33) The Chain by Adrian McKinty
I’d never heard of Adrian McKinty, but I’d seen this book rocket up the bestselling charts, and wondered about it. And then, what do you know, someone had left the hardback in the place we were staying – thank you mystery person in mid-to-South France. Because it was great – I read it in one morning, in one sitting start to finish.
Let me be quite clear: the premise of the book is pretty bloody nonsensical. Effectively, it’s a pyramid scheme/chain letter of child kidnappings: so when your kid gets kidnapped, you have to kidnap another one and get their parents to pay the next ransom, then your child gets freed. Otherwise *you all die*. And, needless to say, if you ever go to the police, *you will all die*. And if you ever speak of *THE CHAIN* to anyone…well, you get the picture. It’s a simple and scary concept.
And having said all of that, it gripped like a vice from the start and did not let go – wonderful pacing, a fabulous female protagonist, and enough tension for a hundred guy ropes round your tent. As Rachel sets out to free her daughter, you see how far parents will go (and what they will do) for their children – and the suspense is intense throughout. That builds to a crescendo as it’s revealed who is behind this terrifying scheme, and whether they can be taken down.
For those who love a thriller, this is highly recommended. For once, ‘unputdownable’ is bang on.