thewillowwomanFrom Goodreads: “Chengdu: a teeming, modern metropolis.
Yet China’s painful turbulent history still leaves its mark on the minds of all who live there.
Philip Ye, half English, half Chinese, is a homicide detective with the Chengdu Public Security Bureau who suffers his own anguish from a life blighted by tragedy and the unsettling appearance of ghosts that often intrude in on his investigations.
On a misty grey morning one such apparition leads him to a busy street corner during the rush hour where he bears witness to a shocking event. Against his better judgment, Phillip is drawn into the search for a missing, vulnerable boy. His investigation brings him into contact with Xu Ya, a brilliant and beautiful public prosecutor. She is new to Chengdu, determined not only to make her mark but to also leave behind her own personal heartbreak. They have crossed paths before. He has no memory of her, but she remembers him very well indeed….
Soon enough Philip Ye has a vicious murder on his hands, and then another – the boy’s disappearance seemingly sparking a chain of violent events. With the help of Xu Ya – dedicated to upholding făzhì, the Rule of Law, in China ‒ and her indefatigable and worldly-wise assistant Fatty Deng, Phillip Ye is quickly on the trail of a mysterious figure known as The Willow Woman. But, unbeknownst to them all, there are secretive and subversive forces at work within the dark heart of the city and tremendous danger awaits….”

My Review

This was a fab book to buddy read with Yvo @ It’s All About Books, even though we’re in completely different parts of the world. I’m in Jersey in the Channel Islands, so part of the British Isles, and Yvo is in Argentina, but we’ve done it a few times before, so the time difference wasn’t a problem at all. We discussed the book, with it’s characters, twists and turns, by messaging each other on Twitter. We also posted on Instagram as well, especially when things got very tense for one particular character, and we had to grab something sweet to ease the tension! 😉

I really enjoyed this one and felt like I was in China whenever I picked it up. The author, Laurence Westwood has done an amazing job with the descriptions and background about Chinese history and the political situation. I found it fascinating when one the characters, I think it was the Prosecutor Xu Ya, was thinking about how the country had changed from being all about The Party and family, to now being about Capitalism and self, how the character of the country had changed and crime had risen.

The characters in this book came to life so easily and I had a few favourites, notably Fatty Deng, Prosecutor Xu Ya’s sidekick, who gave us a few shocks along the way. Philip Ye of course, the main character of the story, Mouse an archivist at the Prosecutor offices and of course Constable Ma, the strange policewoman who Philip Ye meets at the beginning of the story. Oh Yes and Wolf, an undercover detective and friend of Philip Ye.

There were lots of twists and turns in this one, and as mentioned above a very tense moment that had me gasping out loud and shaking my head in disbelief.

I thoroughly recommend this one if you enjoy detective books.

Thanks so much to the author for sending me a signed copy for review, and to Kelly @ FromBelgiumWithLove for putting it on my book radar in the first place, thanks again.