Book Review: “The Chain” by Adrian McKinty

chainIt’s rare that a thriller comes along with a truly unique premise. Nearly every conceivable scenario has been done to death at this point, but with The Chain author Adrian McKinty has come up with an idea that is both completely new and utterly diabolical. Single mother Rachel receives a phone call from a stranger informing her that her only child has been kidnapped. If she wants to see her daughter again, she will have to kidnap another child and make the same phone call to their parents. When that next set of parents also abduct a child, her daughter will be returned to her, and so on down the chain. This strikingly upsetting plot device establishes lots of ethical questions, particularly around what we would or wouldn’t do for our children, and also sets up some incredibly tense scenarios. The main protagonists, and Rachel especially, are fleshed out nicely, and mercifully avoid the recent trend towards unreliability. The creepiness is initially amplified by the mystery surrounding the operators of the chain and their intentions, which makes it more than a little disappointing when the author fairly early on begins to give us chapters told from the perspective of the villain(s). The more we learn about them, the less engaging the book gets. Luckily, Rachel and her family’s fate is more than enough to keep one turning the pages, though it’s still hard not to be a little disappointed that such a novel idea wound up being a somewhat less than ideal novel. ★★★ – Sean Farrell

Available Formats:

Book | Large Print Book | eBook

★★★★★ = Excellent | ★★★★ = Very Good | ★★★ = Good | ★★ = Fair | ★ = Poor

Leave a Reply