he is at dealing with the topical and the taboo. . . . Punishment has a puzzle of a plot and will surely keep most readers guessing until the final pages. . . . MacIntyre has painted a brilliant picture of a small community where the close and far-reaching ties that bind can also strangle." -Winnipeg Free Press

"[T]his page-turning novel is filled with revelations and surprises. . . . Linden MacIntyre has succeeded with a thought-provoking, powerful and important story."  -Atlantic Books Today

"I devoured Punishment in one weekend. After finishing I was left bereft. Now what would I do? Now what would I read? I was so drawn into this story, I never wanted it to end. Although I knew where it might be leading us, I had to keep reading just so all of this glorious MacIntyre greatness could unfold before my eyes. . . . I've waited with bated breath for a new Linden MacIntyre and thankfully, oh so thankfully, he delivered another fantastically moving and all-consuming page turner." -Literary Hoarders
Biographical NoteLINDEN MacINTYRE's bestselling first novel, The Long Stretch, was nominated for a CBA Libris Award and his boyhood memoir, Causeway: A Passage from Innocence, won both the Edna Staebler Award for Creative Nonfiction and the Evelyn Richardson Award. His second novel, The Bishop's Man, was a #1 national bestseller, won the Scotiabank Giller Prize, the Dartmouth Book Award and the CBA Libris Fiction Book of the Year Award, among other honours. The third book in the loose-knit trilogy, Why Men Lie, was also a #1 national bestseller as well as a Globe and Mail "Can't Miss" Book. His previous novel, Punishment, was a Globe and Mail national bestseller. MacIntyre, who spent twenty-four years as the co-host of the fifth estate, is a distinguished broadcast journalist who has won ten Gemini awards for his work. The author lives in Toronto.