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Cover image for The chain
Format:
Title:
The chain
ISBN:
9780316425384
Edition:
Large print edition.

First edition.
Publication:
New York, NY : Mulholland Books, Little, Brown and Company, 2019.
Physical Description:
504 pages (large print) ; 25 cm
Summary:
"Your phone rings. A stranger has kidnapped your child. To free them you must abduct someone else's child. Your child will be released when your victim's parents kidnap another child. If any of these things don't happen: your child will be killed. You are now part of the chain."--Provided by publisher.
Holds:

Available:*

Library
Call Number
Status
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LP McKinty, A.
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Summary

Summary

VICTIM.
SURVIVOR.
ABDUCTOR.
CRIMINAL.
YOU WILL BECOME EACH ONE.

"This nightmarish story is incredibly propulsive and original. You won't shake it for a long time."
STEPHEN KING
"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
* * * * *

YOUR PHONE RINGS.

A STRANGER HAS KIDNAPPED YOUR CHILD.

TO FREE THEM YOU MUST ABDUCT SOMEONE ELSE'S CHILD.

YOUR CHILD WILL BE RELEASED WHEN YOUR VICTIM'S PARENTS KIDNAP ANOTHER CHILD.

IF ANY OF THESE THINGS DON'T HAPPEN:
YOUR CHILD WILL BE KILLED.
YOU ARE NOW PART OF THE CHAIN * * * * *

"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

"Diabolically gripping. Nail-biting, smart, and convincing. Hang on tight, because once you start this book, you can't stop - you'll be caught in THE CHAIN."
MEG GARDINER

"THE CHAIN is the rare thriller that's not only fiendishly clever but also powerfully empathetic, with both hair-raising twists and complex, fully-realized characters." LOU BERNEY

"YOU ARE NOT THE FIRST.
AND YOU WILL CERTAINLY NOT BE THE LAST."


Author Notes

Adrian McKinty was born in Northern Ireland. He read politics and philosophy at the University of Oxford. He is a crime fiction novelist, blogger and book reviewer. His novels include the Sean Duffy series and the Lighthouse Trilogy. He made the Ned Kelly 2015 shortlists in the category of Best Novel with his title Gun Street Girl. He won the 2017 Edgar Allan Poe Award for best paperback original with his novel, Rain Dogs.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 5

Publisher's Weekly Review

An original premise, relentless pacing, and strong female characters lift this nail-biter from Edgar winner McKinty (the Sean Duffy series), which takes a no-holds-barred look at how far a parent will go to protect her child. Divorced teacher Rachel Klein, a cancer survivor, lives on Massachusetts's Plum Island with her 13-year-old daughter, Kylie. She's driving to Boston one day to see her doctor when she gets a call from an unidentified woman who sounds upset. The woman tells Rachel that she has kidnapped Kylie, and the only way to get Kylie back is for Rachel to kidnap another child. The woman, whose own child has been kidnapped, and Rachel are now links in a chain of abductions. If Rachel doesn't follow the program, Kylie will die. In desperation, Rachel and her retired military brother-in-law, Pete O'Neill, eventually kidnap a random child to win her daughter's release. At that point, an angry Rachel and Pete, ignoring warnings to continue to remain silent and do nothing, go on the offensive to track down the people responsible for the kidnapping chain, culminating in a violent confrontation in a marshy area south of Plum Island. Readers won't be able to put this thriller down. Agent: Shane Salerno, Story Factory. (July) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Kirkus Review

For every child kidnapped, another must be taken. Otherwise The Chain will be broken.Thirteen-year-old Kylie is waiting for the school bus on Plum Island, Massachusetts, when a man and a woman pull up wearing ski masks. Her brain tells her to run, but she doesn't make the correct split-second decision, and she is taken at gunpoint. Her mother, Rachel, then receives a call that she is now part of The Chain. She must pay a ransom and kidnap another family's child, and then that family must do the same for her daughter to be released. No law enforcement, no politicians, no journalists. The Chain cannot be broken or the childrenher child, her Kyliewill be executed. While Rachel scrambles to get the money together (even though it isn't about the money, she is told) and pick a child to steal, it becomes clear that she is being tracked and her every move is being monitored. She can't do this, she must do this, she is now a completely different person who has done this. Inspired by the "exchange kidnappings" that take place in Mexico and the old-school chain letters of his childhood, crime novelist McKinty (Police at the Station and They Don't Look Friendly, 2017, etc.) takes what at first seems like a fantastical scenario and imbues it with all the terror, stress, trauma, and messiness of reality. At once a commentary on social media, greed, revenge, love, and true evil, and written with an almost lyrical quality, this book will have readers searching for more McKinty titles to devour.An unmissable thriller. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.


