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Midnight in Peking is a gripping true murder mystery by Paul French
THE INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER - AS HEARD ON BBC RADIO 4
'A first-rate murder story, a thrilling narrative. Hurtles along from one cliffhanger to the next' Spectator
The teenage daughter of a British consul is brutally slaughtered. The police investigation is botched; as war looms British and Chinese authorities close ranks. A grieving father vows to uncover the truth - alone.
Seventy-five years later, historian Paul French uncovers a stash of forgotten documents revealing the killer's identity . . .
For those who loved The Suspicions of Mr Whicher and Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil this is a riveting and evocative true crime classic.
'Gripping, spellbinding . . . drawing the reader from the very first pages into an unwholesome, macabre world' Guardian
'Part historical docudrama, part tragic opera . . . it is French's enormous achievement that he pieces together the puzzle. He tells this tale with the skill of an Agatha Christie' Financial Times
'Fascinating and irresistible. I couldn't put it down'
John Berendt, author of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil
'Vivid, pulsating, riveting. It is the storytelling flair that marks Midnight in Peking so highly: with its false leads and twists . . . it sucks the reader in like the best fiction' Scotsman
Born in London, Paul French has lived in China for more than 10 years. He is a widely published analyst and commentator on China; his books include a history of North Korea, a biography of Shanghai adman and adventurer Carl Crow, and a history of foreign correspondents in China.
Historian French (Through the Looking Glass: China s Foreign Journalists from Opium Wars to Mao) unravels a long-forgotten 1937 murder in this fascinating look at Peking (now Beijing) on the brink of Japanese occupation. The severely mutilated body of 19-year-old Pamela Werner the adopted daughter of noted Sinologist and longtime Peking resident Edward Werner was discovered, with many of her organs removed, near the border between the Badlands, a warren of alleyways full of brothels and opium dens, and the Legation Quarter, where Peking s foreign set resided in luxury. A case immediately fraught with tension was made even trickier when the local detective, Col. Han Shih-ching, was made to work alongside Scotland Yard trained Richard Dennis, based in Tientsin. The investigation soon stalled: the actual scene of Pamela s murder could not be found, and leads fizzled out. As China s attention turned to the looming Japanese occupation, the case was deemed unsolved. French painstakingly reconstructs the crime and depicts the suspects using Werner s own independent research, conducted after authorities refused to reopen his daughter s case. Compelling evidence is coupled with a keen grasp of Chinese history in French s worthy account.