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The Willow Woman

(Philip Ye #1)

4.58  ·  Rating details ·  19 ratings  ·  17 reviews
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 investiga
Paperback, 440 pages
Published January 7th 2019 by Shikra Press
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Yvonne (It's All About Books)

Finished reading: August 8th 2019

"He plays the game very well. But anyone who thinks Philip Ye is not his own master is blind. As a friend I would never turn my back on him, as an enemy I would never underestimate him."

(view spoiler)
Jul 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction, mystery
When I get deeply invested in the story, I tend to be quite reluctant to finish a book. Knowing full well that I am capable of finishing a book in a short while, I would usually put it off making convenient excuses and prolong the arrival of the time when I have to part with the book, the story, and the characters.
This is exactly what happened to me while reading this book, and I have to say, it doesn't happen every day.

Upon receiving a review request from the author, I took him up on the offe
Aug 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
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 rise ...more
Nov 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A police procedural with a difference set in China

Philip Ye stole my heart, yes... the brilliant enigmatic detective simply stole it all away.

Then came Constable Ma, the accused - I wanted to hold her and tell her don't worry. It will be okay

Fatty Deng was one of the best investigators for the prosecutor

Finally Prosecutor Xu Ya, the woman I was jealous of. You see, she had a huge crush on Philip Ye, so she became my competitor. And yeah she was intelligent.

All 4 came together to solve the myster
Kelly Van Damme
May 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
First of all, massive thanks to Laurence Westwood for sending me a copy of The Willow Woman! Laurence contacted me a few months ago, asking me if I’d be interested to read and review his book and of course I accepted, I mean, have you read that synopsis?! Also, I had so much cover love for The Willow Woman! Blogtour books and life got a bit in the way (thanks again for your patience and understanding, Laurence!) but finally I had the time and the right frame of mind to get stuck in it.

The right
Apr 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
Rating: 4.5 stars

TITLE: The Willow Woman

SERIES: Philip Ye Novels (#1)

AUTHOR: Laurence Westwood

GENRE:  Crime Fiction, Police Procedural, Paranormal Mystery

PUBLISHER: Shikra Press Limited

COUNTRY: United Kingdom

PUBLICATION DATE: January 7, 2019

PAGE COUNT: 450 (Paperback)


“She reminded herself that dying was nothing but falling into an eternal, dreamless sleep, with all the suffering of life, all the hopes and the fears, all of the unrequited desires left behind for good. She had com
Charlie W
Sep 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
‘…the living were the living, and the dead were the dead, and never the twain should meet…’


Westwood’s second book (and the first in his Philip Ye series) rises above many other crime novels I have read this year, with its sophisticated and fascinating look into the Chinese criminal justice system. Elaborate and intense in its execution, The Willow Woman is packed with corruption, spirituality, and tragedy. It is certainly
Mina Vucicevic
Aug 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
First of all, I would like to thank Laurence Westwood for reaching out and sending me a free copy of The Willow Woman.

The plot summary and beautiful cover awakened my interest the moment I received the book. In the end, I was not disappointed — this novel is just amazing.

After only a couple of pages, I couldn’t put it down. The Willow Woman has a great, intriguing beginning, and as the suspense was building, I was getting more and more into it. Moreover, Mr. Westwood’s style is both articulate a
Penny Wright
Feb 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own
I tend to mostly read fantasy or science fiction, so I’ve been trying to make a conscious effort to branch out into other genres. When Laurence Westwood reached out to me and asked if I was interested in reviewing The Willow Woman, a mystery novel set in modern-day China and with a slight paranormal aspect, I jumped on the opportunity.

There are several characters that we follow as they try to unravel the mystery surrounding a shooting, a missing son, and a cult that worships the Willow Woman. Ph
Helen Ward
Feb 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Having read this author’s other book, ‘The Balance of Heaven and Earth’, and really enjoyed it, I thought I’d give the first book in this new series a go. I do love historical mysteries first and foremost, so I did wonder if a book set in modern China would tick enough of my boxes. I also knew The Willow Woman would be a police procedural at heart, and in recent times I’ve got fairly bored with this genre, feeling I’ve ‘been there, done that’ to a great extent. Even the main characters in them c ...more
Apr 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
Firstly, I would like to thank the author for reaching out to me and sending me a copy of this book. As soon as I read the description of this book I knew it would be something I would enjoy.

I was hooked from chapter one and just wanted to keep reading. The novel is 440 pages long but I sailed through it fairly quickly when I actually found time to pick it up. If I hadn’t had other commitments I think this would have been one of the books that I had finished in a couple of days.

This book is base
Alex Jones
Nov 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
From page 1, I was given a sense this wasnt going to be a fast read, Standing at 440 pages, the book may not seem huge in length, but the pages are dense and thick, laden with Laurence Westwood's stunning words.

This breathtaking story, adventure and crime thriller, firmly takes its reader, deeply and profoundly into the world of Homicide Detective Philip Ye, and modern China, and all its rich and intricate laws, myths and traditions.

Philip Ye, is half English, half chinese, and comes from what i
Jo Masters
Dec 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is the first in a planned series of books featuring Philip Ye, a Chinese homicide detective. The protagonist has a chequered past; he is a widower, half English and half Chinese, and his father is the disgraced ex-Mayor of Chengdu. Willow Woman focuses on a missing vulnerable boy and a body found in a back alley; two mysteries Ye tries to unravel against a highly political backdrop.

It is beautifully written, highly evocative of modern china and pulls no punches in exploring the cultural,
M.J. Mallon
Jun 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
My rating: 4.5 stars
This isn't my usual genre but when I read the cover and synopsis I knew The Willow Woman would be for me. I was lucky to win a copy, (this in no way influences my review - all opinions are my own,) and I wasn't disappointed.

What a great novel. The Willow Woman is well written, engaging, and thoroughly researched too. There are masses of characters in the novel, but don't let this put you off. The author kindly gives us a detailed list, so we don't get confused who is who! Wi
Jessica Belmont
Sep 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
It did not take me very long to realize The Willow Woman is compelling novel that was going to have me reading late into the night to finish. The beginning is super intriguing and the suspense builds through the entire novel. I could not put this one down.

The novel is set in China, and there are quite a few characters. As the story progresses, we get to know every single one of them well. I love the backstories and the commonalities of tragic past times. Every character was deeply well-rounded a
Jenny Hutton
Mar 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Just finished reading this book. What an intelligent, witty and charming book full of funny, interesting characters. Well worth a read. Full of intrigue and twists and turns. Characters pull you much so that they really become real. A book worthy of reading over and over again and can't wait for the next one!!
What a clever, intelligent and witty book. The characters come alive, and I found myself totally absorbed in the book. Full of unpredictable twists and turns and we'll worth a secon
Oct 08, 2019 rated it liked it
Good read.
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After a (probably ill-advised) degree in Theoretical Physics, Laurence commenced upon a varied career in law enforcement and information security consultancy.

He regularly lectures at the University of Warwick on computer law and IP enforcement.

He has had a long-standing fascination with the political, military, social and legal history of China.

He lives just outside of Stratford-upon-Avon, Englan

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Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “We are not makers of history. We are made by history.” So, this January, as we celebrate Martin Luther King...
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