Booklist Review

Best known for his outstanding Sean Duffy series, set during the Troubles in Northern Ireland, McKinty has also written several gripping stand-alones, of which this one is the best yet; in fact, it may well be the biggest thriller of the summer. You know you're having a bad day when you get a phone call telling you your daughter has been kidnapped, and, to get her back, you must not only pay $25,000 but also kidnap somebody else. It's called the Chain, and it's a Ponzi scheme from hell: if you don't keep the chain going by becoming a kidnapper, and if the next parents don't kidnap a child in turn, your child dies. Rachel Klein gets one more phone call on this very bad day: the cancer she thought was gone may be back. So begins a high-concept thriller that draws creatively on familiar tropes, especially the idea of an ordinary person forced to draw on previously untapped strengths to overcome adversity. Except, in this case, it is isn't just a matter of upping your game to fend off an external threat; it's something much darker. As Rachel puts it, ""First comes the cancer, then the divorce, then your daughter gets kidnapped, then you become the monster."" The suspense here is intense, as one would expect, given the premise, but the true brilliance in this unrelenting novel comes from the way McKinty makes Rachel confront her own capacity for evil and deal with its reverberations, not only on herself and the child she kidnaps, but also on her own child, Kylie. A pitch-perfect psychological thriller.HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Expect the buzz to build quickly for this one think The Woman in the Window for 2019.--Bill Ott Copyright 2019 Booklist


New York Review of Books Review

What would you do to save your child's life? Anything? That's what most parents would say, and that's the question McKinty explores in his new novel, which he says in an afterword was influenced by "the era of poisonous chain letters" in 1970s Ireland, where he grew up. "My fifth-grade teacher told the class to bring in any of these letters that were upsetting us, and I gave her a chain letter that was worrying me. She destroyed it along with the others, defying the author's promise of jinxes, disasters and bad luck," he writes, adding that the incident stayed with him. "The Chain" opens as Kylie, 13, is abducted from a bus stop. She's busy checking her Instagram "and doesn't even notice the man with the gun until he's almost next to her." Minutes later, her single mom, Rachel, gets a call demanding a $25,000 ransom. "You are in The Chain," she is told. "I kidnapped your daughter so that my boy will be released. He's been kidnapped and is being held by a man and woman I don't know. You must select a target and kidnap one of that person's loved ones so The Chain will go on." Rachel protests - she can't do that to another parent! - but the caller informs her that if she doesn't, Kylie will be executed. And all of a sudden, Rachel realizes that yes, with Kylie's life at stake, she can do this. Primal instinct takes over. The action in the first half is furious and fast, but it stalls after that, when McKinty - and Rachel - start to investigate the people who are behind The Chain, and whether or not it can be broken. Even as the plot flounders, though, 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.


Library Journal Review

How far would someone go to get their child back after a kidnapping? That is the question that arises in McGinty's ("Sean Duffy" series) novel. Rachel McNeill receives a phone call from a woman who has kidnapped her teenaged daughter. In order to get her back, she must not only pay a ransom but, in turn, kidnap a child herself and continue "the chain," a racket in which the victim becomes the perpetrator. The premise is far-fetched but nevertheless is a well-executed one with a good deal of suspense as Rachel and her brother-in-law, a former marine, delve into the Dark Web in order to identify the culprits and break the chain. Narrator January LeVoy captures the main character's desperation and anguish as well as effectively portraying the supporting characters. VERDICT Suspense fans who are willing to suspend disbelief will enjoy.--Phillip Oliver, formerly with Univ. of North Alabama, Florence