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The Chain: The unique and unforgettable thriller of the year
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The Chain: The unique and unforgettable thriller of the year

3.86  ·  Rating details ·  13,010 ratings  ·  2,527 reviews
VICTIM.
SURVIVOR.
ABDUCTOR.
CRIMINAL.
YOU WILL BECOME EACH ONE.


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
...more
Hardcover, 368 pages
Published July 9th 2019 by Orion
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Toni • Reviews & Randomness No and that goes for any author. I like to hear about what my friends and favourite authors like. Authors will be more critical of other authors work…moreNo and that goes for any author. I like to hear about what my friends and favourite authors like. Authors will be more critical of other authors work as they'll spot things the average reader won't. We all like different things so might not agree on what someone recommends is good or bad regardless of whether the person is an author or not.

If you don't want to read what anyone recommends you don't have to no one is forcing you to.

You say you want honesty in reviews. Can you guarantee a member of the public won't rate all one authors work 5 stars because it's their favourite author or a friend even or vice versa rate them all low just because they hate the author?(less)
Kimberly I am a fan of Kevin O'Brien. I'm not a huge reader, and a book has to be really exceptional to keep me engrossed. His books are well over 400 pages,…moreI am a fan of Kevin O'Brien. I'm not a huge reader, and a book has to be really exceptional to keep me engrossed. His books are well over 400 pages, and I read them in a week. I've taken over a month to read some books that are half the size. :) He has a new book out that I have already put on hold at my library!! I've been waiting for it!!(less)
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Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.86  · 
Rating details
 ·  13,010 ratings  ·  2,527 reviews


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Nilufer Ozmekik
Jul 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: i-m-intrigued
Okay, I will start to bidding with five stars, I think I heard five hundred stars! Five hundred, five thousand, do I heard five billion, oh that redhead woman raised her hand, SOLD to five billion stars to this precious, mind hunting, terrifying, nerve bending, good night sleep killer book!

You can guess that I’m the red haired woman who emptied all her star funds for this reading . And here are my thoughts about this book:

WOWWWWWWWWWWW! WOWWWWWWWW! WOWWWW!

30
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Paromjit
Adrian McKinty has never written a book I have not loved, and this intense, dark psychological thriller is just brilliant with its killer and diabolical premise of the chain. 35 year old Rachel Klein is a divorced single mother, with 13 year old daughter, Kylie, living on Plum Island, Massachusetts. She has survived the devastating trauma and treatment of breast cancer, and horror of horrors, it now appears to have returned. You think this is hitting rock bottom and surely Rachel has experienced ...more
Meredith
Aug 27, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: overdrive
My feelings are all over the place with this one. Loved it in the beginning, but I wasn’t a fan by the end.

The Chain has a fascinating premise and is told in two parts.

Part one begins with a bang: When Rachel, a single mom who has fought her fair share of battles, learns her daughter has been kidnapped by “The Chain,” she learns she must not only pay a ransom but kidnap another child to free her daughter. Will she kidnap someone else's child or will she risk losing her daughter forever.
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Kaceey
Whoa! This book will have you laser-focused from the first paragraph...right to the last!

Victim or abuser. Which is actually worse? And what if you had to play the role of both?

Whatever you do...don’t break the chain!

What would you do if your child was taken? What lengths would you go to get your child back? Could you live with your decisions?

Brilliant, addictive, unputdownable! From start to finish I was also at the mercy of those behind the chain. (Ok...the author!) Couldn’t wait to see how this wou/>Brilliant,
...more
Peter
Coercion
This book needs a seat belt because it blasts off at some serious speed. The opening chapters are shocking and the principle of The Chain is completely unique and deeply unsettling. Rachel Klein is a divorced single mother, with a 13-year-old daughter, Kylie. She has just been appointed to a new job and hopes that her life can take a step forward, especially with her battle against breast cancer being in remission for a year. Then the ultimate horror is just about to unfold.
“Two things you must
...more
Nicola
Aug 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars

“Number one:you are not the first
and you will certainly not be the last.
Number two:remember,it’s not about
the money-it’s about the chain”

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 ..........
...more
Dita
Jul 15, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It wasn't my favorite.

I have mixed feelings because I tried to love it but hated the way Rachel went from being a meek mom to a pistol-whipping badass in a few chapters.

I guess kidnap will do that.

That said, the concept is brilliant. I mean, BRILLIANT, and the ending was very satisfying.

The breast cancer piece was terribly difficult for me as I have a good friend struggling for her life right now. I acknowledge that this may have affected my experience of this book. I w
...more
Susanne  Strong
3.5 Stars.* (rounded down)

A Highly Entertaining Premise that fell a Tad Short on Execution.


After Rachel drops her teenage daughter Kylie off at the bus stop, she gets a call. Kylie has been kidnapped. The caller states that their child has been kidnapped as well. The only way to get Kylie back is to pay a ransom and kidnap someone else, then the caller’s kid will be released and the chain moves forward. Once the family of the child that Rachel kidnaps take someone, Kylie will be rel
...more
BernLuvsBooks (Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas)
"The Chain is a metaphor for the ties that bind all of us to friends and family. It is the umbilical link between mother and child, the way or path that the hero must travel in a quest, and it is the thin clew of crimson thread that is the solution Ariadne comes up with to the problem of the labyrinth."

It all starts with a phone call from an Unknown Caller. The caller informs Rachel O'Neill's that her daughter, Kylie, has been kidnapped. The caller's child has also been kidnapped by another stranger. The only w
...more
Katie B
Entertaining and definitely a page turner but probably not a book you want to analyze to death as it does have some problems along the way. The pacing was excellent but I did prefer the first half over the second. A perfect example of a summer beach read.

I'll admit when I first read the synopsis for this one I thought the whole chain idea was intriguing but I was afraid the story could potentially turn into a hot mess. Basically the concept is a parent receives word their child is ki
...more
megs_bookrack
Jul 09, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arcs-read
Driving into Boston for an early morning oncology appointment, Rachel thinks her 13-year old daughter, Kiley, is safe, getting on the bus and heading off to school. Then she gets a chilling phone call that changes everything.



The caller says Kiley has been kidnapped and in order to get her back, Rachel needs to pay a hefty ransom and kidnap another child to take her place.

Driving into Boston for an early morning oncology appointment, Rachel thinks her 13-year old daughter, Kiley, is safe, getting on the bus and heading off to school. Then she gets a chilling phone call that changes everything.



The caller says Kiley has been kidnapped and in order to get her back, Rachel needs to pay a hefty ransom and kidnap another child to take her place.



An entity known as 'The Chain' is on the other end of the line and they make their money by fusing traditional kidnappings together with the horrifying chain letter concept of the 1980s.

They are very detailed in their directions to Rachel and they make it clear, she is not the first and she won't be last.

Whatever you do, do not break the chain.



Rachel already knows she will do anything they say. Kiley is her whole world and she will stop at nothing to get her back! We follow along with Rachel and her brother-in-law, Pete, as they work around the clock to ensure Kiley's release.

This dark, crime thriller is highly entertaining! It starts off with a bang and you instantly feel a part of the action. The premise is super creative and I love how intense the majority of the story was. Rachel has to almost immediately transform herself in order to play 'The Chain's' game. She goes from meek, defeated suburban housewife to a criminal mastermind.

I can get behind that.

For me, the pacing was a little off. I did enjoy the first half of the book a lot more than the second half but overall, it's a solid story. You have to be able to just roll with a few implausible details and have fun with it. That's what it is meant to be, a fun, wild ride.



McKinty's writing is engaging and I liked the different perspectives he offered us throughout. It provided a nice wide scope for taking in The Chain's reach.

I particularly liked learning about the villain's background and early life. Seeing where they were coming from added to the darkness of the story and that's basically what I am here for.

Thank you so much to the publisher, Mulholland Books, for providing me with a copy to read and review. I appreciate the opportunity and I know a lot of Thriller Readers will enjoy this one!
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j e w e l s
Jun 27, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-bejeweled
FOUR STARS

What if you got a call that your child had been kidnapped?

And, in addition to a cash ransom, you are tasked with an unimaginable demand: Kidnap someone else’s child now. Of course, you argue and plead NO NO NO!!! You’re not a child abductor! You can’t do to another parent what has just been done to you. It’s impossible. Okay, then we will immediately kill your child. WAIT. I will do it. Anything. I will.

