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Her Last Breath: A Novel (Kate Burkholder) [Kindle Edition]

Linda Castillo
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (304 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $15.99
Kindle Price: $8.89
You Save: $7.10 (44%)
Sold by: Macmillan

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Book Description

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 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. 

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

*Starred Review* A tragic case hits close to home when an Amish farmer and two of his three special-needs children are killed in a dreadful traffic accident, widowing Mattie Borntrager, the closest childhood friend of Kate Burkholder, police chief of Painters Mill, Ohio. When evidence indicates that the hit-and-run may have been premeditated, Kate’s probing for motive causes her to question whether beautiful, grieving Mattie, who was like a sister to Kate before she left the Amish faith, is being fully forthcoming. Diverting Kate from solving this all-consuming case is the discovery of the remains of the rapist she shot in self-defense 17 years earlier—an incident that was covered up by her family and now threatens her career, if not her life, plus her burgeoning relationship with FBI agent John Tomasetti, who wants a commitment from the skittish Kate. The Amish setting, an intrinsic aspect of these mysteries, continues to add depth and texture in the fifth entry (after Gone Missing, 2012). But it’s Kate Burkholder who’s the heart of Castillo’s masterful series, a rare protagonist who bares her soul in her first-person narration. This compelling mystery combines increasing nuance and complexity with heart-stopping action. --Michele Leber


'Continues to explore the Amish way of life with a fast-paced mystery' Kirkus!

Product Details

  • File Size: 1054 KB
  • Print Length: 321 pages
  • Publisher: Minotaur Books; Reprint edition (June 18, 2013)
  • Sold by: Macmillan
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #11,489 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
29 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best of the Series May 3, 2013
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This is the fifth of the Kate Burkholder series and by far, the best. It can be read as a stand alone. You don't need to have read the other preceding books to enjoy this action-packed story that left me guessing to the end. It even had a cliff hanger which made me hungry to dig into the next one right away.

Kate, is a Chief of Police of Painters Mill, where she grew up Amish. She has left the faith so many people she grew up with shun her now. One of the best things about this series is a peek into a life that I know very little about- the Amish. This story involves her best childhood friend, Mattie. Matties's husband and two of her children are killed by a hit-and-run driver while driving their buggy home. One of her children is injured but survives. It turns out not to be an accident but murder.

As she struggles with the case, Kate is, also, stuggling with her relationship with John Tomasetti, a fellow law enforcement officer. Kate is finding herself falling in love with him while resisting it at the same time. Another crinkle develops when a crime from Katie's past starts to emerge.

This was exciting book to read. I could barely put it down and read it in two days. I have found some of her previous books a little gruesome but that was not the case here. It was suspenseful and I did not completely figure out the ending by the end. This is a great summer read that'll keep you up nights because you'll want to see what happens next.
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Linda Castillo's "Her Last Breath," the fifth in the Kate Burkholder series, opens with a warm Amish family moment: Datt and the three kids heading home in their buggy after a visit to the doctor and ice cream for all. It's getting dark and starting to rain. They stop at the intersection, then cautiously start across when a car blasts of nowhere, broadsiding them, splintering the buggy, and scattering the father, the horse, and the three children. The driver doesn't stop. The remains are discovered by the next passerby.

By the time Chief Kate Burkholder arrives on the scene, the horse and two of the kids are dead. The father is breathing his last breaths. The third child is clinging to life. Kate realizes she knows the father. Kate grew up in Painter's Mill, raised Amish, though she eventually left the fold. The victim was, in fact, married to her best friend growing up - an exceptionally beautiful woman named Mattie.

The more Kate investigates, the more she becomes convinced that this was no accident. The family was, in fact, brutally murdered on a quiet byway.

The book is a real page-turner. Castillo sets up the tension and keeps pushing. And, while reading all the Kate Burkholder books in order is a good way to proceed, each stands on its own. One does wonder if Painter's Mill is the Jessica Fletcher's Cabot Cove of Amish country, because every time we visit, a handful of people are brutally murdered. So while I'd suggest reading the books, I wouldn't want to live there.

Here, then, is my Top Ten List of What is Great About "Her Last Breath."

10. All of Chief Burkholder's team is memorable, each with unique interesting personalities. They have their quirks, their own sense of humor, and their supportiveness.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Amish thriller! July 4, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Linda Castillo is an auto-buy for me and her latest book, HER LAST BREATH, did not disappoint. It had all the elements that make Castillo's books page-turners: A gruesome, heinous crime (that first appears to be an accident), a fascinating look into the Amish culture, gritty police procedural and action, and characters so real, they could step off the page. Sheriff Kate Burkholder is the lead character throughout this series, and although she's tough and fiercely independent, deep down she's also vulnerable. In this story, we get to see that side of her, as she grapples with the unfolding relationship between her and John Tomasetti, a damaged, take-no-prisoners State Agent. Add an intense and fast-moving plot, and two surprising twists at the end, and you have one heck of a great story.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Just okay... October 14, 2013
By Kristin
I've read all of the Kate Burkholder books and thought this was the most disappointing for a few reasons. First, the ending of the mystery was completely predictable. Second, after 5 books, the starts and stops of the romantic storyline are getting old and the impediments to the relationship are really unclear beyond Kate's endless ruminating of how complicated she is. Finally, without giving a spoiler, will Kate ever learn to call for backup BEFORE checking out a suspicious situation or NOT get personally involved in a case? While these were interesting twists to the first case, after 5 books, she just seems ill suited to police work.
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12 of 17 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Too many "F" bombs in it February 9, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
Ok. ...We are writing a book about the Amish and we should be a little respectful with our language. Linda Castillo has way too many unnecessary "F" bombs in this book. The main Character uses it frequently (and is a former Amish girl) and even the young 12 yr. old boys in the story use it. Would have been much more enjoyable if the language had been cleaned up. This is the first and last for me of this author.
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More About the Author

Linda Castillo lives in Texas with her husband and is currently at work on her next thriller set in Amish Country and featuring Chief of Police Kate Burkholder. Her first novel in the series, Sworn to Silence, was a New York Times bestseller.

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