Written by Adrian McKinty

Publisher: Mulholland Books
Pages: 357
Genre: Thriller, Mystery
Published: 2019-07-09
Original Language: English

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.

Read from 2019-07-28 to 2019-08-05
Read in English
Rating: 3/5
Review: Thanks to the hype around The Chain I had high expectations of this book. They weren’t met. It’s not a bad book, not by any means, but a book like this should be a thrilling page-turner of excitement, and this wasn’t.

The basic premise is fine. Not entirely original, but interestingly set up, and with a lot of promise. I was looking forward to seeing what kind of twists would be added to the premise, how this would go from being what I would expect it to be, to something that would thrill and surprise me. Disappointingly the story played out pretty much exactly as I would have expected it to. But then, there was more! A part 2 to the story! This also had an interesting premise, a lot of directions in which it could go, and I was excited at the potential of something really interesting being done with it. But no - it played out in a way which was dramatic, sure, but which also felt like the motions were being gone through for the book to end up where it needed to end up.

That’s not to say this is a bad book - it really isn’t bad at all. But it’s not great. And there are so many thrillers at around this length that excite me, thrill me, make me think, make me sad, make me angry, make me shudder, and make me desperately want to find out what happens next. The Chain didn’t. I didn’t dislike it, but it’s also the first book I’ve read in a while which didn’t make me kind of look forward to my commute, or go our of my way to make extra time for reading. It honestly felt a bit like I was reading the screenplay of a safe, likable, exciting, action-packed movie. And, by all means, something like that has some merit, just not the merit I’d want when reading a thriller. I’m sure many people will like this book - it’s easy to like - but I don’t see that many people loving it.