Monday, September 23, 2019

The Chain By Adrian McKinty

Reviewed by Laura

            Have you ever wondered how far you’d go to save the life of someone you loved?  Would you commit murder…kidnapping? Would you be able to take the life of an innocent child, if necessary? Could you do all of this, not in the heat of the moment, but with planning and foresight? These are the hard questions forced upon Rachel Klein, the central character of this disturbing thriller.

            Rachel is a woman who has already faced her own mortality through a cancer diagnosis. Like many women, she has sacrificed her own life to work menial jobs so her husband could finish his degree, only to be divorced once he attained his dream.  Marty is now a lawyer with a bevy of interchangeable young girlfriends, while she raises their daughter Kylie, whom he sees on weekends. As the story begins, Rachel is on her way to her oncologist to discuss some questionable lab results. The phone rings and there is a frightening message: ”I’ve got some terrible news for you. I’ve kidnapped your daughter.” And so the nightmare begins…You’re in THE CHAIN now.

            From the cover of the book depicting a swing with chain handles, it brought to mind the kidnapping of a child. That would have been bad enough, but the chain is much, much worse than that. The caller is a mother just like Rachel. Her child has been kidnapped and she must kidnap another child, demanding ransom and yet another kidnapping, to ensure her child’s release. Welcome to the chain. Reminiscent of chain letters of long ago, or FB messages intended to be sent forward to ensure luck and/or wealth, this chain takes a deadly turn, and once enlisted, you will never be free again.

            The book follows Rachel’s path as, with the help of her brother-in-law, Pete, she plans her own abduction and discovers to what depths she’ll go to save Kylie. Can she kidnap an innocent child, will she commit murder, is there any way to break the chain once and for all? 

This book kept my interest, but wasn’t as exciting as I had anticipated.  There was a good bit of repetition that slowed the story down. Still, I would recommend it as it is a good read if you enjoy the thriller genre, which is my favorite!

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