Maggie P. (Mount Airy, MD)
Just one more chapter
This is Linda Castillo's fifth installment in her Kate Burkholder series. "Her Last Breath" does well as a stand-alone read; it does not leave the reader confused about what happened before but it will have the reader wanting to read more about Kate and Tomasetti. As Kate tries to solve the identity of the hit and run driver who killed an Amish father and 2 of his children, Kate must also face ghosts from her past. I had a hard time putting the book down; I would tell myself "just one more chapter" before going to bed. "Her Last Breath" is great for anyone who likes mysteries, particularly those with a surprise ending.
Carol N. (San Jose, CA)
Her Last Breath
An easy to read, perfectly plotted mystery that twists and turns through picturesque Amish country in Ohio. This fast paced novel with its very charismatic, empathetic, strong-willed main character, Kate Burkholder, brought up Amish, but left the "life" to pursue her career as a police officer, kept this reviewer reading well into the night. The story starts with the tragic death of an Amish father and his two young children, when their horse drawn buggy becomes the victim of a hit and run driver in the early evening on a dark country road. Kate takes this hit and run personally and the story revolves around the mystery of who did it, and was it an accident or murder.
This is the fifth book in the author's Kate Burkholder series, but the first I have read. Consequently, I wasn't aware of story behind the body found in the old grain elevator, or her history with Tomsetti. However, it did add a whole unresolved second thread to the novel. Her Last Breath could be considered a standalone who-done-it, with many links to the past and some unanswered futures. This author does a pretty good job of presenting expository narratives to bring the reader up to date.
Jinny K. (Fremont, CA)
A good yarn
Disclosure: I am already a Linda Castillo fan and follow this series.
That being said, I was not disappointed in this book. It sustained a compelling plot about horrific murders while adding some romance and the intrigue of long-buried secrets.
Her characters ring true-the protagonist, Kate Burkholder, police chief- is a "fallen-away" Amish, and has the deep understanding of their customs together with the loneliness of being estranged from her culture.
Her love interest, John Tomasetti, whom she interestingly refers to by his last name, wavers between tolerance and impatience with her unwillingness to commit.
Peripheral characters share the laconic mistrust of the 'plain' folk for one who has left their ways.
I look forward to following this series in the future.
Julia A. (New York, NY)
I had not read any of Linda Castillo's previous books, and I was frankly skeptical of the seemingly hyperbolic accolades on the cover. I was happy to be proven wrong. I started the book one morning and begrudged the time I had to be away from it. I did finish it that same day. The book opens with an incident so horrible that the sensitive reader may be given nightmares. Castillo moves the plot along skillfully as Chief of Police Burkholder unravels the mystery of the accident that was really a triple murder. Along the way, the reader learns a lot about the fascinating Amish culture, but not in a didactic fashion. The solution to the mystery caught me by surprise, and contained a really unexpected twist. I highly recommend "Her Last Breath". it is a book that will stay with you long after finish it.
Cheryl K. (East Aurora, NY)
Great Amish Thriller
Having read Linda Castillo's previous Amish mysteries, I expected a good story. Her Last Breath exceeded my expectations. Her deep understanding and compassion for the Amish way of life is exemplified in the main character of these novels, Chief of Police Kate Burkholder. Violence against these peaceful people is inconceivable. Kate, once a member of this Amish community, must solve a crime against the family of someone she once knew and loved while facing cultural "roadblocks" at every turn.
I thoroughly enjoyed this mystery from a writer who has an amazing insight into the Amish, enabling the reader to become a part of that world, even as evil surrounds them. I'm looking forward to the next book from Ms. Castillo, and would highly recommend "Her Last Breath".
Peggy K. (Long Beach, CA)
The Long Road Home
I look forward to each new book of Linda Castillo's Amish series. The tension is so tight it is almost unbearable. The opening scene with the accident brings you into the story and from that point you are hooked and can't put the book down. I find the Amish fascinating and what better way to learn and get a top notch thriller at the same time. This book will appeal to ages 16 and up and book clubs should enjoy discussing the Amish and the difficulties of doing police work in such a community. As always there is a wealth of information and not just about the Amish. There is psychological issues about friendship, love and what we blind ourselves to in our relationships. I don't think anyone will be disappointed in this mystery. Ms. Castillo's time has indeed come at last.
Cheryl W. (Cassville, MO)
Her Last Breath
I have read all of the books in the Kate Burkholder series and Linda Castillo just keeps getting better. This one kept me guessing until close to the end when I thought I had it figured out, and I did, to a point. Then there was a twist. I enjoyed this book very much, the only draw back was that I wasn't ready for it to end. I had some questions I still wanted answered. Maybe in the next one...