Review: The Chain by Adrian McKinty

I was sent a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Blurb: 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. You are now part of The Chain.

Title: The Chain

Author: Adrian McKinty

Publisher: Orion, owned by Hachette UK

Genre: Fiction, Crime, Thriller


Imagine one day, out of the blue, your phone rings with the news that your child has been kidnapped. In order to free them, you must do everything their captor says. Pay a ransom, kidnap another child and tell no one. Otherwise, your child will be killed. What would you do?

The main thing that attracted me to this book and really delivered in the storytelling was the premise. A chain of people kidnapping children and paying out huge sums of money, buying guns and sneaking around in ski masks was exciting yet also had me keeping an eye out! In a twisted way, I could most definitely see this method of organised crime working in the real world – I’m sure we’ve all felt the anxiety that comes with a chain letter. I’d never heard of a story like this before so the originality was something I especially appreciated. The characters were another stand out for me. Rachel and Pete in particular were wonderfully three dimensional, both battling their own inner demons but their love for Kylie clouding all of that in a moment of desperation. The pacing is another positive – each chapter begins with a new time, often only minutes or hours after the last. This not only adds the sense of urgency but also reminds you just how quickly things can happen.

Another thing I’d note was that the addition of the part two of the book worked really well. The story could very well have ended before then, with everything wrapped up nicely but by continuing on with a different angle, McKinty really keeps you on your toes, fearing for the safety of the characters. This also allowed for the chance for us to learn more about the operators of The Chain whose background I found very interesting – perhaps even enough that I’d like to read something similar for a full length novel.

As for what I disliked, I did see the plot twist at the end coming. I love nothing more than being totally blind sighted by a thriller and this one didn’t quite do it for me. I won’t spoil it for you here but I knew that there had to be some way to tie things together towards the end and I called it from a good few chapters beforehand. Now, this may not be the case for every reader (a friend of mine read this before me and said she was totally surprised) so I wouldn’t say it’s a huge dealbreaker but just something I’d note. If you’re pretty good at being able to guess the end of thrillers then you might see this one coming.

Overall, I would recommend this book to anyone who wants a new, interesting take on a contemporary thriller that really plays on your morals and ethics.

Rating: 4/5

Recommend?: Yes

Have you read this book? Or maybe you’ve read something similar? What did you think? I’d love to know!

You can always find me over on Twitter if you’d like to discuss this book (or any others that I’ve featured) in more detail 😌

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