The Chain by Adrian McKinty

The only way to get your child back is to kidnap another child”

Publication Date: 9th July 2019
Genre: Thriller, Suspense
Pages: 361
My Rating: ★★★★
Amazon | Waterstones | Goodreads


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.


I picked up this book a few months ago when Waterstones had it on offer as book of the month, and thoroughly enjoyed it. I was drawn in by the promise that it would be the ‘thriller of the year’, with a unique storyline that is very difficult to say no to.

The book follows Rachel, who is in remission from cancer, who now finds herself stuck in the chain after her teenage daughter Kylie is kidnapped. She sets herself out to get her daughter back by kidnapping another child, the sole purpose of the chain, and during it she enlists the help of her ex brother-in-law, Pete, to try and find the mastermind behind it all.

The book has a few different narrators, including Rachel and Kylie, and is split into two parts. The first part follows Rachel as she carries out the orders sent to her regarding the chain, and the second sees her trying to break the chain for good. I was a little disappointed that the first part ended quite quickly but was soon wooed again by the thrill of the second part. You will question everything and everyone right until the end, something that I adore when it comes to reading a thriller.

What I loved about this book was that we followed Rachel and watched her carrying out the orders of the chain, including kidnapping another child. It was perfectly horrifying and had my heart pounding as I questioned whether she would get caught or not. There is a constant fear of Rachel, or other members in the chain, failing to execute these tasks as, if one person slips up, everyone’s lives are at risk.

Another thing I enjoyed was the diversity of our main characters. Rachel is an amazingly strong heroine who is suddenly thrown into the chain. She is struggling and is desperate to get her daughter back, but we see her go to the end of the earth for her. Kylie is very mature for her age and surprised me. She was calculating and took risks, trying to persuade her kidnappers to let her go. Pete was the unsung hero in my eyes. He is dealing with PTSD and battling addiction, yet, paired with Rachel, they made the perfect couple when it came to dismantling the chain.

I have recommended this to quite a few readers and will continue to do so. While it may not be the best thriller I’ve read, it’s certainly up there. The distinctive storyline undoubtedly sets it apart from other books on the shelf and, though I read it in March, it’ll make the perfect summer read.

7 thoughts on “The Chain by Adrian McKinty

  1. Great that you like it! I didn’t as much! Haha I found the ending to be a huge cliche. I enjoyed it until part 3 I think… when she is “off the chain” after that it went down hard :/ you might like The Killer Club that one was really good 😀

    Liked by 1 person

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