Review: MIDNIGHT IN PEKING by Paul French, published by Penguin

More from Michael…


I’ve spent quite some times reviewing crime books recently, and here’s another – except this one isn’t fiction.

In the early morning in January 1937 the body of a late-teenaged British girl, Pamela, daughter of the city’s former consul, ETC Werner. She had been appallingly mutilated, and even her breast had been opened and her heart cut out.

This was in those terrible days for China. She suffered civil wars, rebellions, Japanese invasion, and one murder in a period of such horror and slaughter was hardly a pressing matter. But some police wanted to find justice for the girl. DCI Dennis and his Chinese counterpart, Colonel Han, began to investigate, but Dennis was hamstrung by a British desire to hurry and not rock any boats.

One of the first on the scene was the tall, slim widower ETC Werner himself. He was a keen sinophile, a man who had learned…

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