Her Last Breath by Linda Castillo – Amish Buggy Hit-And-Run Crime Fiction/Mystery Book Review

“Her Last Breath” is the fifth and newest murder mystery by “New York Times” bestselling author, Linda Castillo, featuring Kate Burkholder, a former Amish woman and thirty-something chief of police of fictional town, Painters Mill, Ohio.

Amish man, Paul Borntrader, is en route home at dusk with his three young children, from a doctor’s visit, when his buggy is T-boned at an estimated eighty miles an hour. Paul, and his children Norah, and Sara, die at the scene. Eight-year-old David is critically injured.

The driver flees, leaving few clues other than an after market, three-quarter-inch L-pin and a side view mirror. Investigators believe the lack of skid marks indicates premeditated murder; and a 1996 Ford F-250 truck is the weapon.

Who wanted Paul Borntrager and his children dead? An Amish deacon, Paul helped excommunicate some of the Order’s members who’d gone astray. Could the Borntrager murders be revenge?

On duty, Kate responds to the emergency call; and realizes Paul is married to Mattie, her former best friend during her Amish youth. Kate painstakingly informs Mattie of her family’s fatal accident. The two haven’t spoken since Kate’s Amish defection at eighteen.

While Kate’s made her share of enemies since leaving her Amish roots to pursue a career in law enforcement, her heritage is an asset when investigating Amish-related crimes, since she’s able to speak their Pennsylvania Dutch dialect.

Kate’s distraught over the Borntrager murders; yet knows she needs to stay stoic and keep her objectivity during the investigation.

She calls John Tomasetti, a regional agent for the Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation. They’ve worked together on previous Amish-related murders, and their professional relationship transcended to romance.

John recently asked Kate to move in with him, a step she’s hesitant to take. He ups the ante when he purchases an old farmhouse located a half -hour from Painters Mill.

“That’s the thing about relationships; no matter how hard you try to keep things simple, all of those gnarly complexities have a way of seeping into the mix,” Kate says.

Amish teen, Daniel Lapp raped Kate when she was fourteen; and she shot him dead in revenge. Her secret risks exposure and her law enforcement career is in jeopardy, when two kids playing at the old Wilbur Seed Company grain elevator find his remains.

Kate experiences the other side of the law when authorities identify his skeleton and question her about his disappearance, since his last whereabouts place him at her family’s farm seventeen years ago.

During her book tours, Castillo talks about her transition from corporate America to author. She’s graduated from two citizens police academies, visited morgues and Amish country to hone her craft of writing entertaining murder mysteries, juxtapositioning the bucolic life of the Amish with crime.

Castillo complements her narrative with Amish sayings, including, “Wer lauert an der Wand, Heert sie eegni Schand,” which means, “If you listen through the wall, you will hear others recite your faults.”

“Her Last Breath” is another testament to Castillo’s writing talents.

Linda Castillo writes for, Minotuar Books, an imprint of Macmillan Publishing. Visit their link to discover many talented writers, including Brad Parks and Paul Doiron.

Stalking the Stalkers – The Balance Between Justice and Crime – A True Story Book Review

The celebrity stalkers out there are alive and well, but they are as dangerous as heck. How can you catch them before they do something really devious? Well, suggests the prosecutors, you turn the table on the stalkers, and switch roles, you stalk the stalkers. Very similar to the hunter become the hunted and the prey becoming the predator, or in the case of the US military, terrorizing the terrorists. See that point.

This is indeed such a fascinating subject and whereas, I have never been one to recommend a book on this topic of true crime detective work, or prosecutors stalking stalkers, I can see this interests you and thus, there is a book I recently read which sheds light on this topic, and boy will it make you think. The cases outlined in the book are all true. The name of this fantastic tome is:

“Whisper of Fear – The True Story of the Prosecutor Who Stalks the Stalkers by Rhonda B. Saunders and Stephen G. Michaud (both best selling NYT authors), Berkley Books, New York, NY, (2008), pp 338, ISBN: 978-0-425-22371-0.

The book goes through the true stories of stalkers of Hollywood Elite, including Madonna, Steven Spielberg, and Gwyneth Paltrow. There are also some chilling stories of spousal abuse and of former sexual partners who killed their victims and then buried them under their houses. Riveting at times, chilling, and it really makes you think about all the whackos in the world.

You will be introduced to the psychology of psychopath killers, stalkers, and the sexually deviant. Also of chronic criminals turned to stalkers, these are fans, and hate mongers of glamour and glitter, it’s an amazing book indeed. The clues are there, and it is incredible the great detective work and interesting how hard it is to catch these folks, especially pre-crime, as people have rights, privacy, and until they make a real move there is nothing you can do.

Getting inside their heads, thinking like a stalker appears to be the only way to win, and if the detective fails, lives are at stake and the outcomes are scary to even consider. Learn about the detective techniques, “legal weapons” and insight into how they stalk the criminal stalkers. Prosecuting the stalkers isn’t easy either, but Rhonda Saunders helped write many of the stalking laws, and she explains what it takes to actually catch them and make those arrests stick. You will love this true crime book.

Small Sacrifices by Ann Rule – A True Crime Book Review

Diane Downs brought her car to a stop in front of a Springfield, Oregon, hospital,with her three gravely wounded children beside her. This book is about the shocking tale of a truly unthinkable crime that being of a mother who tried to murder her own children and succeeded in killing one child and leaving two of the children paralyzed.

Ann Rule is brilliant and her books are brilliant. I do not even bother to read what a book is about when I see it is a new release by Ann Rule. I just buy it and I know I will love it.And so far I have not been proven wrong.

This book,Small Sacrifices,will break your heart. I could not stop crying. This book has a special place in my heart. I think this is the only way that I can feel that I am doing my small part in keeping these precious children safe seeing as their own mother was a miserable attention seeker totally oblivious of her children’s love, instead seeking the love of any man, especially men who did not want her. To get to her age and still not realise the fulfilment of a child’s love is pathetic at best.

The first chapter begins with the mother driving to the hospital and reporting her children have been shot. It evolves effortlessly from this to the background of the mother, her early life and her life experiences until the day she appears in hospital with her children shot. Then there is the court case which has drama of its own as this mother continues to live a drama filled life even through this period to the point of being pregnant again when she gets sent to jail. (And then a lesbian affair)You will find it very difficult to put this book down and will try and complete it in one session which is virtually impossible as it is a very thick book. Every page is filled with information and there is very little filler “description of the day” passages. Spell binding,gripping and edge of your seat kind of book.

I had and still have no sympathy for this woman despite her being abused as a child and so forth. This act is unforgivable and nothing will change my opinion. I do not believe in putting any man before my children. There is a part in the book where she says to whatever man? (In surprise) that she thinks she might love her children more than him. That should have raised some red flags.

Basically if you are a mother or parent this book will leave you flabbergasted and emotionally spent.Do not read this book unless you are in the correct state of mind to deal with the many emotions which will run through as you read this book.

It is a good idea to access the opinions of other readers of true crime stories before finally purchasing a book online.