Book Club Discussion Questions for KILLING SILENCE

Here are discussion questions for book clubs to use after reading Killing Silence. By all means tweak them to suit your group or make up your own.

1. The first page of the book presents Loser in a way that reveals she won't be the usual type of sleuth. How did you feel about her from that initial description?

2. Consider being a homeless twenty-something woman. What are the dangers Loser faces? What everyday problems become worse for a woman in her situation?

3. Bryn sees a likeness to her mother in Loser. Why do you think Bryn touches Loser's soul in ways no one else has been able to?

4. It's a risk for a writer to include the death of a child in a story, because many people refuse to read books with such events. Did you think the deaths of Keith and Kara were handled well?

5. Thomas, the Rocklers' employee, seems likable and caring. When did you first suspect he was not what he seemed?

6. As in any life, Loser has among the street people friends who protect her and acquaintances who are willing to sell her out. Which of them might you expect/like to see return in Books 2 & 3?

7. This story came to me when I stayed in Richmond's Fan District for several months and saw the juxtaposition of wealthy homeowners with street people. Without getting political, what factors do you think allow a society to exist with such large differences in the comfort levels of its citizens?

8. Nick Saraff has plenty of struggles to overcome in the story. Do you think he was wrong to leave the children with his in-laws?

9. Kathleen Rockler takes advantage of Loser from the first. Should Loser have been more suspicious of her?

10. Loser tells us at one point that her friends' discussions, while nonsensical, are not so different from conversations around an office coffeepot. To what extent do you agree?

11. Kathleen Rockler is a villain, to be sure.Which of her crimes seems to you most wicked?

12. Loser's past is tragic, a sort of perfect storm. Was there a point where she might have been saved from her fall into despair?

13. This story is one people sometimes shy away from, thinking it will be too dark. Did you find the story depressing or was Loser's gradual return to conscious living compelling?

14. Loser learns at the end of the book that people like Verle looked out for her in her darkest days. Have you known people (or have you yourself) who secretly helped those who would have refused overt offers of assistance?

15. At the end of Killing Silence, Loser still has a long way to go in order to return to the life she once knew. Which of her odd behaviors would you expect to continue in Killing Memories and Killing Despair? Why? (Author's note: having a lead character who only speaks 30 words a day is brutal. That one won't be around for long!)

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