Linda Castillo

Her Last Breath

" enjoyable book and a very easy read..."


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 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.

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'Her Last Breath' is the fifth book in Castillo's series of books featuring Chief Kate Burkholder. Burkholder grew up as Amish, and still has her emotional ties to the community. What started off as ground-breaking five books ago is now, in my opinion, wearing a little thin. Through Burkholder, Castillo tries to paint a picture of this group of people who are kind, gentle and god-fearing, yet there always seems to be a murder being committed within such a small community. It leaves me thinking that I will take my chances in the big bad world. I also get irritated at the constant use of Pennsylvanian Dutch that Castillo insists on using, then immediately translating to English. It seems rather superfluous and adds nothing to the story. However, after what appears to be a negative start, I did thoroughly enjoy 'Her Last Breath', perhaps because I was expecting less. The group of characters that appear in each books; Burkholder, her colleagues and her partner, have grown over the five books. I think this does help when the plot isn't strong enough to carry itself. When the killer becomes known, I did feel slightly cheated as not enough explanation or background was given to the reasons why this person would commit murder, despite having a motive. Still, it was an enjoyable book and a very easy read but I do feel that Castillo needs to explore fresher ground to retain this particular reader.

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