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Her Last Breath: A Novel (Kate Burkholder Book 5) by [Castillo, Linda]
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Her Last Breath: A Novel (Kate Burkholder Book 5) Kindle Edition

4.5 out of 5 stars 397 customer reviews
Book 5 of 8 in Kate Burkholder (8 Book Series)
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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


“Reader Kathleen McInterney handles a wide range of characters and accents with ease. This is sure to be popular. Recommended.” ―Library Journal

Product Details

  • File Size: 1487 KB
  • Print Length: 321 pages
  • Publisher: Minotaur Books; Reprint edition (June 18, 2013)
  • Publication Date: June 18, 2013
  • Sold by: Macmillan
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,261 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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Format: Hardcover
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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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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Warning, contains spoilers
> While I like the protagonist (excommunicated police chief Kate Burkholder) and the setting (i.e., an Amish community in Ohio), I found this particular novel unsatisfying as a suspense "mystery".
> Regarding the “mysterious vehicle”: It strains credulity that NO ONE ever considered that it could be a truck with a snowplow attachment—particularly after they determine the make and model of the truck (from a broken off mirror). Worse, the investigators failed to ask anyone if they knew of such a distinctive vehicle in the sparsely populated rural area.
---Chief Burkholder visited an isolated rural bar where she had deduced (incorrectly---but that's beside the point) that the driver had gotten drunk just before the crash, but she never bothered to ask the patrons who had been present during the evening if a Ford truck with a snowplow (in the middle of the summer) had been parked in the bar parking lot that night. Obviously, such a vehicle would have been noticed. Obviously, if the patron with the snowplow/truck was a regular, they would have known who he was. If he was not a regular, he would have stuck out like a sore thumb, and she could have gotten a description.
> Regarding the main perpetrator: Having chased him into the woods and physically confronted him, chief Kate Burkholder knew his approximate height, weight, age, and that he was exceptionally fit—but NEVER used that information to narrow down the pool of possible suspects. How many men in the sparsely populated rural community fit that description? Perhaps a dozen at most?
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