The Badlands by Paul French - a gripping criminal portrait of pre-communist Peking, from the interntional bestselling author of Midnight in Peking
The Badlands, a warren of narrow hutongs in the eastern district of pre-communist Peking, had its heyday in the 1930s. Home to the city's drifters, misfits and the odd bohemian, it was a place of opium dens, divebars, brothels, flophouses and cabarets, and was infamous for its ability to satisfy every human desire from the exotically entertaining to the criminally depraved. These vignettes of eight non-Chinese residents of the precinct White Russians, Americans and Europeans bring the Badlands vividly back to life, providing a short but potent account of a place and a way of life until now largely forgotten, but here rendered unforgettable.
Praise for Midnight in Peking:
'An instant true crime classic. Grips from the first page to the last' David Peace, author of Red Riding and The Damned United
'Fascinating and irresistible. I couldn't put it down' John Berendt, author of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil
'Written in the style of a gripping murder mystery, but all the facts are true' Kirsty Lang, BBC Radio 4 (Book of the Week)
'Engrossing true crime whodunnit... A terrific read' Andrew Holgate, Sunday Times
Born in London, Paul French has lived in China for more than 10 years. He is a widely published analyst and commentator on China; his books include a history of North Korea, a biography of Shanghai adman and adventurer Carl Crow, and a history of foreign correspondents in China.