The Last Breath by Kimberly Belle is a great thriller/suspense novel for a cold, rainy afternoon read. (It’s an older book, published in 2014, so it is easily requested without a long wait.) Ray Andrews has been imprisoned for sixteen years for murdering his wife, Ella Mae. His children – Gia, Lexi and Bo – have not talked to him in all of that time, believing that he truly did kill their stepmother. Gia was only 18 at the time of the murder, and has spent the past sixteen years travelling the globe as a humanitarian worker. (And trying to run away from the horrible memories in her past.) As the story begins, Gia has returned home to stay with her father for his last weeks of life – he has been released from prison on house arrest as he is dying of cancer. Now Gia begins to wonder – was he really guilty? And if he is innocent, then who did murder her step-mother?
The chapters alternate between Gia’s current life being back in her Tennessee hometown and Ella Mae’s life, sixteen years previous. It was fun to try and discover clues along with Gia in her search for the true murderer. There is also a love story emerging between Gia and the town bar owner, Jake Foster. The book explores family relationships, family secrets, pain and forgiveness and it kept my interest. I really liked The Last Breath and did not discover the true killer until Belle revealed it in the book!