Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Crime Fiction Week Review: Linda Castillo - Her Last Breath

A rainy night, an Amish father returning home with his three children, a speeding car hurtling towards 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 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 Burkholder begins to suspect she is not looking for a reckless drunk, but instead is on the trail of a coldblooded killer.  It is a search that takes her on a chilling journey into the darkest reaches of the human psyche and strikes at the heart of everything she has ever believed about the Amish culture into which she was born. 

When Kate Burkenholder is called to a traffic accident, the last thing she expects is for it to bring her back to her past as it involves the family of her childhood friend Mattie who she's not seen since she left the Amish community.  

Mattie's husband Paul had been driving home in their horse and buggy when he was run off the road by a hit and run driver killing him and two of his children but a third child miraculously survives.  But the more that Kate and her police force look into the crash, the more it's looking likely that this was no accident.  But why would someone want to kill them? 

In this book we also see Kate struggling with the developments in her relationship with fellow law officer John Tomasetti, as well as her having to deal with evidence from a horrific event in her past that threatens her whole livelihood.

Despite Her Last Breath being the fifth book in the Kate Burkholder series from Linda Castillo, it can be read on its own as I've not read the other books beforehand.  But saying that there were a few mentions to an event which I assume was in a previous book so it certainly wouldn't hurt to read them first to know what it was about.

I loved this book from start to finish and if I hadn't had to go out to work, I'm sure I would have devoured it in one sitting.  And although I had partially figured out the ending this was not till almost at the end so was suspenseful until that time, and even then I didn't get it completely right! 

I think one of the reasons I enjoyed this book so much, and will enjoy the rest of the books in the series as I've now bought the previous four of them, is because I have had a fascination with the Amish community ever since I saw a documentary on them once.  I can't believe they manage to exist without the modern day technology that we all take for granted!

I'd like to thank Sophie at Pan Macmillan for sending me a copy of this book to review.

Amazon links: Paperback or Kindle

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