Excerpt from Her Last Breath by Linda Castillo, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

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Her Last Breath

A Kate Burkholder Novel

By Linda Castillo

Her Last Breath
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  • Hardcover: Jun 2013,
    320 pages.
    Paperback: Jul 2014,
    320 pages.

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We start toward the intersection, trying to get a sense of what happened. Delisle Road runs in a north-south direction; County Road 14 runs east-west with a two-way stop. The speed limit is fifty-five miles per hour. The area is heavily wooded and hilly. If you're approaching the intersection from any direction, it's impossible to see oncoming traffic.

Glock speaks first. "Looks like the buggy was southbound on Delisle Road."

I nod in agreement. "The second vehicle was running west on CR 14. Probably at a high rate of speed. Blew the stop sign. Broadsided the buggy."

His eyes drift toward the intersection. "Fucking T-boned them."

"Didn't even pause to call nine one one."

He grimaces. "Probably alcohol related."

"Most hit-and-runs are."

Craning his neck, he eyeballs Andy Welbaum. "He a witness?"

"First on scene. He's pretty shaken up." I look past him at the place where the wrecked buggy lies on its side. "Whatever hit that buggy is going to have a smashed up front end. I put out a BOLO for an unknown with damage."

He looks out over the carnage. "Did you know them, Chief?"

"A long time ago," I tell him. "I'm going to pick up the bishop and head over to their farm to notify next of kin. Do me a favor and get Welbaum's statement, will you?"

"You got it."

I feel his eyes on me, but I don't meet his gaze. I don't want to share the mix of emotions inside me at the devastation that's been brought down on this Amish family. I don't want him to know the extent of the sadness I feel or my anger toward the perpetrator.

To my relief, he looks away, lets it go. "I'd better get to work." He taps his lapel mike. "Call me if you need anything."

I watch him walk away, then turn my attention back to the scene. I take in the wreckage of the buggy. The small pieces of the victims' lives that are strewn about like trash. And I wonder what kind of person could do something like this and not stop to render aid or call for help.

"You better hide good, you son of a bitch, because I'm coming for you.

Copyright© 2013 by Linda Castillo

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