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The Chain

Written by: Adrian McKinty
Narrated by: January LaVoy
Length: 10 hrs and 9 mins
5 out of 5 stars (7 ratings)

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Publisher's 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.

"You are not the first.
And you will certainly not be the last."

©2019 Adrian McKinty (P)2019 Hachette Audio

What the critics say

"An original premise, relentless pacing, and strong female characters lift this nail-biter from Edgar winner McKinty, which takes a no-holds-barred look at how far a parent will go to protect her child.... Readers won't be able to put this thriller down." (Publishers Weekly)

"Diabolically gripping. Adrian McKinty has written a novel that's nail-biting, smart, and convincing, with a plot-jolting twist that readers of Gone Girl will love. Hang on tight, because once you start this book, you can't stop - like the characters in the story, you'll be caught in The Chain." (Meg Gardiner, author of Into the Black Nowhere)

"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." [Kirkus Reviews (starred review)]

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

very entertaining and addicting

Great novel! I got through most of it during a train ride, and it made the time go by so quickly. It's a definite page turner, so it helped that the chapters were short (one more then I'll stop!). The action begins immediately and the rest of the novel is full of non-stop thrills. Fans of 'No Exit' by Taylor Adams will definitely enjoy this novel.
The narrator was really good at giving the characters their own voices and accents. Very smooth reading with lots of emphasis and inflections.

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Don't Break the Chain

I stumbled across Adrian McKinty after Stephen King and Don Winslow reviewed this novel a month or two ago. I started with the Sean Duffy series and as soon as I finished was excited for this.

I finished this in under 2 days. From start to finish Adrian is able to capture the imagination and fears of its reader. This book didn't really have a slow period since the opening words describing a nightmare many parents have most likely experienced.

I wouldn't say im going to have nightmares from this book as some reviews stated but I will say it will definitely make you think twice about things.

One thing that was really well done was the social media aspect. I think slot of people are guilty of it and don't realize how easy something like this could happen.

I liked the book from start to finish and recommend it to anyone that likes thrillers. Excited to see how the characters look when the movie comes out opposed to how I viewed them during this read.

I don't want to say much more about the book due to the fear of spoilers. The whole thing was well put together!

Hope this helps someone! you won't be dissipointed.

What ever you do,

Don't Break the Chain.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • stuartjash
  • 2019-07-10

Amazing yet terrifying

What an amazing audiobook and novel. McKinty seemingly came out of nowhere and blew this story away. I will give a warning: if you are a parent, you should read this; however, it will absolutely terrifying and make you never want to leave your kids out of your sight.

I think this book did a great job at shining light not only on a brutal kidnapping practice, which I don't want to spoil, but also, not only the overreach of social media, but how we use it to our disadvantage.

This book I could stop. I started listening yesterday, and spent 7hrs, 56min listening yesterday. I finished up the novel this morning. It was so amazing. It is a great story of how parents will do anything for their children, especially if they're in harms way.

January LaVoy is a perfect narrator. I love that can portray both male and female characters so well, and she always makes characters stand out. I haven't listened to a bad narration by her, and this was no exception.

Such a fantastic book. I can't recommend it enough.

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Maine Knitter
  • 2019-07-11

Wow!!

This was long-awaited and it was well worth waiting for. Something totally different from McKinty’s previous books (read them; they’re fabulous!) The premise is chilling: a parent, a law-abiding citizen, has a child kidnapped. In order to have the child returned, the parent must kidnap another child. These average people are forced to perform tasks they would never have dreamed of - all because of love of their child. Wild!

The psychology behind the chain is frightening. The second part of the book had me totally involved. I couldn’t stop reading. (Listening in my case.) McKinty’s previous books are noted for their classic music references. I was glad to see that he brought in the title of a great philosopher’s work: “Lily, Rosemary, and the Jack of Hearts.”

January LaVoy’s narration was mostly spot-on; however, her local accent for Ginger was a bit too over the top.

Adrian McKinty has a winner here. I really cared for these characters and where their actions would take them. Thank you, Adrian!

