Summary and book reviews of Her Last Breath by Linda Castillo

Her Last Breath

A Kate Burkholder Novel

by Linda Castillo

Her Last Breath by Linda Castillo X
Her Last Breath by Linda Castillo
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  • First Published:
    Jun 2013, 320 pages
    Paperback:
    Jul 2014, 320 pages

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About this Book

Book Summary

An extraordinarily beautiful Amish woman, a dangerous femme fatale, is the central figure in a story that reveals a dark side of Painters Mill and its seemingly perfect Amish world.

A rainy night, an Amish father returning home with his three children, a speeding car hurtling toward them out of nowhere.

What at first seems like a tragic, but routine car accident suddenly takes on a more sinister cast as evidence emerges that nothing about the crash is accidental.  But who would want to kill an Amish deacon and two of his children? He leaves behind a grieving widow and a young boy who clings to life in the intensive care wing of a hospital, unable to communicate.  He may be the only one who knows what happened that night. 

Desperate to find out who killed her best friend's husband and why, Kate begins to suspect she is not looking for a reckless drunk, but instead is on the trail of a cold blooded killer in amid the residents of Painter's Mill.  It is a search that takes her on a chilling journey into the darkest reaches of the human heart and makes her question everything she has ever believed about the Amish culture into which she was born. 

CHAPTER 1

When it rains, it pours. Those words were one of my mamm's favorite maxims when I was growing up. As a child, I didn't understand its true meaning, and I didn't spend much time trying to figure it out. In the eyes of the Amish girl I'd been, more was almost always a good thing. The world around me was a swiftly moving river, chock-full of white-water rapids and deep holes filled with secrets I couldn't fathom. I was ravenous to raft that river, anxious to dive into all of those dark crevices and unravel their closely guarded secrets. It wasn't until I entered my twenties that I realized there were times when that river overflowed its banks and a killing flood ensued.

My mamm is gone now and I haven't been Amish for fifteen years, but I often find myself using that old adage, particularly when it comes to police work and, oftentimes, my life.

I've been on duty since 3:00 P.M. and my police radio has been eerily quiet for a Friday, not only ...

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Reviews

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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. [It] captured and held my attention so completely that I read straight through, neglecting everything I was supposed to do that day… I highly recommend the book, but offer this caveat to readers: when you start reading, 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!..continued

Full Review (853 words).

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Media Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
Starred Review. The fifth in the series (Breaking Silence, 2011, etc.) continues to provide details on the Amish way of life along with a fast-paced mystery that will leave readers stunned.

Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Castillo once again displays her mastery of edge-of-your seat suspense.

Library Journal
In her fifth installment (after Gone Missing), Castillo combines the simple Amish lifestyle with dizzying hairpin twists and turns, and the result is a mind-blowing read that will keep her fans and mystery readers engrossed.

Booklist
Starred Review. This compelling mystery combines increasing nuance and complexity with heart-stopping action.

Reader Reviews

Carol G. (Little Egg Harbor, NJ)

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 ...   Read More
Mary Ann S. (PlatteCity,, MO)

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 ...   Read More
Sue P. (Richardson, TX)

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...   Read More
Rebecca K. (Illinois)

"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 ...   Read More

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Beyond the Book

Linda Castillo's Kate Burkholder series

Her Last Breath is the fifth book in the Kate Burkholder series. While readers have made it clear that it can be appreciated as a stand-alone book, story lines and character development are carried as threads running throughout the series. Here is a recap of the series for those who have read the other books, and a teaser for those who haven't:

Sworn to SilenceSworn to Silence (2009) - The first volume in the series sets the stage. In Painters Mill, Ohio, which is a rural farming community, the Amish and "English" have lived side by side for over two centuries. Sixteen years prior to the start of the story, the community experienced a tragedy. A series of brutal murders tore apart the town's sense of safety and tranquility. Kate Burkholder survived the ...

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