The Chain by Adrian McKinty
Published by Mulholland Books on July 9, 2019
Genre: Mystery, Thriller
Format: ARC, eBook
Buy: Amazon, B&N
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I received an advance copy of this book from Edelweiss.
YOU WILL BECOME EACH ONE.
You just dropped off your child at the bus stop. A panicked stranger calls your phone. Your child has been kidnapped, and the stranger 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.
When is the last time you stayed up until 4 AM, glued to your book, forsaking sleep, and dying to know how the story ends? That’s what I did with The Chain by Adrian McKinty. Like an especially twisted episode of Law & Order: SVU, The Chain taps into a parent’s primal fear and instinct. How far would you go to protect your child?
Rachel Klein is in recovery mode after a divorce and battle with breast cancer. Her relationship with her ex is mostly amicable as they co-parent their daughter, Kylie. She’s preparing to return to work teaching at the local community college. But her world is upended twofold when she receives a dreaded phone call from her oncologist and another phone call from a stranger.
The stranger tells Rachel that her daughter has been kidnapped and will be killed unless Rachel pays a ransom and kidnaps a child in return. Worse yet, Kylie won’t be released until the parents of Rachel’s victim kidnap yet another child. It’s some sick plan known as The Chain.
Preying on a parent’s deepest fears, The Chain requires obedience and sacrifice—any deviation comes at the expense of a child’s life. Rachel questions her ability to go through with the demands thrust on her, but she’ll do anything to keep Kylie safe. With the help of her former Marine brother-in-law who’s battling his own demons, Rachel becomes someone unrecognizable to herself as she fights for her daughter’s life.
I’m not a parent, but this book’s premise filled me with terror. It’s also another one of those stories that makes you seriously consider deleting every social media account you have. This was my first read by Adrian McKinty and I look forward to reading more. It’s been a while since I pulled an all-nighter read, but this one is definitely worth it.
Rating: 5 stars