The Chain by Adrian McKinty is Electrifying! When I stumbled upon Adrian McKinty’s The Chain in the bookstore, I picked it up with mild interest. When I read the engrossing blurb from Stephen King on the cover, mild interest blossomed into moderate intrigue. I had never heard of the author but supporting King’s glowing endorsement of The Chain was a Best Novel of the Year award, a nomination for a Barry Award, and several pages of high praise and accolades from all the usual suspects in the book review scene.
The truth is, though, it had me with King.
Then I read the electrifying synopsis on the back.
Your phone rings.
A stranger has kidnapped your child.
The stranger explains that their child has also been kidnapped, by a completely different stranger.
The only way to get your child back is to kidnap another child.
You are now part of The Chain.
Needless to say, intrigue exploded into giddy excitement that bubbled with urgency, like a pebble of potassium dropped into a glass of water. I wanted to crack the spine and dig in right there in the M section of the general fiction aisle.
Now, when I read a book review, I typically prefer to know right out of the gate what the reviewer’s overall consensus is before wading through a detailed breakdown. So, I’ll give you the cash value straight out: I enjoyed this book very much! Go and read it!
With that out of the way I will now provide a slightly more nuanced analysis. I think it was around fifty pages into the story, when I thought to myself that McKinty’s writing is not necessarily that smooth-as-butter prose that rolls off the lips like poetry or like curse words in French. His sentences tend to be short and punchy, a lot like the style of Lee Child, the author of the Jack Reacher series.
That being said, I still could not. Put. It. Down.
The story raced forward, like a Ferrari on the Autobahn. There was no boring lull in the middle for character development or plot thickening. Short, packed, chapters of backstory were quite skillfully inserted into the rapid moving plot and didn’t so much as slow the locomotive down as it charged toward the exciting conclusion!
The characters were realistic. Flawed. Human. You can’t help but root for them the moment you meet them. There is also the deeply conflicting theme in this story that forces you to ask yourself the question: How far would you go to save your child’s life? These kinds of gut-wrenching moral dilemmas, that Mr. King himself is the, well, the king of, are so fun and probe the reader to turn each page with simultaneous curiosity and trepidation.
Immediately upon turning the last page I checked online and confirmed my suspicion that, yes, the film rights have already been purchased. But don’t wait for the movie! The book is ALWAYS better!
If you are looking for an easy, quick, and fun thriller to sink your teeth into, look no further than the M section in your local bookstore and pick up a copy of The Chain.
The Forgotten Fiction Grade: YEA (read it!)
“The Chain by Adrian McKinty is Electrifying!” was written by Kyle Helmer.