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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

"This is more than nail-biting; think cuticle-shredding." (Bethanne Patrick, The Washington Post)

"Rachel Klein, a philosophy professor battling cancer and a bad marriage [is] the perfect pot in which to simmer a stew of ethical, moral, and existential quandaries while the action maintains a constant boil." (Boris Kachka, Vulture

"Beneath the gripping plot lies an inquiry into the power of social media and crowdsourcing." (The New Yorker

What listeners say about The Chain

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    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 couldn't 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.

53 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

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.

47 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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Sorely disappointed

Like many of the other reviewers, I am a longtime fan of Adrian McKinty's best works: Duffy and Forsythe. I get it that AM probably would like to break out of the routine of writing about Northern Ireland in the time of the Troubles and prove his literary skills writing about other locales and people. He just doesn't do it very well when he's not writing what he knows. The Chain seems like an awkward attempt to do something very different for him, with a story that is set in New England, has a female protagonist and relies heavily on Facebook, Instagram and burn phones to move the plot forward. The dialogue is stilted and often sappy, so unlike the smart humor found in the Duffy and Forsythe books. If you've read McKinty's blog you know that he has moved from Ireland to the US and Australia, I suppose in an attempt to provide new context for his writing. It hasn't worked and I hope that he finds a way to recover the lively energy and authenticity of the books set in Ireland with a male protagonist. It doesn't have to be Sean Duffy, but it has to be what McKinty knows.

37 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent 5 + star

Wow what a wild story !
Your preteen child is kidnapped. The kidnappers call you . You must pay a ransom to them. You then pick a family so you can kidnap their child. That family pays a ransom and kidnaps a child.... Your child is then returned to you unharmed.... This goes on and on and on...
The kidnappers know every move you make.
No family can ever go to or call the police or the entire family will be murdered.

The story is crazy.
Creepy, thrilling, and heartbreaking all at the same time.
I don't know how the author came up with this one.. Awesome job..

5 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Another masterpiece by THE MOST UNDERRATED AUTHOR

Adrian McKinty is an author who consistently doesn't get the attention he so richly deserves. I just don't understand it. I've read every single one of his books, and I have loved every one of them. I've encouraged my friends to read his books, and they all have and have also fallen in love with him. He is witty and often times hilarious. His characters feel REAL. He doesn't just phone it in.

This book was a stand alone story (he has a few series that are just mind-blowing). The story itself was very unique but definitely plausible enough to be something that could actually happen which is scary. There is a LOT of tension in the story, and I assure you that you will not want to put it down. The narration is also good (thank god), so you have no reason not to check this out. If you like a good suspense story, this one is for you.

After you listen to this (and love it), be sure to check out Adrian's other books.. then come back and thank me.

5 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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Who wrote this book?

Someone call the authorities. Adrian McKinty is being held hostage while his kidnappers have authored this bad book under his name!

22 people found this 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.

35 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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You have to get this book

I actually stopped listening to this book about an hour into it. I didn’t think I was going to be able to handle the subject. I then started listening to it when I finished a different book. I am so glad I did. Wow. Great listen. Gave me anxiety which seems awful but it’s just that kind of good story. Could not wait to hear what was going to happen next. Unpredictable. Which, if you’re an avid reader, is extraordinarily rare. Get it. Don’t stop listening even if you can’t take the emotions at first. You won’t be disappointed.

3 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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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.

19 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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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.

14 people found this helpful