Congratulations, you’ve just unwittingly joined The Chain. They own you now. It is never over.impossible.demand:
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Julie (JuJu)
The Chain. What an elaborate concept...and nightmare! This is the worst version of a chain letter you can possibly imagine...and be a part of!!

This cover caught my attention when I first saw it on NG. Then it was popping up everywhere. It was receiving so much hype and praise, I had to request it.

It’s easy...Follow The Chain and you get your kid back. Pay the ransom. Find another target and kidnap someone. The Chain continues. Each link in The Chain is precious. The Chain
...more
Dem
Jul 19, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller-crime
. You never know how strong you are until someone upsets or threatens your kids but just how far would you go to .........

This is a really unique and suspenseful thriller that really had me intrigued from page one, although I have to be honest and say there were parts of this one that did make me roll my eyes on several occasions but I was able to put that aside as the book overall was a rocking good suspenseful read that I think many will enjoy this summer.

A terrifying scenario, Your chi
...more
Amanda
Jul 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I have never read an Adrian McKinty book before. Seriously after reading this book I feel like I’ve missed out and will need to catch up on his other boos ASAP!!

Wow this was one addictive read that kept me on the edge of my seat ,desperate to finish it but wanting to saviour every word at the same time.

I have heard about chain letters where you then have to send a copy of the chain letter to numerous people. What if you’re child was kidnapped and the only way to get them back is to
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Larry H
It seemed like any other morning. Rachel's 13-year-old daughter Kylie was waiting at the bus stop while she headed to a doctor's appointment. On the way she received a call from an unknown number. The call told her that Kylie had been kidnapped, and she was now part of The Chain.

Rachel was given explicit instructions. She has to pay a ransom electronically and then kidnap another child as her daughter had been kidnapped. If she follows the instructions to the letter, and the family of the child
...more
Sandy
Darn it. I really wanted to read this, swoon & write a glowing review. Alas, it’s not to be. I assumed it would be a sure thing as I’m a HUGE fan of the author’s other books. His Sean Duffy books remain one of my favourite all time series. And maybe that’s the problem.

If i’d received this book with an anonymous cover & been asked to guess the author, McKinty’s name would never have crossed my mind. This is a complete departure from anything else he’s written. The style of wri
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Erin Clemence
Jul 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“The Chain” by Adrian McKinty is worthy of the hype it’s getting. A powerhouse of a novel for the Irish-turned-American author, McKinty’s pulse-pounding thrill ride is definitely all it’s cracked up to be.

Rachel is a recently divorced mother, and cancer survivor, raising her young daughter Kylie. One day, while waiting at the bus stop, Kylie is abducted. Panicked and frightened, Rachel receives a call from someone identified only as “The Chain” and giving Rachel detailed instructions; to see K
...more
Carolyn
Jul 24, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller, 2019
The premise of this book is chilling. Your child is kidnapped and to get them back you must kidnap someone else's child and tell his/her parents that they need to kidnap a child to get their own back ... and so the Chain keeps going. Behind the scheme is a sociopathic monster collecting a ransom for each child in the Chain. You might think you couldn't do it but would you let your child die?

The first part of the book makes for compulsive page-turning reading as we watch Rachel, a sin
...more
Kemper
Fleetwood Mac warned us about this.

Rachel O’Neil has had a rough time after a divorce and surviving a battle with cancer, but things are looking up with being in remission and a new teaching job. The promise of this next phase of her life is instantly shattered when she receives a phone call telling her that her young daughter Kylie has been kidnapped, and that Rachel is now the newest link in The Chain.

Not only does Rachel have to quickly come up with a cash ransom to sa
...more
Zoeytron
Aug 17, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: public-library
What would it take to turn you into a monster?  

Park any misgivings you may have at the starting gate and buckle in for a thrill ride that will have your heart pounding.  Although the implausibility factor looms large, it did not mar my enjoyment of the novel for an instant.  Could this chain business really happen?  Not a chance in the world.  But so what?  Aren't we reading this type of thriller for an escape of sorts?   

(view spoiler) ...more
Marialyce
This book had a lot going for it. It had a great premise, that of a mother's love or her child, a devious group of people perpetuating kidnapping a child to free your own child, and a somewhat likeable protagonist. However, for me, it fell short on a few levels.

