Featured Review: ‘The Chain’ by Adrian McKinty


The Chain.jpg“I’d do anything for my children.” Parents say that all the time, and they might even mean it. But in his latest thriller, Adrian McKinty (Police At the Station and They Don’t Look Friendly, 2017, etc.) will test that statement in ways you never could have imagined. 

It’s called The Chain, and by the time you know you’re part of the game, it’s already too late. While on her way to a checkup with her doctor, cancer survivor Rachel Klein receives a phone call from a panicked stranger, who informs her that she’s just abducted Rachel’s teenage daughter, Kylie, from her Plum Island bus stop—and that the only way to get her back is to pay a ransom, kidnap another child, and then call their parents and convince them to abduct another kid. 

They’re now both links in a sick and twisted game, and there’s no way out.

Running to the police in forbidden and will have dire consequences. In fact, contacting any form of authority will result in your child—in Rachel’s case, Kylie—being killed. If the chain is broken, everyone dies.

Those are the rules. 

So, with the help of her brother-in-law, Pete, a former Marine who has a drug problem, Rachel frantically tries to come up with the money, then, desperate to win Kylie’s freedom, claims the next victim of The Chain. However, she quickly realizes that she will forever be connected to the evil game, and that she’s no longer the person she was before her phone rang that fateful morning. Juggling the stress and everything thrust upon her with other bad news on the medical front, Rachel makes a bold decision.

Though she knows she’s being followed and watched by whoever is forcing innocent people into this hellish reality, Rachel is determined to not only break free of the chain . . .  but to destroy it once and for all. 

Those who used to receive the popular chain emails back in the day will likely remember the ridiculous, laughable threats that came with them. Now imagine they’re real, but instead of being told to forward an email to a dozen friends or suffer a breakup in the next week, you have to commit a serious crime, ruining someone else’s life in the process. While the scenario sounds far-fetched at first, McKinty presents his brilliantly horrific story in a way that’s almost too real for comfort. Readers will feel every ounce of panic, desperation, fear, hopelessness, and anger that plagues Rachel as she faces a moral conundrum unlike anything else: how far would you go to save your child, and at what cost to other innocent people? McKinty’s ability to navigate that fine line makes for a riveting reading experience unlike anything else currently sitting on bookstore shelves.

Every parents’ worst nightmare just became a reality in Adrian McKinty’s latest nail-biting thriller, and just like the characters caught up in the story, readers will find themselves hopelessly sucked in, unable to walk away for a second. . .  The Chain will absolutely rock your world.

Book Details

Author: Adrian McKinty
Pages: 368 (Hardcover)
ISBN: 1250051053
Publisher: Mulholland Books
Release Date: July 9, 2019
Book Spy Rating: 9.0/10



Praised as “One of the hardest working, most thoughtful, and fairest reviewers out there” by #1 New York Times bestselling author Lisa Scottoline, Ryan Steck has “quickly established himself as the authority on mysteries and thrillers” (Author A.J. Tata). Steck also works full-time as a freelance editor and pens a monthly thriller column for CrimeReads. For more information, be sure to follow him on Twitter and FacebookHe currently lives in Southwest Michigan with his wife and their six children.


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