Scotiabank Giller Prize-winner Linden MacIntyre returns with powerful new fiction

Punishment
by Linden MacIntyre
$32.00, paperback, 432 pp.
Random House of Canada, November 2014

PunishmentTony Breau finds himself living in the small town where he grew up. He’s been forced into early retirement from his job as a corrections officer at Kingston Penitentiary. A young con, Dwayne Strickland, who Tony knows from prison is also back in town, now arrested and charged in the suspicious death of a teenage girl. The girl who happens to be the granddaughter of Caddy, Tony’s first love – and source of his first broken heart, many years before.

Tony struggles with both sides. A young con who appeals to his sense of justice and the still irresistible Caddy, who turns to Tony for comfort. Neil Archie MacDonald, a foe from Tony’s childhood (and an ex-policeman, suspiciously retired early from the Boston Police Force) barges back into Tony’s life with a vengeance, questionable values and a vigilante frame of mind.

Linden MacIntyre once again captures small-town life precisely as it seems, while shedding insight into community life and the often narrow-minded way it operates in the name of law and order, crime and punishment, and justice. And how swiftly we exploit justice in the name of justice itself, when it comes to vengeance.

There are complex relationships and this page-turning novel is filled with revelations and surprises not just for readers but the characters themselves. MacIntyre creates a world where small town community politics and notions of crime, punishment and justice are set in the backdrop of bigger-picture global politics, paralleled with the United States invasion of Iraq in the aftermath of 9/11.

It is said the very best literature is revealing of true human nature, social structures and politics. Linden MacIntyre has succeeded with a thought-provoking, powerful and important story that reflects real life societal ills, inviting readers into a fictional world they may not otherwise want to visit but is actually not all that much different than their own.

Punishment
by Linden MacIntyre
$32.00, paperback, 432 pp.
Random House of Canada, November 2014

Written By

Heather Fegan is a freelance writer, book reviewer and blogger based in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Follow her chronicles at www.heatherfegan.com.

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2 Comments

  • A very thoughtful review, Heather. Really enjoyed MacIntyre’s “The Bishop’s Man”. Looking forward to reading his latest soon.

  • Excellent interview with Linden MacIntyre. I really thought the questions asked were refreshingly unique and poignant; and I learned a lot from MacIntyre’s responses. Have enjoyed him very much as a host on the fifth estate and look forward to reading his latest novel.

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