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Book Discussion Guide: All That Remains by Patricia Cornwell: Discussion questions

Discssion Questions

  1. For the person who chose this book: What made you want to read it? What made you suggest it to the group for discussion? Did it live up to your expectations? Why or why not?

  2. How is the book structured? Does the author use any narrative devices like flashbacks or multiple voices in telling the story? How did this affect your reading of the story and your appreciation of the book? Do you think the author did a good job with it?

  3. Talk about the author’s use of language/writing style. Have each member read his or her favorite passage out loud. (You might want to warn them ahead of time that they’ll be doing this so they'll be prepared.) How does this particular passage relate to the story as a whole? Does it reveal anything specific about any of the characters or illuminate certain aspects of the story?

  4. Discuss the mystery aspect of the plotline. How effective is the author's use of plot twists and red herrings? Were you able to predict certain things before they happened, or did the author keep you guessing until the end of the story? Did you find that the novel held everyone's interest throughout the story, or were there times when it failed to totally engross members of the group?

  5. How important is the setting to the story? If applicable, discuss the time period in which the book is set. Does the author provide enough background information for you to understand the events in the story?

  6. What is the most important part of a mystery or thriller to each member of the group-characterization, action, dialogue, or setting? How does this book rate in each of these areas?

  7. Is this book part of a series? If so, did your group read the series in order? How has reading the books in order – or not reading them in order – affected your group’s enjoyment of the book? How does this book stack up against others in the series?

  8. Is the author equally invested in both character and plot? Or did the author put more effort into developing the story than in creating compelling and believable characters? Were the motivations of the characters believable, or did their actions feel like a means to further the plot?