Book Review:  “Her Final Breath An addictive and totally gripping crime thriller (Detective Amanda Steele Book 7)” By Carolyn Arnold

Full disclosure – I was provided an advanced reader’s copy of this book by the author or their representative but have voluntarily provided a review. All opinions are my own.

“Her Final Breath” is scheduled for a February 17,2023 release

Steele is back with a case that hits too close to home

Amanda Steele is called to the scene of an early morning discovery in a local park. When what initially appears to be the shallow grave of a lone female turns into a the final resting place of a small child as well, Amanda vows to catch the culprit. Her and Stenson feel that this could be an open and shut case when the victim IDs come back quickly, but with their prime suspect being a fellow law enforcement official they must do everything by the book. With the surprising help of Sergeant Graves, Steele and Stenson begin to build a case, but when a second set of bodies turn up in the same park they realize they are looking at the wrong person. Shifting their focus to women with a history of abuse they branch out to some of the local area resources. After interviewing a nurse who relays the story of a battered woman and her daughter that she lost contact with after helping, Amanda is determined to find the killer. If it means potentially saving two lives instead of recovering more bodies, she will even put herself in danger to do it. As her and Stenson close in on the perp, Amanda finds herself in an “act now or regret it forever”, but even that revelation may not stop this case from being her most psyche shaking to date.

Carolyn Arnold is back with the seventh installment of the Detective Amanda Steele series of novels with Her Final Breath. Taking place an undisclosed time after Last Seen Alive, Amanda is settling into a comfortable relationship with Logan and her adopted daughter Zoe seems to approve. Overall, her family situation is also looking up as she has started to form somewhat of a comfortable relationship with newly discovered half brother Spencer as well as his mother CSI Blair. The details of this case are particularly disturbing for Amanda as she is no doubt reminded of how Zoe came to be in her custody after her parents were brutally murdered in The Silent Witness. If she can keep another child from going through what her adopted daughter had to, she is going to stop at nothing to do it. What is particularly interesting is Sergeant Graves’ sudden change of heart from almost insufferable stickler to an almost helpful ally as she offered assistance with the case in ways she hadn’t previously. It was interesting to see the sergeant begin to loosen up and become more open with Amanda, especially after the details of the case started to hit the press resulting in less than favorable public opinion. It can only be seen in future installments if Graves’ change of heart and softening of attitude was due to just the details hitting some as yet undisclosed nerve in her humanity or if she will begin to become more than just a thorn in Amanda’s side. While Her Final Breath is part of a larger series and true to all books in the, Detective Amanda Steele books this title also works well as a stand-alone. If you are new to this series, you would have no problem reading Her Final Breath first, and then going back to the beginning to pick up the backstories if you are so inclined.  

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