Whose Death in the Tunnel?: The Tale of a Princess

Aaron McCallum Becker, Author Robert D. Reed Publishers $25 (350p) ISBN 978-1-885003-20-1
Based on the hypothesis that Princess Diana faked her own death, this novel is indeed as tacky as its hype-hungry premise. Written by two authors (""longtime confidantes of the European glitterati,"" according to the press release) under one pseudonym, the book is hilariously bad. The action begins in 1996, with a despondent and oppressed Diana wondering ""Was Charles right?... Did she pamper herself too much?"" Characterized as ""intuitive,"" ""contemplative"" and ""almost superhuman,"" Diana decides to free herself from her evil ex-in-laws and the paparazzi. The route to her new life is plotted by Adam, a ruthless but handsome ex-CIA rogue code-named ""The Puppet Master,"" and Elizabeth, Adam's sister, a proficient organizer who doesn't mind killing people. Adam and Elizabeth are in the business of helping the rich and famous ""disappear."" For example: ""The Shah gained a new identity through Adam's work and lived to the comfortable age of seventy-six."" The siblings and their clich d helpers (pock-marked tough guy Martin and Gerard, the teenage computer hacker) find a double for Diana (the manipulative Jennifer, who's too stupid to foresee her fiery end) and the machinations of the plot crawl toward Diana's climactic death a year later. The authors take all the fun out of what could be campy trash with repetitive monologues from Adam and Elizabeth, endless descriptions of expensive food and wine to show the glamour of high-class crime, and a lackluster ending. Author tour. (May)
Reviewed on: 03/01/1999
Release date: 01/01/2010
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