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Chris W. (Temple City, CA)
A well written mystery involving a collision between an Amish family riding in their buggy and a high speed vehicle - was it an accident or murder? There was a lot of interesting information about police procedure and Amish culture. The characters were developed well. It is a page turner and I was really surprised by the ending. I look forward to reading the other books in this series but will note that this book stands alone. It would lend itself to fascinating discussions about the Amish way of life.
Christie K. (Hobbs, NM)
Wow, what a well written story! The writing is smooth, clear, and concise. We don't read anymore than what we need to in this book. And this makes it a read that's not overdone with flowery language or too much description. The story is wonderful. I found it hard to put down after the first two pages...just a really good story. I like Kate. She's tough and intelligent and a darn good Chief on the trail of the killer. I loved the surprise ending. I must admit I wasn't expecting a lot from this story. But I was wrong. I thoroughly enjoyed it and recommend it to anyone.
Rosanne S. (Franklin Square, NY)
Her Last Breath by Linda Castillo is the first book of the Kate Burkholder series that I have read. Obviously, I have been missing some good reading. Her Last Breath begins with a buggy accident in an Amish community in Ohio. A man and two children are killed and a third child is seriously injured. When police chief, Kate, arrives at the scene she realizes that it is the family of her Amish friend, Mattie.
Grace W. (Corona del Mar, CA)
What unfolds is a very emotional, dramatic murder mystery. I was impressed with the way Castillo presented the story, drawing the reader in and making you eager for justice. She writes very much in the style of Lisa Scottoline but better. Even though another case and Katie's love life are part of the story, they enhance rather than detract from the criminal investigation. I don't like when side stories fill pages with distraction.
Her Last Breath is the fifth in this series but it stands well alone. Not having read the others, it was easy to fill in the blanks and follow without knowing too much of Katie's history. If I have the opportunity I will read some of the earlier books in this series.
Anyone who loves a good mystery or Amish stories will completely enjoy this page-turner. It reads like a good movie and was over far too soon.
Her Last Breath was the first Kate Burkholder Amish mystery that I've read, but it won't be my last. The story was so well crafted, and the characters and scenes were so vivid, that I was totally swept into the plot. The plot was suspenseful throughout, and the ending did not disappoint. The insights into Amish life and the alienation felt by former members of the community made this book more than just a mystery, but an escape into a lifestyle that is so different from my Southern California environment. I highly recommend Her Last Breath by Linda Castillo.
Becky M. (Crumpler, NC)
The Best Yet
I have read Linda Castillo's previous four books in her Amish thriller series, and Her Last Breath is the best yet. I tried to decide why I feel that way and have determined that it has more to do with her empathy and insight into human nature than it does with the "thriller" aspect. The novel did keep me guessing until the end, that is for sure. But I was especially moved by Castillo's depth of thought and her honest approach to the conflicts that exist in the hearts of the Amish people.
Mary G. (River Forest, IL)
A Good Crime Story but...
The plot is enhanced by the unfinished business of previous novels, so I would recommend that the reader be familiar with the stories that precede this novel. The new mystery is resolved, but the fallout from the earlier story will only make the reader more anxious for book six ... not a bad tactic on Castillo's part.
I was just impatient with it, but maybe that's just me. Castillo kept interrupting the mystery with the female cop's love life - or lack thereof - and I'm not a romance fan. Neither did I much care about learning her reasons for turning away love when she had the chance. Before you assume I'm hard to please, I very much liked the tracking of the murderer(s) (not to give anything away) and the Amish background. So if you like to mix your genres, this may be the book for you...for me, not so much.
Susan R. (Julian, NC)
Great Amish Mystery
I have read all of the books in the Kate Burkholder series and enjoyed them all. I think that HER LAST BREATH was the best book yet! The story was interesting and the ending was a real surprise. As a former Amish person and now chief of police in the same town where she is now shunned by the Amish, she is a very conflicted character - which also makes her more real and interesting. Fantastic book!
Helen S. (Sun City West, AZ)
Linda Castillo's Her Last Breath captured and held my attention so completely that I read straight through, neglecting everything I was supposed to do that day. I was held in suspense as Police Chief Katie Burkholder and other law enforcement officers searched for a hit-and-run driver in rural Ohio. Their Amish community had been shocked by a tragic road accident (or was it an accident?) which demolished an Amish buggy and took the lives of a father and two of his three children. Complicating the plot is a secret from Katie's past; what would happen to her if her secret were discovered?
I highly recommend Her Last Breath, but offer this caveat to readers: when you start this book, be sure you have no other demands on your time that day. You'll never put the book down until you've read to the stunning and thrilling conclusion!