Goodreads ~ You just dropped off your child at the bus stop. A panicked stranger calls your phone. Your child has been kidnapped and 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 within 24 hours. Your child will be released only when the next victim's parents kidnap yet another child, and most importantly, the stranger explains, if you don't kidnap a child, or if the next parents don't kidnap a child, your child will be murdered.
You are now part of The Chain.
Rachel is the divorced mother of a teenage daughter named Kylie. She recently had treatment for cancer. She has just landed a great job after years of having jobs she was overqualified for so she could support her family while her then-husband went to school. So her life is starting to get better finally.
Then she gets a call that Kylie has been kidnapped. In order to get her back, Rachel must pay a ransom of $25,000 and kidnap a child. Once that child's parents have paid their ransom and have kidnapped another child, Kylie will be released. And so the Chain starts for Rachel.
Rachel enlists the assistance of her ex-husband's brother, Pete, a former soldier who has a drug addiction. They have always gotten along well and he's the only one she can think of who can help her. As much as she hates what she had to do (kidnap and perhaps even kill a child), she will do whatever she has to ensure Kylie is safe and is returned home.
This was the first book I've read by this author and I liked it. Was the story a bit farfetched? Sure it was but I figured it would be so I just went with it. I liked the writing style. It is written in third person perspective with wherever the action was and was in present tense. I thought the ending was good, though I could have done without the very last thing that may or may not happen with Rachel (I hate it when people think woman needs this to make her life complete). And I didn't think all the added drama was needed ... like Rachel having cancer and Pete being a heroin addict. I think the story was solid enough without it.
I thought the characters were okay. I found it odd that Rachel and Marty, her ex-husband, got along so well considering he'd left her when she had cancer for a younger woman. And I found it odd too that Rachel and Pete get so close so quick, considering they used to be family.
I look forward to reading other books by this author.