Why is it that every Danielle Steel book has a woman in her 40’s doing some exciting stuff instead of being a housewive? 🙂 In all seriousness, there’s a formula here and one that pays well. But I have to say compared to her previous novels, I feel that the reading grade for her prose has dropped from 18+ to 12+. Her sentences are short and clipped and they are lacking any types of adverbs or adjectives that would make it somewhat bearable to read through. It just feels so dry!
Take this for example:
“Actually it was a murder, six years ago. They only found out today who did it. The victim had a nice wife and two kids your age at the time. Their best friend paid for the hit. Sometimes the human race really lets you down,” Alix said sadly, and Faye nodded. “I kind of feel that way after what happened at school. I just don’t understand it.” And then a minute later she sighed and looked at her mother. “I’ve decided to go back, Mom. It’ll be hard. But there’s only a little time left anyway. I can figure out what I want to do after that. Maybe I’ll do a semester abroad next year, in France. I’ll see how I feel, after I go back.” Alix’s heart fluttered a little when she heard her daughter say she might do a semester abroad, but it might be good for her. And she thought it was right that she wanted to return to school now. They were opening again the following week, and it was almost summer break. “I’ll go with you and settle you in,” Alix promised. She wanted to make sure that Faye was up to it and that it wouldn’t be too traumatic for her, but Alix thought she could handle it, she was a strong girl. They had discussed it a lot, and she would have counseling at school.
The Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level is 3.8 meaning that this text could be read by 4th Grade pupils! (You can check it yourself here: https://readabilityformulas.com/freetests/six-readability-formulas.php)
That aside, let’s look at the story.
Danielle Steel tackles major political scandal and a power crisis in the White House in her gripping bestseller, Dangerous Games.
TV journalist Alix Phillips is always willing to put herself on the frontline for her job. All that matters is getting the story.
After a personal tragedy, only her beloved mother and daughter are allowed to get close. And her cameraman, Ben. Neither of them fears death – it’s love that is more terrifying.
When Alix’s boss suspects a major political scandal in the White House involving the Vice-President, he sends Alix to uncover the truth. This story could blow the corridors of power wide open, and this time Alix is feeling the heat.
But when Alix receives some shocking news, she must make a decision about where real happiness lies. Those she loves are at risk.
For someone who was never scared, Alix now realises that the time has come to play some very Dangerous Games.
The truth was that Alix and Faye needed each other, but Alix loved her career too, and was determined to stay in it. And when Faye left for college, Alix felt free to take tougher, longer, more dangerous assignments than ever. Every fiber of her being came alive on those assignments. Faye between the two women.
There’s an element of misfortune and heartbreak in the book though the author’s usual flair for heart-tugging emotions were missing. While the element kind of worked in getting me invested in the book, it wasn’t that hard hitting. The plot though was pretty straightforward and the surprise element was missing.
“I’m leaving for India tonight. It’s a business story, so you can’t complain about this one being dangerous. I’m covering a high-tech scandal, and a big-deal tycoon going to jail. Fascinating, and tame.”
This is not a good book by any means, the plot is easy to take apart and the element of surprise is missing. And I could barely drudge the will to go on reading when all the sentences were barely longer than 10 words. It feels like a money grab with Danielle Steel’s name on it.