VICTIM. KIDNAPPER. CRIMINAL. YOU WILL BECOME EACH ONE.
The morning starts like any other. Rachel Klein drops her daughter, Kylie, at the bus stop and heads into her day. But then a phone call changes everything. A woman has Kylie bound and gagged in her back seat, and the only way Rachel will ever see her again is if she pays a ransom - and kidnaps another child. The caller is a mother herself, whose son has also been abducted, and if Rachel doesn't do exactly as she's told, both children will die. Rachel is now part of a terrifying scheme - The Chain.
The rules are simple: find the money, find your victim, and then commit a horrible act you'd have thought yourself incapable of just 24 hours ago. Rachel is an ordinary woman, but over the coming days she will be pushed beyond ordinary limits to save her daughter. What the anonymous masterminds behind The Chain know is that parents will do anything for their children. But what they don't know is that they may have met their match.
Can Rachel be the one person to finally break The Chain?
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
What would you do if the only way to save your own child was to kidnap another one? And what kind of person would enforce those rules in the first place? This nightmare scenario plays out in Adrian McKinty’s striking thriller. The Chain is simultaneously terrifying and impossible to put down. McKinty excels at making us ask ourselves extremely difficult questions, all while building a labyrinthine story full of disturbing characters and mounting dread.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Adrian has held me to pages with his writing craft and delighted me with his down to earth honesty in writing. He has come through tough times but deserves his readers support in this latest crime thriller which will test your morals and self preservation. The mark of a good writer that leaves his audience thinking. Could I have done that?
The author was born in Ireland, studied law in the UK, and worked in America for a time in jobs ranging from bar tender to high school English teacher. Eventually, he settled in Melbourne with his family and started churning out crime novels. Good ones.
Mr McKinty's series about Sean Duffy, a Catholic police detective who works for the intensely orange—by which I mean Protestant—the Royal Ulster Constabulary is excellent in every way: plot, prose, character development. The fact that he took his titles from Tom Waits' lyrics does no harm either.
I bought The Chain—blurb and reviews unseen—the day it was released simply because Mr McKinty wrote it. It's a stand alone novel set in New Hampshire and Massachusetts. The premise involves a secret organisation—the titular chain—operating an extortion racket for the tech age that draws on the chain letter trope.
We kidnap your kid. You give us money and kidnap another kid then we release yours. Fail and your kid gets dead. Horribly. You and the rest of your family too. Repeat to infinity. The implication is that this all-seeing organisation has ancient roots and cannot be broken because anyone who blabs will end up in jail themselves.
The author draws on his inner James Patterson—he should see someone about that, I'm sure there's treatment available—to produce a fast-paced, short-chaptered, twisty rollercoaster of a tale that stretches credibility to infinity and beyond.
The Chain has received glowing reviews on Goodreads and elsewhere, but my reaction was blah. Mr McKinty disappointed me for the first time. In his defence, my wife has long maintained there's something wrong with me and she should know. She's omnipotent.