The Bishop's Man: A Novel

Front Cover
Counterpoint Press, 2010 - Fiction - 399 pages
24 Reviews
"Something about the boat, perhaps its name, and the posture of that boy caused me to defer my anxieties for the moment. It was so rare to see someone that age stationary, somber. I was more accustomed to a rowdy adolescent enthusiasm. This young man, I realized, was exceptional only because of time and place. Maybe any one of them in those circumstances would have been the same. Quiet. But he caught my attention nevertheless and linked the moment to tender places in the memory. Doomed boys and men: in retrospect they all have that stillness."
--from The Bishop's Man by Linden MacIntyre
The year is 1993 and Father Duncan MacAskill stands at a small Cape Breton fishing harbour a few miles from where he grew up. Enjoying the timeless sight of a father and son piloting a boat, Duncan takes a moment's rest from his worries. But he does not yet know that his already strained faith is about to be tested by his interactions with a troubled boy, 18-year-old Danny MacKay.
Known to fellow priests as the "Exorcist" because of his special role as clean-up man for the Bishop of Antigonish, Duncan has a talent for coolly reassigning deviant priests while ensuring minimal fuss from victims and their families. It has been a lonely vocation, but Duncan is generally satisfied that his work is a necessary defense of the church. All this changes when lawyers and a policeman snoop too close for the bishop's comfort. Duncan is assigned a parish in the remote Cape Breton community of Creignish and told to wait it out.
This is not the first time Duncan has been sent away for knowing too much: decades ago, the displeased bishop sent a more idealistic Duncan to Honduras for voicing suspicions about a revered priest. It was there that Duncan first tasted forbidden love, with the beautiful Jacinta. It was also there that he met the courageous Father Alfonso, who taught him more about spiritual devotion than he had ever known back home. But when an act of violence in Honduras shook Duncan to his core, he returned home a changed man, willing to quietly execute the bishop's commands.
Now, decades later in Cape Breton, Duncan claims to his concerned sister Effie that isolation is his preference. But when several women seek to befriend him, along with some long-estranged friends, Duncan is alternately tempted and unnerved by their attentions. Drink becomes his only solace.
Attempting to distract himself with parish work, Duncan takes an interest in troubled young Danny, whose good-hearted father sells Duncan a boat he names "The Jacinta." To Duncan's alarm, he discovers that the boy once spent time with an errant priest who had been dispatched by Duncan himself to Port Hood. Duncan begins to ask questions, dreading the answers. When tragedy strikes, he knows that he must act. But will his actions be those of a good priest, or an all too flawed man?
Winner of the 2009 Scotiabank Giller Prize, Linden MacIntyre's searing The Bishop's Man is an unforgettable and complex character study of a deeply conflicted man at the precipice of his life. Can we ever be certain of an individual's guilt or innocence? Is violence ever justified? Can any act of contrition redeem our own complicity?

"From the Hardcover edition."

  

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Review: The Bishop's Man (The Cape Breton Trilogy #2)

User Review  - Toni Osborne - Goodreads

Book 2 in the Cape Breton trilogy Synopsis is mainly taken from Wikipedia and expended with my own thoughts The story follows the life of a Catholic priest named Duncan MacAskill. In the 1970s ... Read full review

Review: The Bishop's Man (The Cape Breton Trilogy, #2 #2)

User Review  - Autumn - Goodreads

"You know the eagles secret? He never lets us see him scavenging. You only see him soaring. Or sitting high up, somewhere out of reach. Kind of superior. He's very discreet about the mundane, the ... Read full review

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Selected pages

Contents

Section 1
3
Section 2
24
Section 3
41
Section 4
55
Section 5
66
Section 6
81
Section 7
93
Section 8
114
Section 19
229
Section 20
239
Section 21
250
Section 22
255
Section 23
264
Section 24
277
Section 25
283
Section 26
289

Section 9
132
Section 10
143
Section 11
149
Section 12
160
Section 13
178
Section 14
183
Section 15
197
Section 16
199
Section 17
210
Section 18
215
Section 27
301
Section 28
312
Section 29
356
Section 30
373
Section 31
380
Section 32
384
Section 33
401
Section 34
403
Section 35
405
Copyright

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About the author (2010)

Linden MacIntyre is the author of the 2009 Scotiabank Giller Prize-winning novel "The Bishop 's Man". He is also the author of the bestselling novel "The Long Stretch", and a childhood memoir, "Causeway", for which he won the Evelyn Richardson Prize and the Edna Staebler Award for Non-Fiction. When not writing, he is the host of Canada 's best-known investigative television show, CBC 's "the fifth estate".

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