Saturday, July 13, 2013

HER LAST BREATH by Linda Castillo

Linda Castillo’s Her Last Breath is an unusual Amish mystery.

The book starts with a hit-skip. An apparently-drunk pickup truck driver T-bones an Amish buggy. Then he leaves the scene of the accident.

The accident kills the father and two small children. The evidence at the scene points to premeditated murder.

The murdered man’s wife is a childhood friend of Planter’s Mill, Ohio, Police Chief Kate Burkholder.

Along the way, Kate herself faces the dangerous resurrection of a previous tragedy in her life. She also struggles to decide whether she loves and wants to spend the rest of her life with Ohio Bureau of Identification and Investigation agent John Tomasetti.

This is my first Linda Castillo Kate Burkholder novel. Kate is an ex-Amish woman who returns to Planter’s Mill to become chief of police. The Amish community shuns her.

Many readers know these stories, but for me the concept of an ex-Amish woman police chief was different.

The major strength of Her Last Breath was the main mystery. It ends in what most readers will surely find to be a tense and surprising way.

The lesser stories, especially Kate’s history, were not as interesting to me. Apparently, that story carries over from previous books. As this book ends, Kate’s personal tragedy is not resolved. It will come up again.

I enjoy Amish mystery novels. This one was no exception.

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