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The Island

The Island

by Adrian McKinty

Narrated by Mela Lee

Unabridged — 8 hours, 56 minutes

Adrian McKinty

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A "brilliant and relentless" new thriller from the author of the instant New York Times bestseller The Chain (Don Winslow).

“Extraordinary.” -T. J. Newman, New York Times bestselling author of Falling

"You'll never go on vacation the same way again." -Don Winslow, New York Times bestselling author of City On Fire




After moving from a small country town to Seattle, Heather Baxter marries Tom, a widowed doctor with a young son and teenage daughter. A working vacation overseas seems like the perfect way to bring the new family together, but once they're deep in the Australian outback, the jet-lagged and exhausted kids are so over their new mom.

When they discover remote Dutch Island, off-limits to outside visitors, the family talks their way onto the ferry, taking a chance on an adventure far from the reach of iPhones and Instagram.

But as soon as they set foot on the island, which is run by a tightly knit clan of locals, everything feels wrong. Then a shocking accident propels the Baxters from an unsettling situation into an absolute nightmare. 

When Heather and the kids are separated from Tom, they are forced to escape alone, seconds ahead of their pursuers.

Now it's up to Heather to save herself and the kids, even though they don't trust her, the harsh bushland is filled with danger, and the locals want her dead.

Heather has been underestimated her entire life, but she knows that only she can bring her family home again and become the mother the children desperately need, even if it means doing the unthinkable to keep them all alive.


“Gripping and unpredictable. No one does high-stakes tension like McKinty . . . Prepare to be hooked.” -Sarah Pearse
“A haunting masterpiece.” -Steve Cavanagh
“McKinty has written another irresistible and pulse-pounding thriller about the surprising places evil hides and just how far we'll go for those we love.” -Karin Slaughter

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

★ 04/18/2022

Deliverance meets The Road Warrior in this harrowing survival thriller set in Australia from bestseller McKinty (The Chain). Heather, a 24-year-old Seattle massage therapist, has recently married surgeon Tom Baxter, a widower who’s 20 years her senior. She’s also taken on the responsibility of caring for Tom’s children, 14-year-old Olivia and 12-year-old Owen. Olivia and Owen view Heather as “too young to be a real mom,” and Heather agrees. When Tom is invited to give the keynote speech at a medical conference in Melbourne, he packs up the family, saying they can make a mini vacation of the trip. Given the incessant demands of the kids to see koalas and kangaroos, Tom agrees to pay an exorbitant sum to take a ferry to a small private island, which turns out to be the home of the unsavory O’Neil family. A penknife Heather received as a gift from an Aboriginal man on the mainland comes in handy after an accidental road death leads the vengeful O’Neils to target the Baxters. How Heather and the children wind up pooling their abilities to stay alive against all odds makes for an exhilarating ride. McKinty is a master of suspense. Agent: Shane Salerno, Story Co. (May)

From the Publisher

"Unrelenting suspense. It reminded me a little of Jaws."—Stephen King

“This summer’s major literary thrill ride…. Adrian McKinty is a master.”—USA Today

"One of this summer's best standalone thrillers."
 —The Boston Globe

"A tense, adrenaline-fueled thriller."—Time Magazine

“The locals aren’t always friendly in vacation hot spots, but on the closed-to-the-public island Tom sneaks his family in to for fun, they’re out to kill. Maybe Disney World next time?”

"What a shock it was to discover how deeply invested I became in the fate of the characters of The Island, a propulsive, insane story, about an all-out struggle for survival between an Australian family and a group of American interlopers. . . . Heather, who starts as a clueless young bride who expects her older husband to take care of her and has no love for his children, becomes not just a Charlize Theron-worthy badass but also a great stepmother who helps two damaged kids come into their own.”
 —The New York Times Book Review

"Deliverance meets The Road Warrior in this harrowing survival thriller . . . McKinty is a master of suspense."—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“Expertly choreographed and breathlessly exciting . . . both the peril and the family are like no other. The Chain was McKinty’s breakthrough novel and this one could be every bit as big.”—Booklist (starred review)

“Wow, this book left me breathless and on the edge of my seat from the very first page—this is thriller writing of a high order. Gripping and unpredictable, prepare to be hooked and pumped full of adrenaline as McKinty deftly weaves a compulsively readable plot with characters that you are rooting for. No one does high- stakes tension like McKinty. Put The Island at the top of your TBR—you won’t regret it.”
 —Sarah Pearse, New York Times bestselling author of The Sanatorium

“Heart-stoppingly tense and unpredictable, The Island twists a family vacation to a nightmarish breaking point. Adrian McKinty has written another irresistible and pulse-pounding thriller about the surprising places evil hides and just how far we’ll go for those we love.” 
 —Karin Slaughter, New York Times bestselling author of Pieces of Her

"The action is frenetic and relentless . . . entirely satisfying if you’re looking for a reliable nightmare or two.”—Toronto Star

"An exciting thriller that... pulls readers compulsively onward."—Kirkus Reviews

"McKinty delivers another skillful, blade-sharp page-turner."
 —James Swallow, bestselling author of Nomad

"A pulsating, nerve-shredding thriller. I loved it!"
 —M. J. Arlidge, bestselling author of Eeny Meeny

Praise for the instant New York Times bestseller The Chain

"McKinty hangs on to his wit and literacy even under duress...Beneath its surface of high-speed thrills, The Chain is clearly the work of the philosophical thinker McKinty has always been."—Janet Maslin, New York Times

