The Chain - book cover
Thrillers & Suspense
  • Publisher : Mulholland Books
  • Published : 28 Dec 2021
  • Pages : 432
  • ISBN-10 : 0316463256
  • ISBN-13 : 9780316463256
  • Language : English

The Chain

When a mother is targeted by a dangerous group of masterminds, she must commit a crime to save her kidnapped daughter-or risk losing her forever-in this "propulsive and original" award-winning thriller (Stephen King).

It's something parents do every morning: Rachel Klein drops her daughter at the bus stop and heads into her day. But a cell phone call from an unknown number changes everything: it's a woman on the line, informing her that she has Kylie bound and gagged in her back seat, and the only way Rachel will see her again is to follow her instructions exactly: pay a ransom, and find another child to abduct. This is no ordinary kidnapping: the caller is a mother herself, whose son has been taken, and if Rachel doesn't do as she's told, the boy will die.

"You are not the first. And you will certainly not be the last."Rachel is now part of The Chain, an unending and ingenious scheme that turns victims into criminals-and is making someone else very rich in the process. The rules are simple, the moral challenges impossible; find the money fast, find your victim, and then commit a horrible act you'd have thought yourself incapable of just twenty-four hours ago.

But what the masterminds behind The Chain know is that parents will do anything for their children. It turns out that kidnapping is only the beginning.

"McKinty is one of the most striking and most memorable crime voices to emerge on the scene in years. His plots tempt you to read at top speed, but don't give in: this writing-sharply observant, intelligent and shot through with black humor-should be savored."
-Tana French

"A masterpiece. You have never read anything quite like The Chain and you will never be able to forget it." -Don Winslow

"Diabolical, unnerving, and gives a whole new meaning to the word "relentless". Adrian McKinty just leapt to the top of my list of must-read suspense novelists. He's the real deal."
-Dennis Lehane

"Pairing an irresistible concept with a winner protagonist, The Chain promises to be your new addiction once you succumb to the first enticing page."
-Alafair Burke

"A grade-A-first-rate-edge-of-your-seat thriller. I can't believe what went through my mind while reading it." -Attica Locke

Editorial Reviews

An instant New York Times bestseller!

One of the best books of 2019...TIMEChicago TribuneNew York PostBooklistKirkusThe Strand Magazine

An instant New York Times bestseller!
Named the Best Novel of the Year by the International Thriller Writers Association!

Winner of the Barry Award and the Macavity Award

One of the best books of 2019...TIMEChicago TribuneNew York PostBooklistKirkusThe Strand Magazine

"McKinty hangs on to his wit and literacy even under duress...Beneath its surface of high-speed thrills, "The Chain" is clearly the work of the philosophical thinker McKinty has always been."―Janet Maslin, New York Times

"The pace quickens and the tension builds whenever the mother and daughter appear in a scene. In the end, what makes The Chain so frightening - and why it works so well as a thriller - is that all of Rachel's actions remain completely relatable, even as she whipsaws between terror and determination, morphing from victim to perpetrator."―Tina Jordan, The New York Times

"A deeply unsettling story about the limits of morality, raising questions about the nature of good and evil and the depths of parental love."―Joumana Khatib, New York Times

"This is more than nail-biting; think cuticle-shredding."―Bethanne Patrick, The Washington Post

"A chilling, diabolical page-turner you'll want to savor."―People Magazine, Book of the Week

"Thrillers... don't get much more psychologically rich than The Chain." David Canfield, Entertainment Weekly

"Told in a spare, punchy style, this is a blazing, full-tilt thriller that entirely justifies the hype."―The Guardian

"The Chain is a straight-up, stone-faced thriller, a present-tense race...thunderous ride into the darkest, most fearful reaches of a parent's mind")―Paddy Hirsch, NPR

"The Chain turns out to be awfully hard to put down."―Connie Ogle, Newsday

"An original premise, relentless pacing, and strong female characters lift this nail-biter from Edgar winner McKinty, which takes a no-holds-barred look at how far a parent will go to protect her child. . . . Readers won't be able to put this thriller down."―Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"At once a commentary on social media, greed, revenge, love, and true evil, and written with a...

Readers Top Reviews

Leo.P Ardskin
Adrian McKinty is brilliant. His Sean Duffy thrillers set in Northern Ireland always deserved to be much more successful than they were. This book, set in America, will probably do it for him in terms of sales. I hope it does but for me it seemed manufactured, quite clunky and lacking in the usual McKinty verve and cleverness until the latter part when it did at least become as gripping as all the fellow thriller writers quoted on the jacket say it is. If you are new to McKinty and like this, then I urge you to read his earlier Sean Duffy novels; they are so much better, not least because they are so believable.
exscribeVikingR. Llo
I am a huge fan of the Sean Duffy series. So when I saw McKinty had a new book coming out, I immediately preordered it. Then I read that it was a stand-alone. OK. Then I read the premise. Jeez, it sounded preposterous. But I believe in supporting the authors I enjoy and bought it anyway. It turned out to be a waste of both my time and my money. This couldn’t be McKinty. The writing was perfunctory, without a hint of style or wit. Actually, I found the idea that a parent, going through hell, would still kidnap someone else’s child and put them through hell, repellent. And totally unbelievable. The exchange kidnappings the author refers to in the afterward were adults, not children. Having subsequently read about the author’s financial problems and the bonanza this book has turned out to be, well, I am happy for him. He gave me a lot of pleasure with the Duffy novels. And now that he is solvent, I hope he writes more Duffys. I will try to erase the memory of this disaster as quickly as possible.

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