Linden 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 Prize. His second novel, The Bishop’s Man, was a No.1 national bestseller and won the Scotiabank Giller Prize, the Dartmouth Book Award. and the CBA Libris Fiction Book of the Year Award, among other honours. MacIntyre, who spent 24 years as the co-host of the fifth estate, is a distinguished broadcast journalist who has won 10 Gemini awards for his work.
The Only Café
Pierre Cormier had secrets. 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 helping to report a story on homegrown terrorism, tracks down Ari at the bar and learns that he is an Israeli who knew his father in Lebanon in the ‘80s. 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.