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Readers' Comments for Her Last Breath

In May, a select group of readers who participated in one of our Suspense/Thriller Author Spotlight contests won copies of HER LAST BREATH, the fifth book in the Kate Burkholder series by Linda Castillo. When evidence emerges that there was nothing accidental about a supposed car accident that killed an Amish deacon and two of his children, Kate Burkholder begins to suspect that she is on the trail of a cold-blooded killer. 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. Take a look at some of the readers' comments to give you more insight into this heart-pounding thriller --- and make sure to watch out for SPOILERS!

Mary Lou
HER LAST BREATH by Linda Castillo had me from hello! I read it twice, because the first time through I didn’t really try to figure out who the bad guy was. The second time reading it through I read with an eye out for clues that I may have missed.

After reading it the second time, I don't think there were many clues leading up to who the actual bad guy was. This was an interesting, fun read --- my first in this series. Kate, the main character, is very complex and has numerous issues --- her Amish background, her moving away from her faith, her dark secret, her relationship with Tomasetti and her place in the structure of the town. All of these factors combine to make Kate very interesting. Everything Kate touches is complicated or is likely to become that way.

Kate is a tortured crime detective in a small town in Ohio. I know nothing about that part of the country or about Amish culture either, so it was fun to experience it through the descriptions in the book. I liked the pace of the first half of the book which sets the stage with the accident/murder and the investigation. It's interesting to read a police procedural set amongst country lanes and horse and buggies.

What took me completely by surprise was the intensity of the last fifty pages or so of the book. I was finishing up my first read relatively late one night and all of a sudden there was so much intensity, action and suspense that my heart started racing and I couldn't turn the pages fast enough. Needless to say, I didn't fall asleep quickly or easily that night.

I've read Linda Castillo’s other books and was pleased to get this one to review. Insight on Amish culture is interwoven into this tale about police chief Kate Burkholder, who has left the Amish, but is trying to solve crimes in an Amish community. Most of her best friend's family is killed in a horrendous hit-and-run buggy accident, which she begins to feel was not really an accident. Underlying this all is an unresolved romantic issue and a long-hidden secret murder. All in all, I would recommend this book, which I enjoyed. Aside from a few vulgar words, it keeps you interested and I'm looking forward to her next book.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading HER LAST BREATH about the mystery behind a tragic hit-and-run accident involving an Amish family. The Chief of Police, Kate Burkholder, set out to find answers to why and what happened, but along the way discovered a bit about herself and her relationships with various characters in the story. I enjoyed reading about the Amish ways. I think that the characters and storyline were very believable. I definitely will read more from this author.

Linda does not disappoint! I love the new book and especially love how she continues to develop the relationship between Kate and John Tomasetti.  I am definitely anxiously awaiting the next book.

I absolutely devoured this book and enjoyed it immensely. I have read all Linda Castillo’s Kate Burkholder series and loved them, but this one maybe the best so far. It left me highly anticipating the next one. She can’t write them fast enough for me! I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys the Amish setting, but needs more heart-pounding, edge-of-your-seat suspense. It is truly an amazing thriller and I will be passing it along to my friends!

Karen C.
I have read all the Katie Burkholder books by Linda Castillo and have loved all of them. HER LAST BREATH was excellent --- I read it in one day; I could not put it down. Her writing is smooth and so descriptive. I felt like I was right with Kate throughout her struggles to solve the crime. The plot twist and turns and suspense mounts with every page. To me, the Amish culture is interesting and hard to understand, which is why it’s wonderful to see a book set there. Anyone who loves mystery/thriller will enjoy this book.

Stephanie --- This comment contains SPOILERS!
This is my impression of Linda Castillo’s new book,HER LAST BREATH. I have never read a book that takes place in the Amish world until this novel. Kate, who was born into this culture, is grieving the death of her best friend’s husband, an Amish deacon and two of his three children. It looked like a buggy hit-and-run accident with a drunk driver at fault, but it turns out the accident was a murder instead. Kate begins to question the culture that she was raised in and many questions about the accident begin to surface. I was surprised, when I found out who was responsible for the killing of Paul and his children. The motive was shocking to me as well. There are many twists and turns in this book and they will keep you guessing. The ending is shocking and I did not see it coming.

I don’t believe I have ever heard of this author before. I love mysteries of all kinds, starting with Agatha Christie and Janet Evanovich, but Linda Castillo now has a new reader in me. I will be reading the rest of her books as soon as I can. Just a couple of comments I would like to make. Was it really necessary for there to be curse words? There weren’t that many to justify using them at all. I actually guessed half of the ending. I always guess when I read and normally guess correctly around 80% of the time, but when she threw in the second part I was really surprised and happy that I was surprised.

For Amish father Paul Borntrager and his three children it had been a good day. However, out of nowhere a large vehicle broadsided them, killing the horse, splintering the buggy and sending father and children airborne in different directions. The driver did not stop.

Kate Burkholder, Police Chief of Painter's Mill, a small Amish town, is called to the scene. She finds two children and their father dead --- one small boy clings to life. He is rushed to the local hospital and is in critical condition. She recognizes the family of Mattie Borntrager, her childhood best friend.

There are no skid marks and no 9-1-1 calls to report what happened or attempt at help. Kate starts to have doubts about whether this is an accidental hit and run or if it’s something more troubling. Perhaps premeditated murder?  But who would kill a good Amish man and his children, and why? This becomes very personal business.

This is a book you cannot put down until the very chilling end and that has your heart pounding during every twist and turn. Linda Castillo strikes again and this is a home run!

This is the first book I have read by Linda Castillo and I will be reading more of this series!  I found this book to be fast paced and enjoyed the twist at the end (which I did not see coming!). I was impressed with the complex and compelling characters. I felt the plot was well written. It was a good and rather quick read. I will be recommending this to my mother and her friends who love mysteries and are fascinated by the Amish who live in their community.

This was the first Linda Castillo book I've read and I found it enjoyable! It was an easy read. It held my interest throughout. My only negative comment was the pacing of the book. The ending was about 45 pages long, with a great deal of twists and turns and a couple of loose ends --- it felt like the ending was rushed. I would recommend the book for someone looking for a bit of suspense with an interesting story.

This is one of my favorite series and this book is another solid story. I find the details about Amish life fascinating and the twist surprised me.

I'm looking forward to the next book in the series to find out what happens with Kate's situation with the past crime she was involved with, as well as her relationship with Tomasetti.