In the last days of old Peking, where anything goes, can a murderer escape justice?
Peking in 1937 is a heady mix of privilege and scandal, opulence and opium dens, rumors and superstition. The Japanese are encircling the city, and the discovery of Pamela Werner's body sends a shiver through already nervous Peking. Is it the work of a madman? One of the ruthless Japanese soldiers now surrounding the city? Or perhaps the dreaded fox spirits?
With the suspect list growing and clues sparse, two detectives - one British and one Chinese - race against the clock to solve the crime before the Japanese invade and Peking as they know it is gone forever. Can they find the killer in time, before the Japanese invade?
Historian and China expert Paul French at last uncovers the truth behind this notorious murder, and offers a rare glimpse of the last days of colonial Peking.
©2012 Paul French (P)2012 Penguin Audio
This was a really good listen. It had all the elements of a good murder-mystery - a young socialite victim, sex, violence, corruption - set in the exotic background of the foreign quarters of pre-World War 11 Peking. Hard to believe it's a true story except In addition to the story line there is the bonus of the social life of the ex-pats and the Japanese build-up to the war.
Detailed knowledge of the life and experience living in Peking at that time.
Disappointment. Not neatly wrapped up for reader at the end. But this was true life. Life is not neat.
Not really attracted to any of the characters. More of an "arms length" experience. Watching from afar.
The continued dread of Japanese invasion which held over Peking at the time. And the timid or cowardly actions of the historical figures, Chaing Kai Shiek and Mao Te Sung. Essentially out of sight, out of mind while Peking suffered.
Book reminded me very much of "Devil in the White City". Details in this book were at times graphic and gruesome. But the historical detail was excellent and made the experience enjoyable.
Midnight in Peking is a fascinating story about what was happening in Peking in the late 1930's and the story of a father's devotion to his daughter even in death. The horrible story of what happened to her possibly happened to others. Without his persistence, the killers would have gotten away with it. Because of his persistence, they had to stop their "sport" and disband. Wonderful story and mystery, but so sad because it was true.
Yes. The story is set in Peking just before WWII erupts. The foreign community lives in an enclave that seems to attract or breed decadent westerners who think they are entitled to do whatever they want. The British embassy officials are more interested in preserving face and prestige than in seeing the brutal murder of a young British woman solve. The local Chinese police are corrupt, and protect the drug dealers, pimps and other low lifes in the "Badlands." The murdered girl's father, an irascible former British diplomat, won't give up and investigates how and why his daughter died. Meanwhile the tension mounts as the Japanese close in.
The father. He's a maverick, speaks his mind, which gets him in trouble. When his daughter is murdered persists in trying to solve the mystery of who murdered his daughter, in the face of ridicule, and danger from the British embassy, the local corrupt police, and the underworld.
No, but he's very good.
When a young woman is murdered, her father risked it all to find her killers.
I live in Scottsdale, Arizona. I have 5 grown children, play ukuele exercise, and read.
This was a murder mystery. A horrible murder mystery. The problem I had with the story is that I never really ever got invested in the life of Pamela, and I'm not sure if that was the author's fault or the reader. I should have been deeply moved by her horrible murder, but I just wasn't. That's very sad.
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