Gateway Gazette

From My Bookshelf: Linden MacIntyre

By Lynn Willoughby

The Only Cafe ~ Linden MacIntyre

What a way MacIntyre has with words, especially dialogue!  I have been on a run of so-so novels, so was delighted when I picked this up and was hooked on the first page.
I am sure MacIntyre intended us to take away information on a largely forgotten page of history – the war in Beirut in 1982.  He does that, and so much more, including using the pivotal line “This is the last time you’re going to ask me a question like that, you know exactly what to do.”  in both the past and the present stories.
Pierre Cormier was on his boat in Mabou, Cape Breton Island, when he died in an explosion in 2007.  Five years have passed with no body and his son Cyril has a lot of questions.  As he begins his internship as a journalist Cyril finds he has access to sources of information never before available to him. He goes to The Only Cafe, meets Ari and soon realizes he didn’t know his father at all.
Ari, once a member of the IDF (Israeli Defense Force) has knowledge of the Lebanese Militia, CSIS,  PLO (Palestinian Liberation Organization), Jordanian Phalangists, Syrian extremists and an entire world that has never been on Cyril’s radar.  The more he learns the more questions he has. When he is warned by an ex-RCMP officer to lay low and watch his back, Cyril realizes that while his Lebanese born father – with all his skills, could not survive his past, Cyril’s chances are slim indeed.
This is a great book with believable characters, a thriller for a story line and loads of history both in the past and in the making.
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