Princess Diana - The Day She Didn't Die
By Heath Samples with Claire Hooper
GH Publishing Ltd
Review by Keith Appleton
Under the intrusive scrutiny of the world press, compounded by concerns raised about Diana’s conduct by Prince Charles, we see her relationship with Dodi unfold. The book provides an insight into the Muslim faith and its similarities and conflicts with Christianity. This is a key issue as Diana (the mother of the future king of England and Supreme Governor of the Church on England) is considering converting to Islam with a potential constitutional crisis in the making.
Where were you on 31 August 1997? Like 9/11, most people remember what they were doing the day Princess Diana was killed. But what if she had survived!
Type ‘Princess Diana death’ into Google and you will get over 22 million results; such is the keen worldwide interest in her life and its tragic end. The Author, Heath Samples, will surely hope that this translates into book sales with his innovative storyline that encapsulates forbidden love; political intrigue, religious intolerance and a JFK style assassination conspiracy thrown in for good measure.
This is Samples first novel and he wouldn’t seem out of place within its pages with his Royal Air Force, scuba diving, pilot and Guinness World Record holder background. His picture below effectively completes the James Bond persona, except he is easier to track down with his Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin accounts. International criminals seeking world domination, please take note.
The story starts when Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed survive the 1997 car crash in Paris. Despite their suspicions that it was a deliberate attempt on their lives, they play it down to the press and their families. However, they are dramatically affected by the incident as it places a considerable strain on their life; fearful and waiting for the next potential assassination attempt.
Sample intertwines this drama with another story about a student called Ella, who is an obsessed Diana fan. Ella’s life mirrors Diana as she explores Islam and gains a Muslim boyfriend. Thus emphasising the influence Diana had over many people in terms of her values and beliefs – something that is easy to forget nearly 15 years later.
I did feel that the author was a little in awe of Diana and was reluctant to tarnish the ‘Saint Diana’ halo that many people seem to hold so dear. Some chapters also contained too much detail about her personality, considering we were talking about one of the most iconic and familiar figures of the 20th century.
There are a number of loose ends, but perhaps this is a deliberate ploy with a sequel being planned. There is also considerable scope to translate this book into a Hollywood or US TV network movie. One thing is sure; it would be a considerable improvement on the recent William and Kate movie that was panned by many critics earlier in 2011.
My rating 4/5.
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