Two veterans of World War I fight for love and honor in a Caribbean country torn apart by rebellion
Lt. Robert McAllister of the US Marines first encounters Paul Blanchard on a parade ground in Belgium in 1918. Awarded the Croix de Guerre and the Victoria Cross for his service at Ypres and Passchendaele, the British sergeant coughs blood onto his commanding officer’s boots and curses the war.
A year later, McAllister commands a platoon of marines in occupied Haiti, where a peasant uprising threatens to topple the American-backed regime. Led by a charismatic revolutionary named Martel, the rebels, known as the Cacos, have a secret weapon: a white Caco who fights with a terrifying combination of cunning and courage.
When the mysterious mercenary abducts a marine colonel’s daughter, McAllister rushes to save her. It is more than his duty—he and Caroline Barbour are in love. The deeper he journeys into enemy territory, however, the more McAllister realizes how little he understands, not just about this country of breathtaking beauty and staggering violence, but about his own heart’s desire. The biggest shock of all, though, waits for him at the end of the jungle trail: Paul Blanchard, hero of the Great War.
Rich in the exotic colors of the Caribbean, A Rendezvous in Haiti is an enthralling tale of adventure, romance, and rebellion from master storyteller Stephen Becker.
This slim, powerful tale places Becker (The Chinese Bandit, The Blue-Eyed Shan firmly in the tradition of Conrad, Greene and le Carre. Lt. Robert MacAllister of the U.S. Marines is in Haiti in 1919 to help quell a peasant revolution led by the black leader Martel. Caroline Barbour, a colonel's daughter in love with MacAllister, is kidnapped by Martel's white military leader, Blanchard, who reveals himself and his past to her on their long journey to Martel's village. MacAllister also is traveling to the village, led by the black priest Scarron. Convinced that Blanchard is dangerous to his efforts, Martel agrees to let MacAllister murder the white revolutionary and take the girl back to Port-au-Prince. Both Blanchard and Martel are killed, while Caroline is left unharmed but not untoucheda condition Becker's readers will share. As vivid and steamy as the climate of Haiti, this tale stakes out its true domain in the landscape of the soul. With stunning clarity, Becker examines his characters' shifting emotional allegiances as the yawning chasms between powerful and powerless, black and white, civilized and primitive, are bridged in a network of individual attachments and understandings.