chain adrian mckinty
Adrian McKinty / Book Review / Reviews with Spoilers

Adrian McKinty | The Chain

chain adrian mckinty

The Book: 

The Chain  by Adrain McKinty, 2019

The Characters: 

Rachel, her daughter Kylie
Rachel’s ex Marty and his brother Pete

The Plot (from Goodreads):

It’s something parents do every morning: Rachel Klein drops her daughter at the bus stop and heads into her day. But a cell phone call from an unknown number changes everything: it’s a woman on the line, informing her that she has Kylie bound and gagged in her back seat, and the only way Rachel will see her again is to follow her instructions exactly: pay a ransom, and find another child to abduct. This is no ordinary kidnapping: the caller is a mother herself, whose son has been taken, and if Rachel doesn’t do as she’s told, the boy will die.

“You are not the first. And you will certainly not be the last.” Rachel is now part of The Chain, an unending and ingenious scheme that turns victims into criminals — and is making someone else very rich in the process. The rules are simple, the moral challenges impossible; find the money fast, find your victim , and then commit a horrible act you’d have thought yourself incapable of just twenty-four hours ago.

But what the masterminds behind The Chain know is that parents will do anything for their children. It turns out that kidnapping is only the beginning.

Click here for book spoilers for The Chain
Book spoilers ahead–if you haven’t yet read The Chain, I suggest you turn back now.

Rachel completes her kidnapping and gets Kylie back with Pete’s help. The family two links down from her defects, so she and Pete go to threaten him to keep The Chain a secret. They come through, and Rachel is able to return the child she kidnapped. 

The trauma continues to affect all of them, though. Kylie is wasting away and unable to eat, and regularly wets the bed. They live in constant fear of someone in the chain screwing up and causing them to get dragged back into it. Unable to take it anymore, Rachel creates a blog to try to get information about The Chain. She is contacted by Erik, a previous member of The Chain who has a plan to take it down. Erik is killed, but Rachel and Pete use his app to find The Chain.

The Twist:

Marty’s new girlfriend Ginger is the founder of The Chain, along with her twin brother Ollie. She found Marty through the information about The Chain’s victims. I had a feeling it was her, and as soon as Marty mentioned her twin I knew. 

The Ending:

Rachel and Pete storm Ginger’s house. People are hurt, but in the end the twins and Red are arrested and Rachel and her family live happily ever after.

The Review: 

 I loved this book! The premise was so unique, definitely not anything I have read before. The premise is explained in the summary, so you already know that Rachel has to kidnap another child in order to get her daughter back. I found it to be very fast-paced and suspenseful. The masterminds behind the chain are incredibly clever, if also evil sociopaths.

That said, I did kind of want more gore.

Click here for book spoilers for The Chain
Everything went way too smoothly for Rachel, all things considered. The Chain has gone on for years, and suddenly Rachel is able to break it with no consequences to her or her family? After all the drama with Amelia’s peanut allergy, I was convinced she was going to fall off the swings and die (I mean, there’s a swing on the cover!) before her parents could come get her. How would The Chain react to that? Would Rachel have to kidnap another kid, even though The Chain had already moved on, or would they just send someone to kill Kylie? Would Amelia’s parents retaliate on their own?

I enjoyed all of the character’s transformations throughout the book. Both Rachel and Pete had their own personal struggles to deal with (breast cancer and addiction, respectively), but both had to step up to the plate to save Kylie. Even Kylie showed amazing growth throughout the book–she will never be the victim again. Beyond that, though, we never really go into depth on any of the characters. I would have enjoyed learning more about the people behind The Chain, who don’t become part of the plot until the second half of the book.

There were a few things that were odd and didn’t add up–like Rachel’s ex kissing her in front of his new girlfriends?–but in thrillers it’s the plot that matters. Overall I thought the concept was brilliant and the characters were compelling, but the execution left a little bit to be desired.

One other minor bit I enjoyed: Erik says that all books should end on chapter 77–and this one does! I checked right away when I got to that line. 

What would you do, if you were contacted by The Chain? Complete their demands no questions asked, or attempt justice and risk the lives of your loved ones?

Read this if you liked: 

chain adrian mckinty

We're trying to grow our mailing list. If you join us and stick around, you will automatically be entered into two giveaways as a token of our thanks. And that's just the start!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *