I have been unable to write a judgement that does not seem to offend my conscience, or indeed Heaven, in some manner. Because I do not wish to influence your thinking unduly, I have destroyed all my personal papers and notes in regard to this dispute, preferring you to start afresh. Forgive me for this. All I ask is that you consider and examine Jade Moon most carefully before coming to a decision. I find her fascinating and unsettling in equal measure, and fear the consequences of a wrongful judgement. I will say no more.
My sincerest best wishes to you and your family,
Fifth District, Chengdu Prefecture
1st day of the 2nd Moon, 1085
So ends the letter of welcome (and of warning) to Magistrate Zhu, newly arrived in the remote border town of Tranquil Mountain. He has travelled far from his extensive family estates on the outskirts of Kaifeng – the glorious Song Dynasty capital – hoping to find atonement for past mistakes.
Yet he quickly discovers that Tranquil Mountain is anything but tranquil. The town is beset with simmering tensions since the death of his predecessor. Before Magistrate Zhu even has time to accustom himself to his inexperienced and wayward constabulary and the lowliness of his new surroundings, there is a mysterious murder, rumours of ghosts and blood-thirsty bandits out on the streets, and a disturbing kidnapping to solve – as well as the tragic and tangled legal circumstances of the local heroine Jade Moon to unravel.
For the balance of Heaven and Earth to be maintained, and to prevent catastrophe coming to Tranquil Mountain, Magistrate Zhu is well aware that not a single injustice can be allowed to stand. As he struggles to reach the correct judgements, he realises he has no choice but to offer up his career and perhaps even his own life for the greater good. And, in so doing, he discovers that as Jade Moon’s fate rests in his hands, so his fate ultimately rests in hers.
The Balance of Heaven and Earth: A Magistrate Zhu Mystery by Laurence Westwood
Author: Laurence Westwood
Publishing Date: September 30th, 2018
Publisher: Shikra Press
I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.
This book is not the genre which I usually read, but as this year I am trying to read the diverse book so I decided to give it a chance. I got this book in January and finally, after two months of delaying it, I found myself in the right mood to read it.
It is a Chinese mystery of a village, where after the arrival of new magistrate things started to change. If I talk about writing, when I started this book I found the writing and details so helpful to clearly understand the world but as time pass It started to annoy me, This book could be better if the story wasn’t dragged. The story got all the positive elements, well-written characters, engaging scenarios, beautifully built world but the pace of the story really was annoying. On the other hand, I really like the way the beliefs, culture, lifestyle, and thinking of the people is explained.
If you are in for a Chinese murder mystery in a beautiful world, then you should give it a try.