ARC Review of The Goat Woman of Largo Bay

Posted September 13, 2011 by Kara in Uncategorized / 2 Comments

Publisher: Atria
Release Date: October 4th, 2011
Pages: 320
Genre: Honestly, who the heck knows? Adult.
*I received an ARC of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

The Goat Woman of Largo Bay: A NovelThe Goat Woman of Largo Bay: A Novel by gillian Royes
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Goodeads Summary:

The Goat Woman of Largo Bay begins the detective series featuring Shad, a bartender in a fishing village in Jamaica, who is the community problem solver and right hand of Eric, an American who owns the bar and a hotel left in ruins by a hurricane.

When Shad sees movement on the island offshore, he thinks it’s just a goat. But it turns out to be Simone, an American who has run away from her professional and personal life in the U.S., an intriguing woman who captures Eric’s heart. Always keeping his ear to the ground, Shad discovers that a gunshot heard near Simone’s place late one night isn’t exactly friendly fire, but tied to a plot to harm Simone and ultimately manipulate local elections. But why does someone want to harm Simone? And what does she have to do with the elections? Only Shad can find out.

An irresistible character is born in The Goat Woman of Largo Bay and Royes wonderfully blends suspense and the soul of the islands in this smart debut.


This is becoming a regular way to start reviews for me, but I really don’t even know where to start. There were quite a few times when I wanted to put this book down, give up, and move on, but I found that I couldn’t. Truthfully, I didn’t really enjoy it. I wished I had, but this was just a really weird read for me.

I felt that this book was having a major identity crisis the entire time I was reading. It seemed like it was trying to be literary fiction because it had a distinct voice, and had a very different feel than books in the mainstream, but it’s being marketed as the first book in a mystery/amateur detective series. And there wasn’t a whole lot of detecting going on. It was pretty obvious the entire time how this book was going to end. So yeah. Not your typical thriller/mystery. And then there was a lot of black comedy. Which blurred the lines even more. All this would have been fine if I was into the story and actually liked what I was reading. But I really didn’t. Characterizations were pretty flat, and the pacing was all over the place.

There were things that I liked. I loved the dark humor aspect of it. I love books with dry humor and I find that that is the type of comedy I like best. The setting of Jamaica was wonderfully depicted. The author is Jamaican and spent a lot of her life there, so it felt very authentic. It was richly atmospheric with a whole lot of great imagery. And that was fun to read. And also very different, because Jamaica is not a common setting in books. There was a whole lot of great imagery to be had.

It was a just a really confusing and perplexing read for me. It was also very difficult to rate. Originally I had it at two stars, but then I upped it to three after thinking for a bit. But part of me doesn’t want to leave it there, because I didn’t really like it. So I’m conflicted. I wish someone else would read it and let me know what they think. This is one of those books where I would have liked to have a second opinion, but apparently I am one of the first to review it, so that isn’t an option.

To Pre-Order this book from Amazon, click here: The Goat Woman of Largo Bay: A Novel

2 responses to “ARC Review of The Goat Woman of Largo Bay

  1. I just realised that I didn’t follow your blog and I feel so bad. I keep reading your Goodreads additions and it never occurred to me that I hadn’t checked out your blog.

    It looks fantastic by the way. I will make sure I visit more regularly now it is on my Google reader.

  2. GReat review. It really is a bummer when a book leaves you conflicted. I had a few books like that, where you don’t know where to place it because it’s like meh. If I ever come across this, I will let you know what I think.

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