First of all, I had trouble with the writing which seemed, even though interspersed with philosophical sayings, a bit simplistic. In fact, at one point I had to check the book's cover to see if it was tagged as a young adult s
...more
Elyse (retired from reviewing/semi hiatus) Walters
Tidbit thoughts: no spoilers ... of the years popular thriller book.

The chosen people into the dangerous-criminal-club - called ‘The Chain’, were handpicked and vetted.
A quality attribute requirement - to be ‘chosen’, was being a self starter.
The chain leaders picked bright educated victims - people who didn’t need their hand held while carrying out instructions.
This seemed to me to be a double edge sword.
The bright, educated, self-starters - were more likely to figure out ways to brea
...more
Jess☺️
Sep 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Chain by Adrian Mckinty is a absolutely fantastic heart in your throat, bouncing on the edge of your seat, yelling to yourself thriller 😆
The mother in this book (Rachel) is just an action hero of a mother one we all want to be.
The story is so unbelievable that in another mind you can just imagine something like this happening in real life because our world is so money and technology orientated nothing would surprise me now a days, the twists in this book just throws you off the e
...more
Somethingsnotright
How I adore Adrian McKinty! I love his writing, his humour, the smatterings of pop culture / musical references throughout his books. I have read all of his Sean Duffy series (I really must catch up on my reviews!) So... this is a 5 star read for me. Was this rating inevitable? No, but Mr McKinty is just that good.

Now, I am old enough to remember chain letters - the paper, "snail mail" ones that became illegal. The core ingredients of a truly sinister chain letter were: 1) clear instructions on
...more
Veronica ⭐️
Jul 10, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019, crime
*https://theburgeoningbookshelf.blogsp...
Make sure you have plenty of free time before you start reading The Chain as this is one book you won’t be able to put down!

The premise of the story was intriguing. Ordinary people pulled into a web of kidnapping and murder. How far would you go to save your child?

McKinty has put a deadly twist on the chain letters of the 70’s combining them with the spate of Mexican child abductions, throw in soci
...more
NZLisaM
Aug 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you thought chain letters were bad… be grateful not to be involved in this chain.

4.5 Rounded Up!

On her way to an oncology appointment, Rachel Klein’s phone flashes with ‘Unknown Caller'.

Upon answering, a woman informs her that she has kidnapped her teenage daughter, Kylie.

She then tells Rachel she is now part of The Chain

And to get her daughter back, she needs to kidnap someone else’s child.

But The Chain shouldn’t have taken Kylie.

Because Rachel's about/>4.5
...more
Malia
Jun 03, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery-suspense
This is quite a departure for Adrian McKinty, and though it took me a minute to get used to, The Chain is a clever, gripping thriller that delivers a big dose of creepy! I don't want to give much away, but the story revolves around a network that orchestrates kidnappings by parents in exchange for their own children. It's a network single mother Rachel gets trapped in. In The Chain, McKinty has shown he doesn't have to be defined by writing about Ireland during The Troubles nor his memorable det ...more
Gabby
Closer to a 3.5
Ahhh I have such mixed feelings about this one. It started off so promising and it has one of the best premises ever, but then the ending really dropped the ball and it got incredibly cliche and predictable and meh.

This story is about this mother who gets a phone call saying her daughter has been kidnapped, and the only way to get her back is by paying a ransom fee and kidnapping another child. They tell her she is now part of a chain and if she doesn’t follow through,
...more
Perry
Jul 13, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"This book is Jaws for parents."
Don Winslow

Set in and around Boston, Mass., this terrifying novel centers on an "ancient" chain of parents gaslit into doing whatever is necessary to protect their children.

The novel follows the latest link in the chain, a 30-something divorced mom with remissive breast cancer, as she fights to save her 13-year-old daughter who has been kidnapped by the prior link, a couple whose son is
...more
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Adrian McKinty is an Irish novelist. He was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland, and grew up in Victoria Council Estate, Carrickfergus, County Antrim. He read law at the University of Warwick and politics and philosophy at the University of Oxford. He moved to the United States in the early 1990s, living first in Harlem, New York and from 2001 on, in Denver, Colorado, where he taught high school Eng ...more
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“A man once told me that all books should end at chapter seventy-seven.” 2 likes
“The darkness keeps its own counsel.” 1 likes
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