The Chain by Adrian McKinty | #20BooksOfSummer

Author : Adrian McKinty
Title : The Chain
Pages : 352
Publisher : Orion
Publication date : July 9, 2019


You just dropped off your child at the bus stop. A panicked stranger calls your phone. Your child has been kidnapped, and the stranger explains that their child has also been kidnapped, by a completely different stranger.

The only way to get your child back is to kidnap another child within 24 hours. Your child will be released only when the next victim’s parents kidnap yet another child, and most importantly, the stranger explains, if you don’t kidnap a child, or if the next parents don’t kidnap a child, your child will be murdered.

You are now part of The Chain. 


If you’ve not heard mention of this book before, you must be living under a rock. The buzz has been buzzing like a big buzzing thing for ages. Now, I’m often wary of books that are being hyped up like this one has been, because my expectations tend to go where no expectations have gone before. But I also suffer from FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) so I decided to give The Chain a go anyway.

It’s a normal morning. Kylie is waiting at the bus stop for the bus that will take her to school, when suddenly a man in a ski mask approaches her, points a gun at her and kidnaps her in broad daylight. Shortly afterwards, Kylie’s mother, Rachel, receives a phone call from a panicked stranger. The only way Rachel can get her daughter back is to kidnap another child. Rachel is now part of the chain and the chain cannot be broken.

As far as terrifying and chilling premises go, this one is right up there! And yet. The book is split into two parts. Part one is phenomenal. Super tense, it sucked me in from the get-go, wondering what I would do or where to even start. Part two, on the other hand, lost me. I frequently checked to see how many pages I still had left to read and that’s never a good thing. The level of tension dropped quite remarkably, I felt things started to drag somewhat and worse than that, le gasp, I sort of stopped caring.

All in all, I’m feeling rather conflicted and somewhat disappointed. Part of me feels I should have listened to my gut and let this one go, but the other part is glad I read it. If The Chain had stopped before the second half, it would have been a hugely successful read for me. On the other hand, this is movie material right here and I can absolutely see the appeal. From what I’ve seen, I’m in the minority with my opinion so don’t let that sway you. If you do decide to read The Chain, I’d be very interested to know what you make of it.

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Other retailers : Amazon US | Amazon UK | Kobo | Waterstones | Wordery

Book 12 from my 20 Books of Summer list.

  32 comments for “The Chain by Adrian McKinty | #20BooksOfSummer

  1. August 8, 2019 at 9:21 am

    Such a shame when a book doesn’t quite hit the spot for you.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. August 8, 2019 at 9:22 am

    I was very curious about your thoughts about this one. I’m sorry to hear that the second part of the novel was slightly disappointing. I’m curious now though and this doesn’t put me off at all, on the contrary, I have to know! Thanks for your honest review Eva!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. August 8, 2019 at 9:38 am

    Yes! Thank you!! I know exactly what you mean. I did enjoy the second part more than you seem to, but I felt lost when it began, the adrenaline had been building up in the first part and suddenly it had nowhere to go. Would have worked better for us as a novella with just the first part. I still loved it and it’s a great book, just not as great as everyone but you and me seems to think 😂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. August 8, 2019 at 11:44 am

    Eva, I love your review because you’ve laid your feelings out clearly. I’ve got this on hold at my library and am even more excited about listening to the book because, in the end, you are still glad you read it. Thanks for the forewarnings about the second half, though.

    Liked by 1 person

    • August 10, 2019 at 11:04 am

      Thank you, Jonetta! And I’m glad you’ll still give it a go. I look forward to seeing what you think!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. August 8, 2019 at 2:17 pm

    Sorry you were disappointed, especially after the first half being so good. I have this in my audible library, so we’ll see…

    Liked by 1 person

  6. August 8, 2019 at 2:58 pm

    Fab review! I don’t think you are alone as I read a very similar review a few weeks ago, but I can’t remember who wrote it. 🤔

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Jo
    August 8, 2019 at 7:53 pm

    Great review, Eva. I’ve been tempted by this one, but, like you, I’m worried by how much hype there has been around it. I did ALMOST buy it… but then decided not to. I expect I’ll read it at some point… 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • August 10, 2019 at 11:05 am

      In my world “at some point” tends to mean “never” 😂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Jo
        August 10, 2019 at 1:46 pm

        😀 For me it means, maybe, but probably only if it’s part of a Kindle offer! (Is that bad?!)

        Liked by 1 person

        • August 11, 2019 at 11:48 am

          Not at all. It hurts to pay full price for something you didn’t fully enjoy 😂

          Liked by 1 person

  8. August 8, 2019 at 10:21 pm

    I think we’re largely on the same page. I found the second half required suspension of disbelief and (confession time) I skim read parts too. It’s was a little convenient and obvious. And I e read a very similar premise before so I needed it to be outstanding. Not quite there.

    Liked by 1 person

    • August 10, 2019 at 11:06 am

      Guilty of the skim reading too. Like you say, it wasn’t quite there. I’m just super relieved it wasn’t just me because I have been struggling with books this year. As have you, I know.


  9. August 9, 2019 at 2:29 pm

    I’m reading the book right now and I’m about halfway through. The first half, I couldn’t do anything but read the book, it consumed me….we shall see about the rest of the book. Thanks for the great review.

    Liked by 1 person

    • August 10, 2019 at 11:07 am

      The first part is truly phenomenal. I do so hope you have a better experience with the second half than I had!


      • August 13, 2019 at 3:01 pm

        I just finished it and I think we saw another side of the main character. I also think the book took another direction with the way it handled the thrill of the book, it wasn’t high paced but anticipation. The main character definitely changed over the coarse of this book.

        Liked by 1 person

        • August 15, 2019 at 5:36 pm

          Yes, the change in the character was definitely interesting!


  10. August 13, 2019 at 7:33 am

    Whoaaa, Nelly! I read the blurb and went- this right here is the dark stuff!!!
    And I have been living under a rock but your review started to make me feel this is one of those must read thrillers and then I saw your comments about part two and thought- ah, tit! that’s a shame… what was the second part about, then? Or, is it too spoilery to share? 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • August 15, 2019 at 5:38 pm

      Erm, yes, can’t really mention that without giving too much away but I guess it’s about trying to break the chain.


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