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The Chain

Narrated by: January LaVoy
Length: 10 hrs and 9 mins
4 out of 5 stars (340 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

Critic Reviews

"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

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.

16 of 17 people found this review helpful

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Always love AM books, but not this one

I can’t believe he wrote this. It doesn’t seem like his clever writing at all. The plot is just silly; the conversations are all “oh my god, what am I going to do?”; the characters are all flat; and the book is a boring. If you’re a parent, you’d need to be a masochist to read this.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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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.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

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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!

10 of 12 people found this review helpful

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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.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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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.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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WEAK!!!

started out interesting but figured out the plot within the first few chapters. ended very weak!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Not what I expected from McKinty

I’m a big fan of Adrian McKinty, listened to all of the Michael Forsythe stories , all of the Sean Duffy series and a few others. I read a few reviews that gushed about this book, so I picked it up. This was not the Adrian McKinty that I am familiar with. It’s a well worn concept of some unseen, omnipotent person getting someone else to do their bidding. In this case, the powerful being makes people kidnap someone. It’s a chain, so when your child is kidnapped, you need to find the next victim. Their parent becomes the next link in the chain. Evidently, the fact that Rachel, who is a jobless, divorced cancer patient is the ideal candidate for you to rely on to pay a ransom and kidnap a kid so you can get your kid back. And Rachel’s only support is her heroin addict ex- brother in law. There is no surprise twist, it’s telegraphed way ahead. Editing was shoddy too, as they walk into a ramshackle building with wind and snow coming in through every manner of opening, but the smell inside is horrific. The tired old Hollywood stand off scene - drop your weapon, no you drop yours, no you drop yours, ok. And the half dead heroes manage to win out over the better prepared bad guys. Wow. I really wonder if this was Adrian McKinty ‘s work. It didn’t seem like it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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A Major Departure For McKinty

As a big fan of Both the Michael Forsythe and Sean Duffy series , The Chain represented a major disappointment for me. So much so that I gave up listening just over half way through and returned the book.

For me, the gritty dialogue, complex characters and compelling stories of the previous novels were replaced with a completely unbelievable plot line that saw the main characters acting in a predictable but unconvincing manner as the theme of “parents have no morals or limits when it comes to protecting their own” unwinds. I found myself unable to suspend my reality check as the situations the main characters had to face, became increasingly more absurd as the plot unfolded. The book reminded me more of something we might expect to see from Harlan Corben who seems to be able to pull this approach off in a more convincing way.

Not even the strong narration of January LaVoy could save this one for me. The next Sean Duffy novel should be out soon where I am sure my love affair with McKinty’s work will be rekindled.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • barbara
  • Annapolis, MD, United States
  • 07-18-19

Where did Adrian McKinty go?

I am a huge fan of Adrian McKinty's previous novels. This book could have been written by any thriller writer, not a speck of his unique perspective and dialogue exists. Mr. McKinty please come back.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful