Thriller set in the mountains of NORWAY
A Diana, Princess of Wales conspiracy theory thriller – set SE ENGLAND / LONDON
13th January 2023
An Accident in Paris by Gavin Collins, a Princess of Wales conspiracy theory thriller – set in SE England / London.
When an iconic person dies in tragic and questionable circumstances, it is unsettling and disturbing, and even now, 25 years after the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, there are many loose ends following her death that flutter in the suspicious and fomenting breeze.
The author has clearly carried out a great deal of research around the timeline of her death and the apparent ineptitude of the authorities handling her medical care and running police investigations. All the information he cites is in the public domain, and pulled together in An Accident in Paris, he makes a good case for an institutional conspiracy theory. He lays the ground so that the reader is open to what his central character convincingly uncovers. Yes, it could be true given all the evidence he presents!
PI Mark Novak is approached by two people to look into the case of Diana’s untimely death in the Alma Tunnel in Paris. It is clear that evidence was planted at driver Henri Paul’s apartment to suggest that he was a heavy drinker and that he was drunk at the wheel. He wasn’t, he was the ‘fall guy’. The car wasn’t heading to Dodi Fayed’s apartment after dinner at The Ritz, as it was going in totally the wrong direction. And tantalisingly Diana had just recently announced that she had a plan up her sleeve that would make people sit up. What that might have been is open to discussion and Novak discovers there are two people who knew her well and would potentially be able to enlighten him, if approached in the right way.
There are wheels within wheels, about-turns and machinations that can leave the reader breathless, as Novak zips around Soho and heads out to Guildford and environs. The story is written with clarity and some humour, which works well given the sombre subject. As the story heads to its conclusion, the pace revs up and it does become a little frantic as multiple dangerous encounters ensue.
Given all the media attention around the royal family at the moment, with Prince Harry’s interviews and forthcoming book Spare and the latest series of The Crown via Netflix, An Accident in Paris feels like a timely read. It is pretty convincing and does leave that element of doubt, reinforcing the notion that her death was not accidental. It is a skilled storyline, told with panache.
Location is quite strong, the lanes of Surrey and the small streets of Soho are well depicted. There is a brief trip to Paris.
In our #TalkingLocationWith … feature, Gavin reflects on Diana’s experience at Althorp, as part of his research for the novel, which you can read here
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