Book review: “The Chain”

The Chain by Adrian McKinty starts off with a simple, yet chilling line. “She’s sitting at the bus stop checking the likes on her Instagram feed and doesn’t even notice the man with a gun until he’s almost next to her.” The entire premise of the book sounds simple enough. A black market kidnapping ring in the shape of a chain letter, and the breast cancer survivor and single mother Rachel Klein gets sucked into it.

Sounds interesting, right? This premise was interesting for three-fourths of the book. Once the story was told from the main villain’s POV, the ending was all too predictable.

This book gets an easy 7.5 out of 10 because it was interesting and was a bone-chilling page-turner but the ending was able to be foreseen from about the middle of the book.

A lack of plot twists is something that can turn many thriller fans away, as fright and unpredictability can make a good thriller novel great.

Another flaw that took this novel down to a 7.5 out of 10 is the limited (but present) amount of plot holes. I won’t include any spoilers of the novel in case anybody does read it, but if someone does, they will certainly notice a couple of ends that don’t meet.

The plot of the book is certainly unique, as there aren’t many books like it, and the way that the story unfolds itself is truly fascinating.

This book does relate to real-life issues in a strange manner as well. It touches on the topic of how comfortable people are sharing their life on the internet with strangers. The book uses this aspect of the world as a form of karma, by taking this idea and flipping it so that the parents learn to be more secretive and protective/watchful over their children when they are released from the clutches of The Chain.

Within the novel, there is also an aspect that makes the reader realize how truly cruel human nature is. When it came to her daughter, Rachel Klein was willing to do anything that it took to get her back. The same applied to other members of The Chain, as they committed multiple crimes willingly in order to get their children back.

This illustrates the primal instincts that we as humans have, and the disorder that society would have if we weren’t constrained by the law.

All in all, this book was an amazing read and I would definitely recommend it to other horror and thrill novel fans despite its slight flaws. Be sure to pick it up at your local library or bookstore.