Copyright 2018, Christine Barfknecht
Author of Psychological Suspense
Author photos by Hallie Barfknecht Photography Book Cover art by
"Lock the doors and windows...don't talk to anyone...keep the kids with you."
Jenna Bradley knows she needs to be afraid, she just doesn't know what she should be afraid of. An evening phone call from her husband, Eric rattles her to the core. "I'm coming to get you and the kids. We have to go away for a while."
No explanation, just a few orders laced in panic.
Jenna can only assume that as a reporter, Eric has exposed the wrong people. It’s only a guess. The distance between them grows every day, Eric living his life, Jenna living hers. She doesn’t know what he’s been working on any more than she knows where he went that morning. If only the gunmen holding her and her children hostage believed that.
Laurie Brandon isn’t crazy. It’s a bout of panic that has her muttering indecipherable sounds and crying out like a mad woman, an attack brought on by her infant daughter’s sudden disappearance from the town's annual Apple Festival. Not insanity. She needs help to save Emily. Someone has to see that, do something.
But her recent history of psychosis coupled with witness claims that Emily was never at the festival with Laurie isn’t helping her credibility. Neither is recent suspension from her job as a school teacher over stability concerns. Perhaps most damaging, though, is Laurie’s insistence that her ex-husband, Jake, had something to do with the child’s disappearance. Any sane person knows a dead man can’t run off with a baby.
The town sheriff believes Laurie is, at best, unreliable and possibly something much worse.
But Laurie knows what she saw. She knows other things, too, details too hard to believe and even harder to accept. Now, she needs to convince someone - anyone - that Emily is in danger before the sheriff locks Laurie away permanently.
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Eric has the answers. In a rush to get his family to safety, he jets over Lake Michigan, but when his engine stalls he wonders if he'll make it home at all.
Federal inmate, Kurt McElroy has the answers, too but heavy prison monitoring prevents him from sending a clear warning, not to mention getting help. The private prison he’s been contracted to is as corrupt as they come, but that corruption reaches beyond the prison walls to officials with everything to lose.