Midnight In Peking

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Penguin Random House Australia, Aug 23, 2011 - True Crime - 304 pages
22 Reviews
January, 1937: Peking is a heady mix of privilege and scandal, lavish cocktail bars and opium dens, warlords and corruption, rumours and superstition - and the clock is ticking down on all of it.

In the exclusive Legation Quarter, the foreigners are jumpy. Japanese troops are poised to attack, and word has it the Chinese government is about to cut a deal with Tokyo, leaving Peking to its fate. Fear reigns inside the ancient city walls, on one of which, not far from the nefarious Badlands, is a massive watchtower. Locals believe it to be haunted by fox spirits that prey upon innocent mortals.

Then one bitterly cold night, the body of an innocent mortal is dumped there. It belongs to the daughter of a former British consul, and when the details of her death become known, people find it hard to credit that any human could treat another in such a fashion. Even as the Japanese noose on the city tightens, this bizarre murder transfixes the people of Peking.

Seventy-five years after these events, Paul French finally gives the case the resolution it was denied, in a story that will make you hold your loves ones close . . .
Midnight in Peking haswon the 2013 CWA Dagger Award for Non-Fiction.

'An instant true crime classic which grips and hooks from the first page to the last.' David Peace, author of The Damned Utd

'Unputdownable . . . French's re-creation of the police investigation will have you enthralled.' Sydney Morning Herald

'A brilliantly evocative book.' The Sunday Age

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - ladycato - LibraryThing

French pieces together the events of a murder that scandalized Peking on the brink of a full Japanese invasion. Pamela Werner was days away from turning twenty when her body was found at the base of ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - bell7 - LibraryThing

January, 1937. Peking was on the verge of invasion by the Japanese; China was on the verge of a Communist revolution; the world was on the verge of war. One 19-year-old Englishwoman was found dead not ... Read full review

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About the author (2011)

Born in London and educated there and in Glasgow, Paul French has lived and worked in Shanghai for many years. He is a widely published analyst and commentator on China and has written a number of books, including a history of foreign correspondents in China and a biography of the legendary Shanghai adman, journalist and adventurer Carl Crow.

His book Midnight in Peking was a New York Times Bestseller, a BBC Radio 4
Book of the Week, and will be made into an international miniseries by Kudos Film and Television, the UK creators of Spooks and Life on Mars.

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