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Throw the Key

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"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.
Eric has the answers Jenna seeks, but when the engine of his private plane stalls over Lake Michigan, his desperation to get home and whisk his family to safety takes a back seat to a seemingly futile struggle to survive.

Federal inmate, Kurt McElroy has answers too, but heavy prison monitoring prevents him from sending a clear warning, not to mention getting the help he needs. 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.

Jenna fears it's her family that will lose, namely their lives. The clock is ticking. The gunmen are growing restless. Can she find an escape before it's too late?


First published October 6, 2018

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About the author

Christine Barfknecht

3 books10 followers
Christine Barfknecht has a passion for weaving the darkest bits of the human psyche into page-turning fiction. She has been crafting stories since long before she printed her first word and credits her overactive imagination to a lifelong love of reading, primarily the kind of mysteries that kept her hiding beneath the covers late into the night.

Christine lives in rural Wisconsin with her husband and children where she is also an entrepreneur in virtual bookkeeping. In addition to reading and writing, she enjoys gardening, crafts, being with family, and traveling. APPLE OF MY EYE is her debut novel.

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Displaying 1 - 7 of 7 reviews
Profile Image for ABCme.
319 reviews28 followers
September 10, 2018
Thank you Netgalley and the author for the ARC

Wow, speak of psychological thriller! This book is one crazy ride. With a strong start, it takes me right in. Fast paced, urgent, tension building, I'm on the edge of my seat, not a clue what I'm chasing yet, but I'm chasing it.
Superb dialogue, indepth characters, vivid surroundings. Good intentions having devastating effects.
Before I realize it, I'm halfway through and still no cracks in the story. But once the light gets in and the dots start connecting, it's simply astonishing.
Throw the Key is a sublimely crafted pageturner, highly recommended.
Profile Image for Philomena Callan Cheekypee.
3,900 reviews395 followers
October 30, 2018
This is a new to me author. I’ll certainly be keeping an eye out for further releases.

I gotta say I really enjoyed this read. Firstly the cover and blurb grabbed me straight away.

Jenna is a strong likeable main character. She will do anything to protect her kids and keep them safe. When her husband rings her to tell her he’s coming to collect the family and they need to go away she knows her life is about to change dramatically. I think I’d have freaked out but Jenna is strong and courageous.

The story was told at a steady pace which I liked. Can’t really say much more without spoilers so I recommend you give this a go. Looking forward to reading more from this author in the future.
Profile Image for Lucii Dixon.
1,090 reviews47 followers
October 18, 2018
The blurb for this looked so good, so promising, and for the most part, it was. I mean, the story was descriptive, well thought out and pretty chilling which are all such good qualities to have in psychological thriller but it wasn’t the best.

I’m not sure the title of the book matches it’s contents but cover is a pretty good fit and is eye catching on different levels. The story itself seems too unrealistic for me. With psychological thriller’s I want there to be a truth to the whole thing and there’s just wasn’t. Okay, the plane crash and the talk between Eric and control tower? Perfection. But the Basanite Prison? No. I’ve seen enough prison documentaries to know this. And what happened at Jenna’s house? Natalie and her husband? The kids? No. I found I rolled my eyes a lot. I also got a tiny bit bit by 51% but still persevered. I’m glad I did because the ending was really good.

I LOVE this author’s writing style. It’s descriptive and so you find yourself imagining your in the story which is superb; you need that in this genre.

I liked the characters, especially clever little 7-year-old Emma. I wish my almost 7 year old was as smart as her. Such a clever little chapter to write up and Jack was a typical toddler making racket and being adorable. I liked Jenna and investigative skills (when in Eric’s office) but she just doesn’t know when to keep her mouth shut. If that happened in different psychological thriller’s I’ve read in the past, they’d be dead. She was lucky. Stubborn and feisty, I like that in a female lead, and Jenna had those traits down-pat.

Overall, and okay read though I enjoyed the very end the best (not because it was the end, but because we see The characters in a new light!) but the beginning was extremely hooking too. Not the best, lacked some major points, was a little drawn out in the middle, but it was good.
Profile Image for R.K. Emery.
928 reviews32 followers
December 26, 2018
I think the thing that struck me the most with this novel was the fact that Christine Barfknecht was able to connect me to her characters from the get go. It really added investment in the story and what happened to the characters. The characters are very well developed and multi dimensional which allows the reader to become invested.

The plot was very well paced and there were no aspects that I was able to out-rightly predict.

This novel is jam packed with shocks and twists that will have you immersed in the story Barfknecht has created.

A novel that is truly a psychological journey and a great fit for the genre.
Profile Image for Gina Stamper.
546 reviews18 followers
November 6, 2018
What a clever story with a wonderful balance of mystery and suspense.
Christine Barfknecht has created a novel in which the main character shows growth. For me that is always something I look for in my favorite main characters. I liked flawed characters and if they can overcome things, it really speaks to me.

This was a quick read for me. I felt like the words and plot just flowed long effortlessly. I found myself flipping page after page, laughing, and guessing the whole time.
Profile Image for Donna.
1,463 reviews
September 15, 2018
Mystery and good amount of suspense, many different stories all tie in nicely at the end.
Protagonist is realistic, does things that most mothers would do to protect their children.
Profile Image for S. Kufahl.
3 reviews1 follower
February 5, 2019
Kept me on the edge of my seat.

Don’t throw away this book. It’s great and kept me on the edge of my seat. Great job Christine. Good luck on your next book
Displaying 1 - 7 of 7 reviews

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