Picks and Pans Review: Death of a Princess: the Investigation

updated 03/09/1998 at 01:00 AM EST

originally published 03/09/1998 01:00AM

by Thomas Sancton and Scott MacLeod

The shocking death of the Princess of Wales and Dodi Fayed last August left a complex trail of mysteries in its wake: Might Diana have been saved if medical personnel hadn't lost precious time trying to stabilize her condition on the way to a Paris hospital? Did the mother of Britain's future king plan to settle in France? And why did fate take such a tragic turn for Di and Dodi?

While some readers may have lost their stomach for the story, those who can't get enough of the doomed lovers will welcome the solidly reported Death of a Princess. Produced by Thomas Sancton and Scott MacLeod, TIME magazine's Paris bureau chief and Middle East correspondent, respectively, the 300-page report thoroughly examines such issues as whether the princess was pregnant (the evidence is inconclusive) and whether Di and Dodi planned to marry. (By the latter's account, at least, the engagement was a fait accompli.) Skip the chapters on tangential subjects, including Mohamed Al Fayed, Dodi's controversial father, and read the authors' poignant account of the couple's last day, testimony from those who came to Diana's aid after the accident and the discussion of her grievous injuries. It's strong stuff, but strangely moving—much more so than the florid spectacle that attended the princess's burial in Britain. (St. Martin's, $23.95)

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