Thursday, February 23, 2023

BLOG TOUR - Her Final Breath


Faint sunlight dapples the two figures lying on the ground. The mother cradles her daughter close to her side, a stuffed toy elephant next to them. Leaves from the tall trees fall onto their faces, but neither moves to brush them off.

When a dog walker in a local Virginia park finds the bodies of a mother and daughter, Detective Amanda Steele is first on the scene. Her own daughter has a toy just like the girl's elephant and seeing the child like this is her worst nightmare come true. Heartbroken, she vows to get justice.

They quickly get an ID-Jill Archer and six-year-old Charlotte were reported missing last week, but interviewing Jill's husband, Roy, Amanda's gut tells her he is hiding something. When the autopsy reveals a terrible pattern of bruises, she's certain that a domestic argument escalated out of control, and tiny Charlotte got caught in the crossfire. But just as Amanda is about to arrest Roy, another grave is found, containing another mother and daughter.

Desperate for a lead, she goes to every place the women could have been targeted, and learns from a concerned ER nurse about Leanne Reilly and her young daughter, Gracie, who haven't been heard from in a week. Amanda hopes that Leanne has simply left her deadbeat husband, but she's gripped by the fear that they are the killer's latest victims. Now every second counts for Amanda to find the family and stop a little girl's nightmare before it ends in tragedy...

A totally compulsive and gripping crime thriller. The next unputdownable read for fans of Angela Marsons, Robert Dugoni and Rachel Caine.

Title:   Her Final Breath
Author:   Carolyn Arnold
Series:   Detective Amanda Steele Book 7
Publisher:  Bookouture 
Genre:   Mystery & Thrillers
Format:   Kindle ARC
No. of Pages:   323
Date of Publication:   February 17, 2023
My Rating:   4 Stars

In one of the more emotional books in the Detective Amanda Steele series, the detective’s most recent victims are a mother and her young daughter. As a mother to a young daughter herself, this case truly breaks Amanda’s heart. One of the first things that that is discovered is that the mother had been a long time victim of abuse. Sadly, the woman’s husband is a police officer of Amanda’s, one of her colleagues.

As Amanda and her team begin the investigation they realize that the woman’s husband Roy is hiding something. More than that, there is a discrepancy from the time the little girl had not shown up at school compared to the time Roy had reported them missing. This truly concerns Amanda, and she is sure that she has found the killer. However, while Roy was in police custody yet another grave is unearthed, and again, the victims are a mother and little girl.  

While they may not have their killer, one thing is for certain, the murders are connected, and Amanda is desperate to find that connection. She is looking for any other vulnerable mother/daughter combinations whose lives mirrored those of the victims that have been discovered. Amanda hopes that she can act quickly enough before any other innocent lives are lost.

While this seventh book in the series could be read as a standalone, I would recommend reading the entire series in order, because there’s a lot about Amanda that goes to show that dedication she has towards the victims that she tries to find justice for. There are also personal details about Amanda’s life that played into what is going on in this case and what will go on in future cases. 

As mentioned, this was one of the more emotional, if not more difficult of other books, I have read in this stellar series. Domestic abuse is never easy to read about, nor is it easy to read about the victims of murder being young children. However, our talented author Carolyn Arnold handles this latest book with delicacy and expertise that lends to the compassion that is imperative for victims that suffer such abuse. I am definitely looking forward to book eight in this compelling series. 

Many thanks to Bookouture and to NetGalley for this ARC for review. This is my honest opinion.

Please enjoy my YouTube video review - 


CAROLYN ARNOLD is an international bestselling and award-winning author, as well as a speaker, teacher, and inspirational mentor. She has several continuing fiction series and has many published books. Her genre diversity offers her readers everything from police procedurals, hard-boiled mysteries, and thrillers to action adventures. Her crime fiction series have been praised by those in law enforcement as being accurate and entertaining. This led to her adopting the trademark: POLICE PROCEDURALS RESPECTED BY LAW ENFORCEMENT™.

Carolyn was born in a small town and enjoys spending time outdoors, but she also loves the lights of a big city. Grounded by her roots and lifted by her dreams, her overactive imagination insists that she tell her stories. Her intention is to touch the hearts of millions with her books, to entertain, inspire, and empower.

She currently lives near London, Ontario, Canada with her husband and two beagles.

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