Shad Myers, the loveable bartender and town sleuth of Largo Bay, hunts down clues to a woman’s mysterious disappearance in this fourth riveting novel in the Shad detective series.
Shannon, a photojournalist on assignment for a Canadian magazine, arrives in the impoverished but beautiful fishing village of Largo Bay, Jamaica. But she’s seeking more than a tropical paradise: She wants to know why a Canadian woman named Katlyn went missing there more than three decades ago.
So she calls on Shad—“bartender by trade, investigator by vocation, and unofficial sheriff of Largo Bay” (Publishers Weekly)—for help. Together, they delve into Rastafarian life and history while preparations are being made for Shad’s wedding and the groundbreaking of his new hotel. But the deeper they get into the story, the deeper they get into trouble. And it’s clear that whoever wanted Katlyn buried all those years ago will do anything to keep the truth buried as well...
As in her previous novels The Sea Grape Tree, The Man Who Turned Both Cheeks, and The Goat Woman of Largo Bay, Gillian Royes transports readers into a beautiful Caribbean setting where life is cheap but religion is strong, and one man is still trying to solve the island’s relentless questions.
Royes's lackluster fourth novel set in Jamaica (after 2014's The Sea Grape Tree) finds self-styled sleuth Shadrack Myers and his friend Eric Keller running a modest bar and counting the days until the groundbreaking of a hotel that will replace the one they lost to a hurricane years ago. The arrival in Largo Bay of Shannon, Eric's former wife, with their 13-year-old daughter, throws Eric for a loop. Shannon, who's researching an article on Rastafari culture, also wants to investigate the decades-old death of a non-Rastafari woman, who was Shannon's editor's best friend and who might have had a Rastafari boyfriend. Luckily, Shad is happy to help her navigate a culture that isn't always friendly to outsiders. Eric's awkward attempts to connect with his restless daughter are charming, as is the flurry of activity surrounding Shad's impending wedding to the mother of his four children, but the mystery takes a backseat to the minutiae of daily village life. The fascinating glimpses of the Rastafari movement aren't enough to propel an otherwise sleepy, overlong narrative.