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Reading Group Guide

Discussion Questions


1. Do you have to tell a long-term serious partner everything about yourself? What if the information you're holding back could only make your partner feel inadequate or insecure or, worse, end the relationship?

2. Susie's office is so off-limits that Lachlan hesitates to enter it even after she's convicted of murder. Is it wrong to ask for a private room in a family home? Can anyone truly expect that privacy be respected? Is it different for a man than for a woman?

3. The consequences of Susie's choices cannot be concealed and affect not only her relationship with Andrew Gow and "Donna," but ultimately her entire family. Do you agree with Susie's actions? Do we choose to fall in love — is there an element of volition — or is it an accident, like falling over? Can we really be responsible for the actions that love inspires us to commit?

4. Lachlan takes particular delight in sporting his new Armani coat during Susie's trial. Is it wrong to want to look good at tragic events like funerals? Is Lachlan's vanity an indication of his indifference, or just a by-product of his privileged existence? How do the luxuries Lachlan enjoys prevent him from understanding Susie's affiliation with Andrew Gow?

5. Marzipan fuels madness in Deception. Do you think eating a lot of sugar can enhance an erotic experience? or does it just make you feel suddenly tired? What other unlikely catalysts for romance appear in the novel?

6. Lachlan's diary entries are written as he would speak. If you kept a diary, would you alter your voice in any way? Would it be for others to read? Do you think people ever tell the truth about themselves, even in something as private as a journal?

7. Yeni and Lachlan make an unlikely but quite suitable pair. How can a woman so different from Susie take Susie's place? Does Lachlan's attraction to Yeni despite their obvious differences say anything about Susie's unusual and secret love? Is one right and the other wrong?

8. At the most difficult time in his life, Lachlan refuses the help of his extended family. If you were in his shoes, would you do the same, or do you think family is the only source of comfort and strength in trying times?

9. Think of your deepest, darkest secret. Is it hidden well? If circumstances were beyond your control, would someone be able to unearth a trail to the truth?

by Denise Mina

  • Publication Date: May 10, 2005
  • Paperback: 311 pages
  • Publisher: Back Bay Books
  • ISBN-10: 0316058572
  • ISBN-13: 9780316058575