Let me paint a picture. Mother drops off daughter at the bus stop and heads to work. Normal morning routine until mother gets a phone call from an unknown number. The daughter has been kidnapped. The ransom is, of course, money but to also kidnap another child within 24 hours. Whaaaaaat?!
The caller reveals she is a mother herself trying to get her own son back alive. The mother is now part of the chain, a scheme that turns parents into criminals and makes a stranger very rich. And the chain will continue because a parent will do anything for their children, right? Or maybe the latest victim will outsmart the chain and save her abducted daughter.
"But even if it all goes right...it'll still be absolutely terrible." ~ pg. 106
Bookhearts, you know I tend to stay away from bestsellers and over-hyped novels. But The Chain was everywhere! It featured in my public library's newsletter, was mentioned in a lit publication, popped up on Goodreads ads and was endorsed by respected authors. All it took was one click for me to read the synopsis then see blurbs from Stephen King and Attica Locke. The universe wanted me to stop ignoring The Chain and read it already.
So I borrowed my local library's first copy. The front cover is one of the simplest images. It is an empty swing, the title in big bold red letters and the author's name in black font. One of those book covers that it so basic but recognized easily. I imagine tons of people reading The Chain on public transit.
"The Chain has a life of its own." ~ pg. 240
The Chain was thrilling, sure, but not to the level of all the hype. It took me way longer than usual to finish. I read a couple chapters, put it down for days, read one page, put it back down, read while in the passenger seat, put it away, read a couple pages before going to sleep, etc. Eventually I finished.
Overall, was it worth my reading oh-so-popular The Chain by Adrian McKinty? Yes, and I plan to read more from this Northern Ireland author. The premise was super unique, believable and twisted. I have read plenty of thrillers, psychological stories and mysteries in my day so take my book review as is: The Chain is a "masterpiece of tension" albeit in a slow pace.
Title: The Chain
Author: Adrian McKinty
Published: July 2019
Rating: 🖤 🖤 🖤