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Publisher's Summary

An extraordinarily beautiful Amish woman, a dangerous femme fatale, is the central figure in Linda Castillo's Her Last Breath, a story that reveals a dark side of Painter's 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.

©2013 Linda Castillo (P)2013 Macmillan Audio

Critic Reviews

"Bestseller Castillo’s fifth Amish thriller featuring Painters Mill, Ohio, police chief Katie Burkholder (after 2012’s Gone Missing,/i>) is a stunner.... Castillo once again displays her mastery of edge-of-your seat suspense." (Publishers Weekly)

What listeners say about Her Last Breath

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Fantastic Series

Strong, vulnerable and determined Kate is called to a devastating scene. Someone from the past; a best friend and turmoil enters their lives when Kate has to tell her the news, her husband and two children are dead. Meanwhile bones have been found and the past keeps haunting Kate as she hunts for a devious killer. All I can say is "wow" at the emotions that was rolling throughout this killer of a thriller. This well-written drama captured my attention immediately as it quickly became a page-turner that was hard to put down. This was a non-stop and action-filled mystery which ratcheted the suspenseful nature to the hilt as I followed the clues along with Kate. The author did a good job in keeping me busy with all the clues and suspect with a few surprises, one of which I did not see coming and boy did it intensify when it was all played out. This is the best book in a series that gets better and better each year and I can't wait to see what adventure awaits Kate and Tomasetti. Kathleen McInerney was outstanding with the delivery of the story

8 people found this helpful

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Absolutely LOVE this series!

When a new Linda Castillo audio book comes out, I buy it immediately -- then 'save' it, for some time in the future when I need the distraction of what I know will be a really really good book. This is an awesome series, every one of them a work of art, worthy of listening to again and again.

That Linda Castillo has major talent is proved in the opening scene in "Her Last Breath". It starts with an absolutely horrific incident -- a car slams into an Amish horse-drawn wagon, killing two special needs children and their father. Another child barely clings to life lying in the ditch. It's a terrible scene, agonizing in every respect, exceptionally well told. After I finished the book, I went back and listened to that opening scene again. What I found was Castillo was able to convey the unspeakable horror of the whole thing without a bit of gore, no descriptions of blood or guts, no undue pandering to the more sanguinary aspects of the carnage. Instead, she conveyed what happened with small but meaningful symbols -- a child's shoe, the utter silence. What a talent! Lesser authors would have gone for the quick and easy route of talking about the oceans of blood, the screams of the dying.. that Castillo didn't says an awful lot about her talent.

The characters in the series are especially interesting -- Linda Burckholder, the oft-embattled police chief of tiny Painters Mill, OH, was herself born Amish. Now she comes back to her home town as a secular, single woman, no longer embracing the Amish way of life, and is forced to deal with all of the people who knew her back when, before she left the church. There's resentment, there's some admiration, a smidgen of envy on the part of a younger character or two, but whatever, every situation Burckholder encounters is tinged by the last -- hers, theirs, their old days together. There's the pain of seeing her nephews and nieces, her brother's children, family she hardly knows. Her brother and his wife don't want their children 'damaged' by getting to know their lost aunt. In this book, the wife and mother of those killed was Linda's best friend growing up, a woman who is now also estranged from the secular Linda, so there's tension in that relationship. And Linda -- and her brother and sister -- have a secret all their own, one which nearly comes to a head in this installment. There's tension throughout, well beyond the issue of who it was who rammed into the Amish wagon that night.

Through it all, Castillo manages to treat the Amish as .... as people. People just like everyone else. There's no undue sympathy, no condescension, no holding them to higher (or lower) standards. Different as the Amish way of life is, that's not easy to do, but Castillo brings it off to perfection.

If you aren't reading this series already, you've got a treat ahead. I didn't listen to the first three in order, it doesn't make much difference, so start anywhere. Now I'm waiting for the next book -- again, to save it for when I really need it.

