Boom. I’m on a roll! One fabulous read after the other… What makes it even better is that each read is special… And this one? Buckle your seat belt!
Title: The Chain
Author: Adrian McKinty
Date of publication: 9th July 2019
Number of pages: 357
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 KILLED.
YOU ARE NOW PART OF THE CHAIN
YOU WILL BECOME EACH ONE.
If you haven’t heard of The Chain by now, you must have been living under a rock. I don’t see any other explanation. There has been a huge buzz and a fantastic campaign online and guess what? It worked on me too! When the first tweets appeared, I got curious. I decided not to research the book… yet. Then more talks happened, and my willpower failed me. When the opportunity to read the book arose, I took it, with both hands!
With no hints except for a hashtag and a cover, I joined the chain…
I HAVE NEVER READ ANYTHING LIKE THIS BOOK.
I mean it. I have read a lot. I mean… a lot. And you know what they say: ‘there’s nothing new under the sun…’
You are wrong! Adrian McKinty proves that the human mind can still push the boundaries of imagination to throw you in a unique kind of nightmare.
We have all received chain letters. Who ever thought they were fun was wrong. Still they can be effective when sent to the right person. The author picked the idea, locked it into his secret lab, and created a mutant version. A dangerous and possibly deadly version fueled by fear.
Divorced mother Rachel, in remission from breast cancer and on her way to the hospital, receives a call from a stranger who claims to have kidnapped her daughter. Rachel is given instructions to follow if she wants to be reunited with her child. Simple? No. Far from it. Now the unwilling player of a game she hasn’t chosen, Rachel must pay a ransom and kidnap another child to replace her family’s role in the chain.
Let’s stop there a minute. Having your kid abducted is awful. But it wasn’t enough for the author, whose scarily brilliant mind toys with our most basics instincts. I witnessed Rachel go through different stages, just like a mourning person travels through the grieving process. This woman, who could be any of us, is turned from a victim to a criminal, without ever meeting the Gods playing with her and her daughter Kylie’s lives. Adrian McKinty throws punch after punch, and I could feel the despair in Rachel, but also in everyone involved in The Chain. The insufferable tension was diluted with all the conflicting emotions swirling around. Breaking each step of the game in steps might be rational, but nothing in the situation is. Can an average person turn into a kidnapper? Can someone bring themselves to bring the exact pain they’re suffering from to another family? My heart was ripped apart, tramped on, cut in tiny chunks for dogs to eat, and the dilemmas had my mind racing. The torment is real.
Rachel isn’t alone in this mess. Her ex brother-in-law, Pete, is a devoted uncle and the perfect guy to help. Ex-Marine, his skills come in handy. But Pete has issues of his own, adding risks to the mission…
To say that the characterization is brilliant would be a euphemism. Each character, however small, is multi-dimensional, intense, yet normal. Yes, normal is the word. They could be your neighbor, your dentist, and even you. Nothing is black and white. Adrian McKinty paints a grey world with a million shades scattered on a white canvas with sharp precision and no mercy.
I wasn’t expecting the book to be cut in half, allowing me to dive in a different kind of nightmare for the second part. More action, tainted by the aftermath of traumatic events. How do you cope with what you’ve done, even if it brought you back the most precious thing in your life? Again and again, Rachel stands up. Her strength is not out-of-this-world, it’s the essence of what’s left in us when we are faced with a wall. What would we do if seats were swapped? The thought had my heart skip a beat several times.
More tricky and dangerous decisions are made, leading the characters to an adrenaline-filled ending. If I had gathered a few hints during the journey to the last chapters, I was still left gobsmacked and totally drained when I reached the final destination!
This novel deserves all the praise it is getting, for its strength lies in the author’s outstanding writing and complex plot. The Chain is one of the finest thrillers ever!
Grab your copy now and become part of The Chain…