A Novel

Book - 2014
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Random House, Inc.
In Punishment, his first novel since completing his Long Stretch trilogy, Scotiabank Giller-winner Linden MacIntyre brings us a powerful exploration of justice and vengeance, and the peril that ensues when passion replaces reason, in a small town shaken by a tragic death.
   Forced to retire early from his job as a corrections officer in Kingston Penitentiary, Tony Breau has limped back to the village where he grew up to lick his wounds, only to find that Dwayne Strickland, a young con he’d had dealings with in prison is back there too–and once again in trouble. Strickland has just been arrested following the suspicious death of a teenage girl, the granddaughter of Caddy Stewart, Tony’s first love.
   Tony is soon caught in a fierce emotional struggle between the outcast Strickland and the still alluring Caddy. And then another figure from Tony’s past, the forceful Neil Archie MacDonald–just retired in murky circumstances from the Boston police force–stokes the community’s anger and suspicion and an irresistible demand for punishment. As Tony struggles to resist the vortex of vigilante action, Punishment builds into a total page-turner that blindsides you with twists and betrayals.

Publisher: Toronto : Random House Canada, 2014
ISBN: 9780345813909
Branch Call Number: FIC MacIn
Characteristics: 421 pages ; 24 cm


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JudeLee Aug 23, 2016

I was enthralled by this book from beginning to end. So many questions. The character, Tony was very well developed. I understood his overthinking, his motives and his perseverating over his past and current life. We've all had occasion to know someone like Neil or to recognize his characteristics in others. I tried not to be happy with the ending, but the ending was fitting.

Dec 08, 2015

He is a much better speaker!

Sep 04, 2015

As a novel, this is a dystopian but probably realistic take on our penal system and what it does to the people who operate within it. The protagonist, Tony Breau describes it as a life sentence; as a case worker, guard, supervisor, whatever, your sentence continues until you burn out, turn off, retire (voluntarily or otherwise) or meet a violent death. It's all part of the "system" with its own inviolable rules, some of them unwritten; violate them at your peril -- particularly the rule of solidarity and silence. I was struck by the similarity between the code of silence prevailing among justice system workers and that of the Mafia "Omerta!" And yet, the story is rife with betrayals of every kind. Indeed, it's the betrayals that drive this story along.
The book would be a good candidate as the basis for a 21st century Film Noir movie, both on account of its dark mood and its scarceness of truth. Everyone in the story is hiding some aspect of their background, their personality, their actions: the ex-con Strickland, the right-wing former US cop MacDonald, even Tony's former sweetheart Caddy. None of the confrontations are straightforward and alliances are shifting, false or unwelcome. Doing the right thing almost always seems to be the worst possible choice.
MacIntyre's flat, understated style adds to the gray aura of the book. All is presented in muted tones, somewhat like its maritime setting, where the horizon between sea and sky is hard to discern and often blurred further by foul weather. Relationships among the characters are similarly blurred; even Tony's relationship with his borrowed dog seems uncertain.

Aug 10, 2015

Another excellent book by Linden MacIntyre.

Apr 28, 2015

This is probably the best book I have read lately. Very enjoyable with wonderful characters, dialogue and plot. I will read the other two novels in the trilogy LM has written.

Apr 08, 2015

This book was much better than anticipated. Themes included small town secrets, scapegoating and karma.
Definitely worth a look at

ehbooklover Feb 27, 2015

This book started slow but by the end I could not put it down. It is filled with flawed yet very relatable characters, the subjects that are tackled are fascinating and would make for some great book club discussions, and I absolutely loved the ending.

A great and all-consuming read.

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