"The pace quickens and the tension builds whenever the mother and daughter appear in a scene. In the end, what makes The Chain so frightening - and why it works so well as a thriller - is that all of Rachel's actions remain completely relatable, even as she whipsaws between terror and determination, morphing from victim to perpetrator."—Tina Jordan, The New York Times

"This is more than nail-biting; think cuticle-shredding."—Bethanne Patrick, The Washington Post

"A chilling, diabolical page-turner you'll want to savor."—People Magazine, Book of the Week

"Thrillers... don't get much more psychologically rich than The Chain." David Canfield, Entertainment Weekly

"This nightmarish story is incredibly propulsive and original. You won't shake it for a long time."—Stephen King

"You have never read anything quite like The Chain and you will never be able to forget it. Brilliant. Beautifully written. A masterpiece of tension. The Chain scared the hell out of me but I could not put it down! I raced to the end of the book and then went back to see how Adrian McKinty pulled it all off. The Chain belongs in the elite company of world-class thrillers like Gone Girl and The Silence of the Lambs. This is nothing short of JAWS for parents."—Don Winslow, New York Times bestselling author of The Cartel and The Force

Library Journal


Back when he was the junior member of a CIA action team (and known as Sierra Six), Court Gentry, a.k.a. the Gray Man, helped messily eliminate a terrorist leader who now appears to be very much alive; next in Greaney's No. 1 New York Times best-selling series. In Hood's Robert Ludlum's The Treadstone Transgression, the continuation of a recently launched series, Adam Hayes is asked by his CIA Black Ops program to set up a safe house and is the only survivor when the mission is blown. Dedicated to helping others after having escaped from a shadowy black box program aimed at creating assassins, Evan Smoak, a.k.a. Orphan X, has a new mission in Hurwitz's Dark Horse: rescue the kidnapped daughter of Texas drug overlord Aragon Urrea (200,000-copy first printing). In Jance's Nothing To Lose, retired police detective Beaumont is asked for help by the son of his former partner Sue Danielson, who was murdered years ago by her raging ex-husband. Johansen gives us a big, new Killer View of Jessie Mercado, a Southern California private investigator who surfaces regularly in the "Kendra Michaels" series he writes with his mother, Iris Johansen. In the Edgar Award-winning Kanon's Cold War Berlin-set The Berlin Exchange, two U.S. students and an MI5 operative are being quietly traded far from Checkpoint Charlie for physicist Martin Keller, who had been imprisoned in the UK and now wants to see his ex-wife and son—but what do the East Germans want from him? (125,000-copy first printing). Wending their way through City of the Dead, Kellerman stalwarts Alex Delaware and his buddy, Det. Milo Sturgis, discover a naked, bled-out young man in the streets and a trail of blood leading to the nearby home of sliced-up Cordelia Gannett, an internet influencer Alex knows. Multi-award-winning Northern Irish writer McKinty follows up the New York Times best-selling, Paramount Pictures-ready The Chain with The Chase, so obviously of interest that we won't even worry about the absence of plot details (150,000-copy first printing). In the New York Times best-selling Mezrich's The Midnight Ride, fresh-from-prison Nick Patterson sneaks into a hotel room on an obligatory job to find his fence dead and scared-witless MIT student Hailey Gordon hiding out after having been caught counting cards; added to this mix is a U.S. history professor's discovery of an unsettling secret about the Revolutionary War (75,000-copy first printing). A domestic-thrills author with 20 Sunday Times best sellers to her name, Parks limns the unaccountable disappearance of two women—contented wife and stepmother Leigh and wealthy, newly married Kai—in cases that shouldn't be linked but seem to be in Both of You (100,000-copy paperback and 10,000-copy hardcover first printing).

Kirkus Reviews

An American family’s trip to see koalas and Australian wildlife becomes a life-and-death situation after they kill an innocent woman in a car crash and her family seeks revenge.

Tom, 44; his second wife, Heather, 24; and his kids, Olivia, 14, and Owen, 12, are in Australia, piggybacking a family vacation onto a business trip. After a difficult year that saw the death of Tom’s first wife and his marriage to Heather—whom the kids dislike—a group trip seems like a way to bring them all together. Renting a car to drive to the coast in search of interesting animals seems like a fun excursion. But while stopping at a roadside stand for food, the family gets to talking with some local people, and they end up on a tiny ferry to a remote private island in search of the wildlife they haven’t yet seen. Once on the island, one thing leads to another, and Tom, driving too fast, hits a woman on a bike, killing her instantly. Over several generations, the family that lives on the island has become a law unto itself, and after realizing that the woman is dead, they seek retribution—whether it will be via death, rape, or cash is to be decided by Ma, the head of the family, and Danny, the husband of the woman who's been killed. Some elements of the survival story feel more like convenient plot points than believable developments, and the writing is occasionally overwrought as McKinty seeks to make weighty statements about life, death, and spiritual links to the natural world, but on the whole, McKinty has written an exciting thriller that follows Heather and the others as they seek to run, hide, and survive the elements until the police—whom they have no way of contacting—can arrive.

An engaging thriller that, despite some flaws, contains storytelling that pulls readers compulsively onward.

Product Details

BN ID: 2940176251616
Publisher: Hachette Audio
Publication date: 05/17/2022
Edition description: Unabridged

Customer Reviews