Reader reviews and comments on Her Last Breath, plus links to write your own review.

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Her Last Breath

A Kate Burkholder Novel

by Linda Castillo

Her Last Breath
  • Critics' Opinion:

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  • First Published:
    Jun 2013, 320 pages
    Paperback:
    Jul 2014, 320 pages

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Carol G. (Little Egg Harbor, NJ) (06/19/13)

Her Last Breath
Although I haven't read all the books in the Kate B. series, I have learned to love this character. The book is a page turner and I love reading about the Amish culture since I grew up not far from Amish country in PA.

I especially liked this book because it gave some additional insight into Kate's life. It is a very enjoyable read and I think all will enjoy. I look forward to the 6th installment.
Mary Ann S. (PlatteCity,, MO) (06/18/13)

Her Last Breath
Her Last Breath by Linda Castillo is the author's fifth book in an Amish mystery series. Castillo provides enough background on the story and characters to make this a great stand-alone or an enriching addition to the series about Police Chief Kate Burkholder, formerly Amish.

Fortunately, I was reading this in my doctor's waiting room. My heart stopped, figuratively, upon reading that bones had been found in an old, decrepit grain elevator. The suspense continues throughout the book.
Power Reviewer Sue P. (Richardson, TX) (06/05/13)

New Linda Castillo Book - Stunning!
If I could give this book 6 stars, I would. The Kate Burkholder series is absolutely excellent, but Linda Castillo has taken her newest entry, "Her Last Breath" to new heights.

Kate is the Police Chief of a small, predominantly Amish town. As a former member of the Amish religion, but having left the fold, she understands and loves the people, but for the most part, they are suspicious of her.

A family is killed when a speeding car hits their buggy, and when Kate investigates, she find that not only is she looking for the killer, but struggling with the prejudices of the Amish society, as well as having to face her own dark past.

I can't recommend this book too highly.
Rebecca K. (Illinois) (06/03/13)

"Her Last Breath" thrills!
The newest installment in Linda Castillo's Kate Burkholder Amish mysteries, "Her Last Breath," is perhaps the best in the series. From the opening chapter, the novel is gripping and fast-paced. Readers can't help but want to learn who might have committed a crime against an Amish family, and why.

While I won't give away any spoilers, I will say that I was completely shocked by the ending (in a good way). Castillo's twists and turns are always surprising, but this one in particular was so unexpected, my jaw literally dropped. Anyone following this series will love this book.
Julia E. (Atlanta, GA) (05/26/13)

As meaty as a Hostess Twinkie
Her Last Breath is author Linda Castillo's fifth in her mystery police procedurals featuring Kate Burkholder as police chief in the small Amish town of Painters Mill, Ohio.  The series began in 2007 with Sworn to Silence, which has recently been adapted into a  Lifetime Original TV movie.

Prior to the Amish series, Castillo was a prolific author of Romance novels for publishing imprints such as Berkley Sensation, Harlequin Intrigue, and Silhouette Intimate Moments. The Virginia Romance Writers awarded her its Holt Medallion.

Castillo's grounding in the Romance tradition is evident in Her Last Breath. A pleasing page-turner, the novel is as meaty as a Hostess Twinkie: two-dimensional characters, slim improbable plot. The book's saving grace is its setting in an  Amish community, and the intriguing  contrast  with surrounding Englisher (21st century American) culture.

A good beach book,  one that you would not regret leaving in the rental cottage at summer's end.
Monica G. (San Antonio, TX) (05/21/13)

A Good Mystery
Chief of Police, Kate Burkholder, is called to the scene of a hit and run that strikes a personal note when she finds that the victims are the husband and children of her childhood best friend.

There's baggage in this former friendship due to her upbringing, then leaving, the Amish community. There's more baggage coming from Kate's relationships with her brother and sister, who are still Amish and in the fact that they are all helping Kate hide a secret from her past that could destroy their lives, as well as her own life and career. Add a semi-new personal relationship into the mix and it makes for a fast read with a quick plot line, easy to remember characters, and a slightly surprising ending. Overall, a very enjoyable read that stands alone in the Kate Burkholder series.
Shelby L. (Hamden, CT) (05/21/13)

Some Doubts
I have never read any of the other books in the series and this was a wonderful introduction to Kate Burkholder, smart, empathetic, tough yet human with doubts and mistakes made in her life. The plot is satisfying although I didn't feel compelled to read it in one sitting as others did.

What troubled me was the ending [edited for plot spoiler], which was too neat. Although there were hints along the way as to who the killer could have been I was shocked and annoyed that it all came together so quickly.

Nevertheless it was a good read if you could accept it at "written value"
Carol N. (San Jose, CA) (05/20/13)

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.

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