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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 members say

Average customer ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

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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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

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

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).

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  • Lia
  • 08-10-18

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

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • karen
  • 22-08-13

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 of 13 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Sloane
  • 01-08-13

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.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Lynn Donaldson
  • 20-08-18

fantastic

My new addiction is listening to Linda Castillo's books as I travel. They are so good that I have started listening as I do other things!

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Kindle Customer
  • 06-08-18

Captivating

Once again, Castillo captures the reader's attention in the first chapter and keeps your interest throughout the book. Her characters well -defined and the reader feels a connection with Kate and Tomasini. One gets an insight into the Amish community and the uneasy balance between them and the English community. The plot is well-defined and the suspense heightens at a good pace. The action is exciting and intense without relying on a lot of blood and hire as in some thrillers. I am already looking forward to further developments in the relationship between Kate and John.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Claudine A Waldo
  • 19-06-18

Her Last Breath

The book was too long, redundant, too many details. The reader doesn't need to know the color and print of every garment the characters wear or the decor of every room. Plus The story was highly unlikely to occur.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Heather Byrne
  • 26-05-18

Keeps getting better!

While many authors seem to have trouble with their characters after their first successful novel, Linda Castillo’s characters and story lines get stronger each time. Kathleen McInerney is flawless as always!

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Christine Letizia
  • 20-12-16

Page turner

What did you love best about Her Last Breath?

As with all the Kate Burkholder stories, I couldn't stop listening to it!!!!!
Keeps me at the edge of my seat from beginning to the end! I love the way Linda Castillo writes. I have also met her in person and she is a great woman with a personality to match.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Kate, she is a very believable character who is very human, with all the frailties that can plague any of us.

Which character – as performed by Kathleen McInerney – was your favorite?

I love the way she does Tomasetti. She has me picturing what he looks like completely.

Who was the most memorable character of Her Last Breath and why?

The little Amish boy, David, his innocence is endearing!

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Delores
  • 17-08-16

Disappointed

Scatalogic language takes away from story. I've grown bored with this series. Wish this writer would try something new.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Chris
  • 16-08-16

Amish Intrigue!!!!

I love the Chief!!! You never know what to expect. I live near the Amish and I understand a lot more about them.