Thursday, 11 July 2019

Book Review: The Chain by Adrian McKinty

The Chain
Adrian McKinty

Publisher: Hachette Aus
Publication date: 9th July 2019
Pages: 355
RRP: $32.99AUD
Format read: Paperback
Source: Courtesy of the publisher

You just dropped off your child at the bus stop.
A panicked stranger calls your phone.
Your child has been kidnapped.
The stranger then explains that their child has also been kidnapped, by a completely different stranger.
The only way to get your child back is to kidnap another child - within 24 hours.
Your child will be released only when the next victim's parents kidnap yet another child.
And most importantly, the stranger explains, if you don't kidnap a child, or if the next parents don't kidnap a child, your child will be murdered.

You are now part of The Chain.

Make sure you have plenty of free time before you start reading The Chain as this is one book you won’t be able to put down!

The premise of the story was intriguing. Ordinary people pulled into a web of kidnapping and murder. How far would you go to save your child?

McKinty has put a deadly twist on the chain letters of the 70’s combining them with the spate of Mexican child abductions, throw in society’s unstoppable need to share their lives via social media and we have a plot that is spine-chillingly real.

Rachel gets a phone call that her daughter has been kidnapped. She must follow a set of rules; pay a ransom, kidnap another child, pass the rules on to their parents, and so the chain continues.

The character development is superb. To really want Rachel to succeed we need to have empathy for her and McKinty builds the attachment well. Rachel’s husband has left her for a younger woman, her breast cancer has returned, she’s had to hold down dead end jobs to survive and now her daughter has been kidnapped.
Rachel fights for her daughter’s life as the demands get higher and the schedule gets tighter she enlists the help of her brother-in-law, a flawed character but with a heart of gold.

The plot is quite intricate with victims, potential victims and victims of victims. There is a large cast of characters.

The first part of the book is all about The Chain; phone calls, threats, kidnappings. The second part is how Rachel and her daughter try to cope after the ordeal. The knowledge that they are always part of The Chain is tearing them apart. Rachel is determined not to stop until the instigator of The Chain is uncovered.

The Chain is an adrenaline filled roller coaster ride of breath-holding, heart-stopping action and suspense.


 My rating  4/5

Adrian McKinty was born and grew up in Belfast, Northern Ireland during the Troubles of the 1970s and 1980s. His father was a boilermaker and ship's engineer and his mother a secretary. Adrian went to Oxford University on a full scholarship to study philosophy before emigrating to the United States to become a high school English teacher. His debut crime novel Dead I Well May Be was shortlisted for the 2004 Dagger Award and was optioned by Universal Pictures. His books have won the Edgar Award, the Ned Kelly Award, the Anthony Award, the Barry Award and have been translated into over 20 languages. Adrian is a reviewer and critic for The Sydney Morning Herald, The Irish Times and The Guardian. He lives in New York City with his wife and two children.



  1. I enjoyed this too, such a terrifying premise though.

    1. I liked the way Facebook and constant updating was included. * Goes and checks privacy setting. 😀

  2. This sounds so interesting and thrilling. Only reading the blurb made me want to pick it up. Glad to note, that it can live up to the plot :)

  3. Wow! Going to have to add to my TBR.

  4. Looks like a really good book!

  5. I've not heard of this one but it's definitely on my radar now! Thanks for the review.
    Gemma @ Gemma's Book Nook

  6. Not for me, but I'll let my husband known about this one. Thanks!

  7. The book is everywhere at the moment. Glad you enjoyed it. Great review.