Orion | July 2019 | 368 pgs
Have you ever received a chain letter before? I did during my primary school days. Someone snail mailed it to me, with the message telling me to follow the same and send it to (10?) other people or otherwise something bad would happen (something like that as I couldn't remember the specifics). I didn't do anything, afterall I didn't want to waste my school allowance on postage stamps on something which seems absurd (truth be told, I was doubtful but I didn't succumb to following it). Reading this book had brought me back to that time as I remember this saga had many of us in school feeling intrigued and fearful at the same time. Is it a curse? Should we carry on the task so we can be free of any bad vibes? So many questions yet no reassuring and affirmative answers. But now we all know that they are basically emotionally manipulative messages, some pyramid schemes or superstitions as a threat to the recipient. Well, this book is nothing like those chain letters. What this chain will ask of you is much more frightening and deadly.
Rachel is a divorced single mother with a 13-year-old daughter, Kylie. Rachel has breast cancer a while back and she thought she has it controlled with the treatments until the doctor told her that the cancer cells might be coming back. As if the news isn't bad enough, she received a call from a stranger that Kylie has been kidnapped. However, this is no ordinary ransom case. The caller told her that their child has also been kidnapped by someone else and that the only way to get your child back is to kidnap another child within 24 hours. The chain, they explained, is simple and only when Rachel kidnaps another child should their child be released; and Rachel will have to kidnap another child to have Kylie back. But breaking the chain by calling the police, failing the task or having the next victim's parents not completing the task would have your child murdered. There seems to be no resolution but to follow the instructions because whoever is behind this chain has everything monitored and scrutinised. Could Rachel find a way to break away from the chain?
This book was intense but it wasn't an easy read as it involves child kidnapping. However, I've to say the idea was refreshing since I don't think I've read anything like this. Rachel was an intriguing character on many levels - she's a strong and determined woman. She's definitely a survivor based from her outlook on her cancer and her treatment journey. And she works hard to make ends meet so she is definitely not a quitter. Pete, who is Rachel's brother-in-law, also played an important role in this story as he was the one who helped and supported Rachel throughout the horrendous event. Unlike Rachel, Pete is a flawed character who is an opiate addict and suffered from PTSD after his military assignments in Afghanistan.
The story was split into two parts in which the first was mostly on the kidnapping and Rachel's task and all the challenges she's facing. The second part is more on the mastermind behind the chain and their background; and of course not to mention Rachel's plan in overturning the chain. All in all it was an intense read and it explores how a person would react or break under pressured circumstances with your loved ones at stake.
© 2020 Melody's Reading Corner (https://mel-reading-corner.blogspot.sg/), All Rights Reserved. If you are reading this post from other site(s), please take note that this post has been stolen and is used without permission.