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • 6catz
  • 2019-07-11

Whipcrack smart and original

Adrian McKinty is officially the Thinking Person’s Mystery Writer, effortlessly weaving bits of philosophy, mythology and music history into his character’s thoughts without losing one bit of momentum or accessibility along the way. This setup (a diabolical chain-letter/pyramid kidnapping scheme) seems far fetched, yet McKinty makes it believable and thrilling every step of the way. Any day a new title by Adrian McKinty is released should be a national holiday. My favorite author, period.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Francisca A.
  • 2019-07-13

Enjoyable but very different McKinty

I enjoyed this book and although far fetched I listened to it in record time. It’s a wild ride to just go with. Not a story to analyze closely. Although a mother and grandmother I didn’t find it so disturbing. I think that was because The story seemed so implausible and I never got sucked in. I remained an outside listener. But it was very different and entertaining and well worth the credit. I’m a huge Sean Duffy fan and was disappointed that the writing was so different. This author bears no resemblance to the Adrian Mckinty who wrote the Sean Duffy series. I’m hoping for another Duffy book. the narration was perfection.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Meaghan Bynum
  • 2019-07-09

Wow! What a ride!!

I've been aware of Adrian and his work for more than 10 years now. I have several of his books, but I've never finished any of them. Not because they weren't good, but when I was younger, I read different books at the time. As I've grown older, I've broadened and enjoyed different types of books so when I found out about this book, I decided I was going to finish this one. From the first 3 minutes of the book, I was hooked. It's a wild and wonderful ride. The narration was really good. I completely enjoyed this book. I couldn't put it down. Five stars all the way. Good job Adrian.

9 of 12 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • P. R. Reeb
  • Whitefish, MT
  • 2019-07-15

Well Crafted and well read.

January LaVoy’s characterization is superb. She didn’t miss a beat. This book is well crafted and riveting! Enjoyed every minute and hope for more from Mr. McKinty.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Marisia Robus
  • 2019-07-14

Exceptionally good! Fantastic!!!

This book was exceptional! It is so scary because it could be real. I couldn't put it down. It kept me on the edge of my seat the entire time, and I nearly died of fright when I realised who Ginger was!
The roller coaster and suspense never stop throughout the entire book!
I was a bit disappointed when I realised it was a female narrator, But January LaVoy won me over and I am a fan! She was exceptional

I cannot recommend this book enough! Read it immediately!!!!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • MA Reviewer
  • 2019-07-14

A Chain With A Compelling Twist.....

This book has been dubbed as this summer's "buzziest thriller" by many reviewers and after listening to the book for just five minutes, it's easy to see why. Yes, this "buzzy" book really moved and was impossible to put down.

No other child abduction book that I have read involved a "chain" and that certainly set this thriller apart from other titles and gave it its distinguishable twist.

The book's narration was superb and the only reason why this book earned 4 stars instead of 5 stars was because I felt that the first half of the book was much, much stronger than the second half.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Sideways Shrink
  • Seattle, Washington
  • 2019-07-11

It’s a novel concept but many technical details strain credulity

Well written and plotted. But, honestly, if the novel wasn’t written by McKinty, I would have researched it more—found it was about child kidnapping and given it a pass. I am a mother too much like the mothers in the book.I can’t really deal with reading about children being kidnapped. I will read any kind of mystery, espionage, suspense novel but I don’t do kidnapped kids. Kind of ironic because the novel is all about what people will do for their kids. I did appreciate that the mothers were fierce but not token hysterical characters.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Two Tub Man
  • 2019-07-17

Can't Blame A Guy For Selling Out

(Reviewing the audiobook)
An author whose earlier work I devoured has put out a lame, tame, predictable, annoying clunker of a book, The Chain. Adrian McKinty deserves a bestseller, and this is just type of book that'll move units in the US. McKinty deserves much sales, he's that good. So I hope this book is a financial pleasure for him.

The Chain is chock full of cliche'd characters so uninteresting I forgot their names a couple of times. None of them, not even the kids, are even remotely likable. There's not one iota of humor here. The story is dull, the bad folks are, well, bad. The climax of the story fizzles like a wet firecracker.

At several points, I was tempted to stop listening and return it unfinished. But since McKinty's become one of my favorite fiction authors over the past few years, I soldiered on. Maybe there'd be an upswing in final third. Nope. Not this time.

The narrator does a fine job making these unlikable folks even more so, though her voicing of the whiny kids in the story is shrill and piercing.

A few months down the road, I'll give The Chain another listen. Most of the author's earlier work has been worth revisiting, so perhaps this story will grow on me.
I owe the guy that much.