11 people found this helpful

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Excellent narration

And since I am blind completely I like how Kathleen narrated it in a way that I can understand sheets change the voice to the different characters that she was narrating I absolutely loved it that’s why I chose a 505 stars for her it They finally said I love you to each other well him to her but anyway I liked it and I love the narration Kathleen McInerney narrates the best she’s excellent I love her

1 person found this helpful

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Great story, convoluted ending

I'll start by saying I really love this series. Kate is one of my favorite characters I've read in a long time. I didn't think I'd get used to the first person narrative, but it works and I've grown to really like it.

There's a slightly over used plot device in this series: Kate, an intelligent, trained law enforcement professional has a habit of going into potential crime scenes without back up or communication. I can usually forgive the author because Kate usually gets herself out if the situation without the constant need of a man rushing in to save the day. This book though, without spoiling, has the most silly, convoluted run in with the "bad guy" I think I've ever read.

Overall though, great story, competently written, great performance. Highly recommend this series.

1 person found this helpful

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Not a surprise who did it.

If you could sum up Her Last Breath in three words, what would they be?

Since I guessed who the guilty person was early, the book seemed a bit drawn out. The motive of the killer is most interesting to me. I felt this part was sparsely written.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Kate of course!

What does Kathleen McInerney bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Differences in characters as she changes her voice.

If you could rename Her Last Breath, what would you call it?

?

Any additional comments?

no

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Great story-.don't read summary!

Any additional comments?

I thoroughly enjoyed "Her Last Breath". What I didn't enjoy was the spoiler in the descriptive! I purchased this audio book because I've listened to the others in the series. I intentionally avoided the synopsis because, too often, too much is revealed. I was halfway through this one - downloading part 2 - so thought it was safe to read the summary. Wrong!Who writes and edits these? I just don't get it. Though I certainly suspected the outcome, I like the "... is this the bad guy/girl...?" "... I think the author is trying to get me to think this.... but, I think...."After reading the summary, there was no thinking anymore, no mystery anymore. It was all right there in the opening line. The big reveal held no surprise.So again, great story, love this series .... I've learned my lesson, but I'd love to be able to read a book summary without worrying about knowing the ending before starting a book.

3 people found this helpful

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Loved it, but...

I have followed the series, so understood the ending, as well as other parts of the book that would appear 'issues' that aren't clearly explained. I recommend reading previous books before this one, so the ending doesn't appear so abrupt and fractured. I LOVED this story and look forward to another saga....There will be one, right?

1 person found this helpful

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Amazing!!

I am new to Linda Castillo books and can’t stop listening to them!!! Awesome stories!

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Another Great One!

I can't get enough of this series! The plot twists and the mystery keeps me wanting more. I have Kate on my mind and think of her as a friend. I can feel her emotions. The descriptions and the way it is written and performed is some of the best I have experience in Audiobooks.

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This was a good one.

Very interesting story line with a very surprising ending. The children was narrated beautifully. It was a very good story.

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  • Fee
  • 03-26-20

Very good!

These were becoming a little repetitive for me. But that’s my fault, when I find a new series I tend to read or listen one after the other, occasionally inserting a different author between two. Prior to listening, I thought this might be my last in this series. However, this was really enjoyable, though that description is not really appropriate for the subject matter which was harrowing. On to the next book!

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  • Anne
  • 06-12-14

Linda Castillo always great

Would you listen to Her Last Breath again? Why?

I don't like audible giving me headings as though I can't come up with anything to write.?! Linda Castillo stories are wonderful crime mysteries with the addition of a peak into Amish Pennsylvannia culture. This is one of the stories I go back to again and again. Kathleen McInerney is a great reader giving characters individuality.

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  • S Webster
  • 05-31-14

Bo-ring

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

Less description please, this book would have been half the length it was without the padding

Would you ever listen to anything by Linda Castillo again?

Nope

What about Kathleen McInerney’s performance did you like?

She read it well but John Thomassetti (sic) sounded like a poor Clint Eastwood

You didn’t love this book--but did it have any redeeming qualities?

The basic premise of the story was good

Any additional comments?

Perhaps me coming in the series at didn't help

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  • George A Bear
  • 06-23-13

Book 5 in the series.

A beautiful Amish women, an Amish father, three children and an awful accident. Katie has to find out if it was an accident or something far more sinister. But who would want to kill an Amish deacon and his children?

Another great story from Linda Castillo's Katie Burkholder series ( number 5).