A plausible account of what might have happened did eventually emerge, but too late to bring the culprit to justice.
On the eve of World War II, there was no way that British officials would allow the Empire and its respectability to lose face, even if it meant short-changing a police investigation and letting a diabolic murderer to go free. For those who want to be transported to the past, Midnight in Peking is your ticket there; but for those who want to understand the present, more precisely the mistakes inherent in any criminal justice system, Midnight in Peking will take you there.
Are we to believe the American dentist was bribing everyone? To talk with people who remembered the murder now in their late eighties and ninetiesto hear the gossip that went round the foreign community, was amazing—and to find small but important facts that the police at the time had not known was thrilling too.
The body turns out to be that of 19 year old Pamela Werner, daughter of E. He asks a number of questions the professional detectives failed to consider—why Prentice would repaint his apartment in the dead of winter when ventilation would prove most uncomfortable; whether there was in fact a movie playing at the time Prentice used for his alibi.
She looked to me like a slightly awkward girl who had flowered into a beautiful woman but she also looked like she lacked confidence, she looked a little lost in the world. The mixture of high politics, elite lifestyle and murder, all in the setting of a rapidly changing China, has caught the attention of millions of newspaper readers around the world, who couldn't have found Bo's city of Chongqing on a map three months ago.
Pamela Werner becoming a woman - taken a few days before her murder. A respectable American dentist turns out to be the leader of a nudist club and his own consulate thinks him capable of more sinister and abusive activity.
I also think that to many people he may have appeared a rather cold man initially, a rather cold father, though in many ways he is a traditional English father—rather reserved, not very emotional, and shy of intimacy I should know; like so many Englishmen, I had a father like that! Others fear the Japanese committed the crime as a grim warning of what was to come.
Midnight in Peking is a remarkable read, a page turner that kept me in one Friday night just to find out who did it. British authorities want to pin it on a Chinese as quickly as possible.