The United States. Modern day. Rachel receives a phone call informing her that her young daughter, Kylie, has been kidnapped. She is told that she must deposit $25,000 into an account number she is given. But, in order to get her daughter back, she must also kidnap a child herself. Only when the parents of thatchild deposit a sum of money into an account, and then theykidnap another child, will her daughter be released. That’s The Chain. If anyone goes to the police then all manner of slaughter will be unleashed. Rachel enlists help from the brother of her ex-husband and together they set about trying to free Kylie. It’s the kind of plot device that is usually called high-concept, but I prefer to call it plain daft. That said, Adrian McKinty has stripped much of the moralising away from the unfolding drama in order to keep it really rattling along and he’s included just enough twists to turn this thriller into the literary equivalent of a Big Mac. And sometimes that is enough to hit the spot.