Top positive review
PREDICTABLE ENDING BUT SO WHAT?
Reviewed in Australia on 31 August 2020
In his novel, "The Chain", Adrian McKinty adapts the old concept of chain letters to a crime so horrific it is hard to believe it could actually happen, though he appears to have drawn on a real Mexican case as his starting point. Rachel Klein drops her thirteen-year-old daughter, Kylie at a bus stop then goes about her day. Later, she receives a phone call from a woman who says she has Kylie bound and gagged in her back seat. The only way Rachel is going to get her daughter back is to pay a ransom, then find another child to kidnap. If Rachel goes to the authorities, if she doesn’t pay the ransom, if she doesn’t follow her instructions to the letter, she will never see Kylie again. The woman who calls her is a mother herself whose child has been kidnapped by another person and that child will die as well if Rachel doesn’t follow instructions. It soon becomes clear that Rachel is caught up in a chain – a chain of deplorable proportions – and she is a low income, single mother fighting cancer. With every aspect of her life falling apart and her only child in danger, can she do it?
Predictable ending? Of course, but who cares? And what’s the point of a story where the bad guys get away with everything and the poor, unfortunate victim remains poor and fortunate? The pace is so fast, the pages fly by at breakneck speed. McKinty hooks his reader from the get-go when Kylie is kidnapped and it is difficult to put the brakes on until the end. The plot is simple, yet unique. Characterisation is good with every aspect of Rachel’s persona laid bare; likewise the protagonists. For the lover of thrillers Adrian McKinty’s "The Chain" is a must read.