Last Breath by Karin Slaughter (A Novella)

The stunning prequel to Karin Slaughter’s standalone novel The Good Daughter

Book blurb

Protecting someone always comes at a cost.

At the age of thirteen, Charlie Quinn’s childhood came to an abrupt and devastating end. Two men, with a grudge against her lawyer father, broke into her home – and after that shocking night, Charlie’s world was never the same.

Now a lawyer herself, Charlie has made it her mission to defend those with no one else to turn to. So when Flora Faulkner, a motherless teen, begs for help, Charlie is reminded of her own past, and is powerless to say no.

But honour-student Flora is in far deeper trouble than Charlie could ever have anticipated. Soon she must ask herself: how far should she go to protect her client? And can she truly believe everything she is being told?

My thoughts

I like to read the short stories or novellas by Karin Slaughter. Although some people don’t want to read them the reasons I do are that they give some kind of insight to the character(s) of various of Slaughter’s novels and they can fill in a backstory that would be too long or complicated to include in the novel itself.

However, I haven’t always read these prequels/additions to a series in the order of the series nor have I necessarily read those that are linked to a standalone prior to reading the book. Last Breath is no exception as I had already read The Good Daughter (link below to my thoughts). So you can gather from this that, even if it is preferable, it is not always necessary to do so.

Another reason to read these books is that they are often cracking stories in their own right. In this instance with Last Breath that is, for me anyway, the real reason to recommend it. We certainly get some further insight and background to Charlie Quinn, who is the main character in this novella and in The Good Daughter, which is interesting and worth knowing but it is the story through which Karin Slaughter delivers this information that makes Last Breath worth reading.

I also think that, especially in this novella, the shorter form shows how good a writer Slaughter is. That she can convey all that she does with regard to Charlie’s back story and why she thinks, feels as she does that make her take on Flora’s case. Then, oh so cleverly, use those selfsame feelings to show that the interpretation of them projected onto another person doesn’t necessarily result in sound decisions. What that means for Flora and Charlie you will have to read for yourself.

I thought this was a clever, cracking read and I would most certainly recommend it.

Previously read and reviewed

I have read many of Karin Slaughter’s books including all of the Grant County Series. Karin Slaughter is right up there as one of my favourite US authors of crime fiction. Here are the books I have blogged about:

The Good Daughter | Cop Town | Pieces of Her |The Last Widow | The Silent Wife

Book: Purchased | N.B.: Read in 2021.


Published: HarperCollins (16 May 2017)

Buy: AmazonSmileUK | | Hive | your local bookshop


Karin Slaughter is one of the world’s most popular and acclaimed storytellers. Published in 120 countries with more than 35 million copies sold across the globe, her nineteen novels include the Grant County and Will Trent books, as well as the Edgar-nominated COP TOWN and the instant NEW YORK TIMES bestselling novels PRETTY GIRLS, THE GOOD DAUGHTER, and PIECES OF HER. 

Karin Slaughter is the founder of the Save the Libraries project–a nonprofit organization established to support libraries and library programming. 

A native of Georgia, Karin Slaughter lives in Atlanta. 

Her standalone novels PIECES OF HER, THE GOOD DAUGHTER, and COP TOWN are in development for film and television.

You can check out all things Karin Slaughter on Karen’s website or follow her on Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

My collection, also many more on my eReader


The Grant County series

Blindsighted | Kisscut | A Faint Cold Fear | Indelible | Faithless | Beyond Reach (also called Skin Privilege).

The Will Trent series Triptych|Fractured|*Undone|Broken|Fallen|Criminal| Unseen|The Kept Woman|The Last Widow|The Silent Wife

*Sara Linton from The Grant County Series joins the series. There are also two short stories featuring Will Trent, Busted**and Snatched**.

Stand Alone Novels

Cop Town|Pretty Girls|The Good Daughter|Pieces of Her|False Witness

eBook originals

Snatched**|Cold, Cold Heart|Busted**|Blonde Hair, Blue Eyes| Last Breath|Cleaning the Gold (with Lee Child) 

Novellas and Stories 

Like a Charm (Editor) |Martin Misunderstood|Thorn in My Side|The Unremarkable Heart


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