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The Chain by Adrian McKinty | Book Review


Your phone rings.
A stranger has kidnapped your child.

To free them you must abduct someone else’s child.
Your child will be released when your victim’s parents kidnap another child.

If any of these things don’t happen: your child will be killed.

Victim. Survivor. Abductor. Criminal.
You will become each one.

You are now part of The Chain.


Let me just start off by saying that I was deeply disappointed by this book. If you read my Amsterdam Book Haul post, you’ll know I had high expectations and I was excited to dive into another edge-of-your-seat thriller, but… McKinty unfortunately did not deliver. I actually found The Chain very dull for the most part. This may not be the best way to start a review, but I always want to be honest with you and this is just how I feel. So let’s get on with it, then.

Throughout the novel, we follow the story from a few different perspectives, but the main one is that of Rachel. Her teenage daughter, Kylie, has been kidnapped and now they have – unwittingly – become part of The Chain. To make matters worse, Rachel hears about this while she is on her way to her oncologist, where she’ll find out whether or not her cancer has returned. Bit of a dramatic start, but I thought it was pretty strong. It really paints a good picture of how this ‘organisation’ works and how it – obviously – completely disrupts people’s lives.

However! This strong start fizzled out quite quickly. In fact, Rachel’s deteriorated health doesn’t seem to have that much of an impact on the story; she seems to get over everything in a heartbeat. Now, I can understand how going through chemotherapy would make someone pretty resilient, but still. Your daughter has been kidnapped and could possibly get killed, you might be on the verge of getting seriously ill again and you just… Blink and take everything in stride? I’m not buying it.

I also felt like Rachel was a bit too quick on the uptake. She seems to know exactly where to get started on all of this, which – to me – is a bit too unrealistic when you’re talking about completely innocent and normal people being dragged into something as dark as an elaborate kidnapping scheme. Of course, there is something to be said for people discovering their strength when thrusted into unexpected situations, but as I was reading I did think everything went a bit too smoothly; everything was kinda coming up roses. Sure, there were a few kinks here and there, but none of it was enough to make me go “oh shit” or really disrupt Rachel’s plans.

Now, towards the end there was a climax that did inject a bit of excitement back into the book and definitely got my heart racing with its twists and turns, but it really wasn’t enough to redeem the entire story. Therefore I had to give McKinty’s thriller a failing mark and I would probably not recommend this book to anyone. I have since found out that he has written a lot of other books that are supposedly much better, though, so I’m definitely not giving up on this author completely. It’s just that this one was a bit of a miss for me.

Have you ever started reading a book with high expectations only to be disappointed? Tell me all about it in the comments.

I hope you enjoyed reading and I’ll see you again next week with a new blog post!

Psst, want to keep up with what I’m reading? Become my friend on Goodreads.

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