Title: Accidental Heroes
Author: Danielle Steel
Published: March 27th 2018
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
Genres: Fiction, Contemporary, Suspense, Thriller
Rating: 3.5 stars
Honour. Valour. Fortune.
On a beautiful May morning at New York’s JFK. Airport, a routine plane departs for San Francisco. At a security checkpoint, Bernice Adams finds a postcard of the Golden Gate Bridge bearing an ambiguous message. Who left the postcard behind, which flight is that person on, and what exactly does the message mean? Her supervisor dismisses her concerns but she is compelled to contact Homeland Security.
As the flight takes off each of the passengers is looking forward to reaching San Francisco, whether it’s for a family reunion, a wedding, or a new way of life. But as it emerges, there’s someone on the flight planning something terrible and these strangers’ lives entwine as they come together to help to avert a tragedy at the eleventh hour.
Danielle Steel combines intense action with stories of emotionally rich, intertwined lives. As the plane bears down on its destination of San Francisco, the futures of these strangers will be changed forever by a handful of accidental heroes.
Accidental Heroes is a heart-stopping thriller about ordinary men and women who embark on a journey they will never forget.
A strong line of suspense and a great visual quality defines worldwide bestselling author Danielle Steel’s latest novel. Accidental Heroes is a pulse pounding thriller that is very much set in the here and now of our current climate. Accidental Heroes covers themes of terrorism and high security measures in public spaces.
Accidental Heroes begins one May morning at one of the world’s busiest airports, New York’s JFK Airport. A standard flight bound for San Francisco takes off with no issues. However, no sooner has it been in the air when alarm bells start to ring. A security checkpoint employee discovers a simple postcard with a sinister message. The postcard contains a potentially explosive message but with no author attached to this postcard, it is impossible to work out who wants to deliver the message and what it means for those on board this flight. When the security checkpoint worker’s first concerns are dismissed, she decides this message cannot be ignored and makes contact with Homeland Security. As a profile of all the passengers and staff on board the San Francisco flight begins to form, it is a race against the clock to find out who is planning an act of terror in the skies. Many lives are touched by this tragic event as attempts are made to save this plane full of innocent passengers.
Danielle Steel is a familiar name in bookstores, with a new novel released in close succession, it is often hard to keep up with her books! Of late, I have dabbled in and out of Steel’s recent releases. Accidental Heroes is a little outside the usual box of Steel’s novels, rather than a feel-good romance style novel, we are presented with a suspense filled tale. I enjoyed the ride.
Part of the appeal of Accidental Heroes is the ordinary quality to the many characters that fill the pages of this heart stopping novel. From Bernice Adams, the security checkpoint worker who rings the first alarm, through to the Homeland security officers and the passengers on that plane, there is a strong sense of normality that follows them. When Steel pits these characters against the odds, the story that emerges and the qualities these protagonists exude is quite liberating.
Devoted fans to Danielle Steel need not fear, although Accidental Heroes is billed as a thriller, there is a small touch of romance. Two passengers on board the flight find love amongst the chaos and it is typical Steel feel-good fiction. There is also a nice line on the importance of family strength and hope in the face of adversity.
Steel does venture into quite controversial territory with the themes raised in Accidental Heroes. In trying to work out who is the culprit of the plane takeover, Steel points the finger at those who are often cast as the perpetrator of these kinds of hijacking or terrorist situations, due to circumstance, country of origin or religion. I’m not sure how comfortable I felt about this blame game but by the close of the novel, I felt Steel handled this aspect of the book with respect and understanding.
As I mentioned in the opening of this review, there is definitely a blockbuster screen feel to this book and as a result, I could easily imagine it playing out in movie theatres. I was reminded of films such as Sully, The Terminal and Flight while reading Accidental Heroes. On a real life angle, elements of the storyline featured in Accidental Heroes echoes air disasters such as the September 11 hijacking and the 2015 suicide by the co pilot of Germanwings flight 9525 disaster. Steel has really done her homework on this novel and presents her readers with an informed account based on all parties involved in these situations.
Accidental Heroes proved to be a surprising and different read from Danielle Steel this time around. Accidental Heroes kept me in its sights for the entire length of the novel, gently reminding me of the faith, bravery and true worth of our ordinary citizens of the world, going about their essential daily jobs. A consuming read!
Accidental Heroes by Danielle Steel was published on March 27th 2018 by Pan Macmillan. Details on how to purchase the book can be found here.
To learn more about the author of Accidental Heroes, Danielle Steel visit here.
*I wish to thank Pan Macmillan for providing me with a free copy of this book for review purposes.