Looking for a gripping holiday read? Then look no further. The Chain is the ‘must-have’ book of 2019. Thank you to Tracy Fenton and Orion for inviting me to take part in the blog tour. Before I give my review, here’s the 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
Well, where to begin? I’ve heard lots of people have read this book in a day but I couldn’t do that. My nerves wouldn’t let me! The tension is there from the very beginning and doesn’t let up until the last page. This really tapped into my fears as a mother and I had to keep reminding myself this book is fiction and not true crime.
Rachel, the main character and mother of Kylie, is beautifully written. As a divorced mum, recovering from breast cancer, she’s hugely believable. Her vulnerability is evident. I’d call her a ‘lioness’ mother. She appears calm until you hurt her baby. Then she comes out fighting. Definitely something I recognise in myself.
But this isn’t a book that only parents can relate to. Adrian McKinty cleverly brings Kylie’s Uncle Pete into the story. There aren’t many people who don’t have a nephew or a niece or a cousin or maybe a godchild. Or a neighbour’s child who you absolutely adore. The Chain puts a moral dilemma in front of us all and asks us to choose – your child’s life or keep the Chain moving.
By using multiple viewpoints, McKinty keeps us, the readers, on our toes. Sometimes we’re allowed to know things in advance. Other times we’re on the back foot. But never bored. Each chapter moves us along The Chain, getting closer to the true perpetrators.
With the atmospheric setting of Plum Island in the fog, this is a book crying out to be on a screen. Personally, my preference would be a TV series rather than a film. The plot would need to be slimmed down to fit into a couple of hours for a movie. I don’t think that should happen. This is a story that deserves to be told in its entirety*. And it’s such a fabulous story. I already have my book of the year for 2019 but The Chain has jumped into my top five if not top three. Believe the hype and read it.
* Since writing this review, Adrian McKinty has accepted a deal from Paramount to make a movie. I’d still prefer a TV series but I’m really happy for Adrian McKinty. He absolutely deserves this.
You can buy The Chain here.
About the Author
Adrian McKinty was born and grew up in Belfast, Northern Ireland, during the troubles of the 1970s and 1980s. His father was a boilermaker and ship’s engineer and his mother a secretary. Adrian went to Oxford University on a full scholarship to study philosophy before emigrating to the United States to become a high school English teacher. His debut crime novel Dead I May Well Be was shortlisted for the CWA Dagger Award and was optioned by Universal Pictures. His books have won the Edgar Award, the Ned Kelly Award, the Anthony Award, the Barry Award and have been translated into over 20 languages. Adrian is a reviewer and critic for the Sydney Morning Herald, the Irish Times and the Guardian. He lives in New York City with his wife and two children.