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The Chain

Narrated by: January LaVoy
Length: 10 hrs and 9 mins
4 out of 5 stars (118 ratings)

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Summary

You are a parent. Your phone rings. You answer it. It's a panicked stranger.

They tell you that they have kidnapped your child.

The stranger then explains that their child has also been kidnapped, by a completely different stranger.

Their child will be released only when you kidnap a new child.

Your child will be released only when, after you kidnap the new child, that child'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. 

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.

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 24 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.

©2019 Adrian McKinty (P)2019 Orion Publishing Group

What members say

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Good fun despite the broken links in the Chain!

A book with a seriously interesting premise, a challenging premise but one with obvious problems. What materialises is a pretty entertaining read - as long as you switch the logic circuitry in your brain to mostly bypass. The start builds very nicely aided by January LaVoy's excellent narration, she's one smooth operator behind the microphone!

The Chain is suitably ominous and some of the build up is extremely well done. The pacing is near pitch perfect and there is a great action sequence ending. There genuinely is plenty to like but if you need a touch of realism in your thrillers I would urge caution. The book never really gives a good reason why ordinary people are being successful at committing serious crime under pressure and at short notice a high percentage of the time. The ending too did have my eyes rolling just a bit at a couple of points.

So, I'd urge caution but if you do just like to enjoy an entertaining read and the devil can take the detail this certainly delivers.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

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Brilliant book!

Great idea for a story. The first half was brilliant and hooked me. The second half was a little predictable.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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my favourite thriller

this is overall one of my favourite books! So well written with a narrator tbat suits the book perfectly!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Brilliantly shocking

I read a newspaper article about Adrian McKinty being saved from the workhouse by this book so bought the audio version on the day it was released to see what all the fuss was about. Whatever the content, I knew I'd be in heaven listening to January LaVoy, who is a voice performer par excellence and her tones would have no trouble turning a sow's ear into a silk purse. Possessing neither of these objects was no deterrent to gaining an enormous amount of pleasure from Ms LaVoy's considerable skills with a microphone. Sheer, unmitigated delight. The book itself however, was more of an issue. Usually it is my wont to listen to audio books whilst going about my daily routine; walking the dogs, peeling potatoes, ambling around the living room with a feather duster pretending to achieve some form of home cleanliness, but I wasn't able to do these things whilst listening to The Chain. Instead, the family came home to find the dogs peeled, the potatoes well-walked and me standing stock still in the middle of lounge, clutching the duster, transfixed. I couldn't do a thing, it must be what it's like to be a man, unable to complete two tasks simultaneously, but I was most discombobulated by the experience. From the very first paragraph Mr McKinty has created a story so terrifyingly possible, so scarily believable that I could hardly breathe, (luckily my oxygen mask from the cabin over my head descended, so I was fine - no one panic). There is no let up in pace, I was whisked from horror to horror at such speed, I almost bumped into myself coming back in the opposite direction. Completely compelling, enormously engrossing and utterly unputdownable, (I'm just making words up now). It comes as no surprise that The Chain has made Adrian McKinty safe from the clutches of the workhouse. Be warned though, you may find yourself so caught up in this tale you are unable to attend to normal life and, as a consequence, may end up as a workhouse resident. A totally fabulous, mess-with-your-head, test your morals and ethics, keep you thinking forever book you simply must, must, must listen to or read right NOW. You can always thank me later.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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Dreadful

Plot concept was fine but I knew the ending by 30 minutes in. I know this because my mother listened right through to end to see if it got better - it didn't!!
Combination of the writing and narration was so irritating that I gave up after 90 mins.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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disappointing, over hyped

this book is very overhyped and all 'twists' you can see a mile off. good concept but very weak characters despite trying to add extra depth to the characters.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Diabolically good!

Wow what an addictive book!  I started listening to this on Audible and I didn't want to stop! Unfortunately real life got in the way so it took me a couple of days.  Now I feel bereft. I dont know what I want to read next because Im not sure anything else could be as good!

The book is totally scary because it's totally believable.  It could happen to you, and you can't help asking yourself 'What would I do?'  The story isn't completely original as I've read other stuff in a similar vein, but McKinty's writing makes you live through every minute of Rachel's torment and the pacing is terrifyingly fast and had me hold g my breath more than once.

I haven't read anything else by Mr McKinty but his back catalogue will now be on my TBR list.

A few words about the narrator. I hadn't listened to anything narrated by January LaVoy before but her narration of this book was absolutely amazing. She is now on my list of favourite narrators.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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An exciting story

An engaging book...didnt want to put it down..Clever plot. Unusual & imaginative . I highly recommend it .

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Good fun and kept me listening

What McKinty gets so right about this book is it keeps the reader constantly thinking “what would I do” because of course there are no right answers in the devious game of The Chain.
Like other reviews have pointed out there are some frustrating plot holes, with so many petty and serious crimes being committed along the chain surely there would be more repercussions from law enforcement but it’s made to seem like everyone somehow managed to keep the chain a secret.
But these can all be ignored to enjoy a good engaging thriller with excellent narration.

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Nightmare

Awful, awful, awful. I could not relate to this hypothesis on any level. Sorry I wish I could have believed in any of it.

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  • antonio
  • 22-07-19

Suspenseful, engaging, a real page turner !

The attraction of the book lays with the heinous, fast-paced plot, which is masterfully developed by incorporating the distress, the twists, and the frantic and terrifying steps the main characters must face. The book is based on a very unique concept and -as usual for the McKinty’s books- is well written with good characters’ development and sharp dialogues. January LaVoy is as good as it gets and contributes to maintain the atmosphere of suspense and tension.
For the sake of full disclosure, I am a huge fan of McKinty, whom I rate among the top five (three ?) thrillers writers of the past ten years. The Chain is probably more commercially smart than his prior work, but I cannot help recommending the Michael Forsythe trilogy, the Sean Duffy series where McKinty is at his best….