11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: Midnight in Peking: The Murder That Haunted the Last Days of Old China (Paperback)
I found this book a bit like Swiss cheese, pleasant enough to eat, easily digestible, but when you come to look at it full of holes. It is good at describing the feel and atmosphere of old Peking, as well as the complicated political situation. Read as a detective story, the reader is breathlessly drawn to agree with the assumptions of initially DCI Dennis and when he is removed from the case the dead girl's father E T C Werner. It appears open and shut, except...
When I considered it afterwards there are many unanswered questions. The author wholeheartedly agrees with the greiving father's unproven assumptions but there are several holes in his conclusions. I don't want to give away too many spoilers but as Werner was paying witnesses and investigators there is a big possibility that they were telling him what he wanted to hear, several disappear after doing just that. The author never really goes into why those he accuses would have inflicted the damage that was done to the body, if it was, as he suggests to avoid identification why leave clothing and personal items to be found. So for me the crime is still unsolved. What the book does do is reveal the callous indifference and face saving attitude of the British authorities in China at the time. Also unlike many books that deal with crime, this does not put the possible murderers centre stage, we are never allowed to forget the young victim and are haunted by a life unlived.
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Showing 1-4 of 4 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 12 Jun 2013 19:34:57 BDT
Mrs. S. A. M. Williams says:
I am not sure I can agree with this review I thought the author did a great job in placing before us as many facts as possible and why not remind us of the young victim after all without her there would be no story, as far a solving the crime I think the author came very close to the truth of a crime which happened over 70 years ago ,I enjoyed the whole book and would recommend it ,at least the author has not glorified a terrible crime which should have been solved had the establishment not held their own selves too important to allow justice to a young victim whose life was taken in such a terrible manner. Sue Williams
In reply to an earlier post on 1 Jul 2013 15:42:16 BDT
I feel that you have misunderstood my final comment I of course see it as a positive that the victim of the crime should take centre stage and not the perpetrator as is so often the case in books about crime.
Posted on 8 Oct 2013 17:01:30 BDT
[Deleted by the author on 9 Oct 2013 12:48:34 BDT]
In reply to an earlier post on 9 Oct 2013 12:48:25 BDT
Sorry Sue, I really have to disagree with the comment about the establishment, simply because of this:
Really interesting stuff. Thought you might like to see it too?
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