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Customer Review

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Gripping - but with slight reservations, 20 Sept. 2012
This review is from: Midnight in Peking: The Murder That Haunted the Last Days of Old China (Paperback)
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This is an engaging journalistic interpretation of the murder and consequent investigations into the death of Pamela Werner in 1937 Peking. I say `investigations' in the plural since the book follows first the official detectives, British and Chinese; and then, quite late in the book (p.172 of 245 pages), turns to the enquiries of Pamela's father. This is one of the slightly jarring notes in this book that could have been tightened up by a stricter editor. It feels a bit off, for example, that after we've been told that the police haven't been able to sleep for days, have been chain-smoking and drinking from stress and anxiety, that Pamela's father then finds that they haven't made some quite basic connections in the case, haven't circulated photos of possible suspects or even shown them around the street where Pamela lives - once the father does this, the case - apparently - is cracked open.

I didn't know anything about this story before reading the book so have no idea if other theories or solutions exist - certainly this is very reliant on contemporary newspaper sources and a father's notes for its `facts'.

The narrative, at times, gets a bit bogged down in people's back-stories rather than driving the `plot' forward - and the attempt to somehow make the Werner murder epitomise the last days of `old' China before World War II and the establishment of The People's Republic doesn't quite work.

That said, this is a gripping read - recommended with slight reservations.
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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 9 Oct 2013 13:07:40 BDT
emmachisett2 says:
As for other theories, have a look at this site http://www.pamelawernermurderpeking.com/

I was interested to read about the Japanese in particular. Werner sounds like a crackpot, sadly.
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