Warning: If you haven’t read the novel yet, save these questions until you have finished it because they contain spoilers.
Following are topics designed to provide a stimulating discussion:
1) What did you enjoy most about The Darkness of Evil?
2) Was the plot engaging? Did the story interest you?
3) Would you consider The Darkness of Evil to be a plot-driven book (fast-paced page-turner), or does the story unfold slowly with a focus on character development? Or would you consider it a good mix of both?
4) Was there one character you found yourself drawn to? If you had the opportunity to spend time with any of the characters, who would it be?
5) The home invasion scenes have been singled out by readers as particularly scary because they seemed very real; if you were Victoria, the mother, would you have handled things differently?
6) What would you ask Roscoe Lee Marcks if you were permitted to visit him in his prison cell?
7) If you could ask Alan Jacobson one question about The Darkness of Evil, its characters, or the plot…what would it be?
8) Were you satisfied with the ending?
9) Did you learn something you didn’t know before reading The Darkness of Evil? What was it?
10) Alan Jacobson writes fiction but grounds his fictional stories and characters in fact. For example, he spent days talking with experts to find a real chemical compound that would exhibit the properties the killer takes advantage of relative to the arsons and murders. Did this enhance your read of The Darkness of Evil or could he have just “made something up”?
11) If you answered that Alan could’ve just made up a chemical, keep in mind that chemicals are named by the scientific properties they exhibit. If Alan called his fictitious compound “diethyl catamine”—a good name for such a chemical—anyone familiar with chemistry would instantly know that diethyl catamine: 1) does not exist and 2) could not be used for either of those purposes the killer used them for. These readers would roll their eyes and “be taken out of” the story; some might stop reading. Given that, would you have spent the time to identify and research the chemical so that it was factually accurate—or would you have made it up and turned off those readers who are familiar with chemistry?