Reading Group Guide
1. Vincentio has carried his vendetta against Kelly’s father for more than three decades. How has that impacted his life? What are some possible negative effects on the grudge holder of carrying a grudge?
2. The Taylor siblings are very close-knit. Cite some specific examples from the book that demonstrate their bond. Why do you think some families are closer than others? Are there some actions you could take to help strengthen your bond with your own siblings, or among your children?
3. Vincentio has some very contradictory traits and values. Name some of these. How do you think he reconciled these in his own mind? Do you know anyone who has contradictory or inconsistent values? Does this present a problem for him or her --- or those who love that person? If so, how?
4. Kelly refuses to believe her father committed suicide, despite strong evidence supporting that conclusion. In her place, what you would have done?
5. Cole’s experience with Sara led to an estrangement from God. Cite the reasons he turned away from the Lord. Were they valid? Have you ever had an experience that tempted you to distance yourself from God? Was there a person in your life who was instrumental in helping you reconnect?
6. When Cole tells Kelly he failed Sara, she counters by saying that because of him, Sara was saved in an eternal sense --- and that perhaps that was the role he was meant to play in her life. How did you feel about her response?
7. Kelly also suggests that Cole has been in a self-made prison, isolated by anger and guilt. Is that an apt analogy? How can those negative emotions distance us from others?
8. What qualities did you most admire in Kelly? In Cole? Cite some specific instances where they demonstrated these qualities.
9. When Kelly finds out about her father’s history, she is shocked. What emotions would you feel in her circumstances?
10. Were you surprised to discover who carried out the attack on Kelly and her father? Why or why not?
11. Alan Carlson’s life was spiraling out of control, and he found himself getting mired deeper and deeper in muck. Was there a point at which he could have stepped back and gotten out of the mess he’d created?
12. Kelly and Lauren have a solid friendship that goes back to their teenage years. Do you have a friend who has been part of your life for many years? How has that enriched your life? What are the characteristics of a good friendship?
13. Alan had a gambling addiction. But addiction can take many forms. Have you ever seen firsthand the destructive effects of addiction? Talk about how it affected the addict’s life, as well as the lives of those who loved him or her.
14. What did you think about Vincentio’s efforts to connect with his grandson? Was this consistent with his character? Was his son’s response appropriate?
15. Kelly’s traditional values, along with her solitary profession, presented challenges in terms of finding romance. In today’s world, the media often glorifies behavior that is at odds with Christian values. What advice might you offer a young person looking for romance in our society?
16. Vincentio’s son, Mark, has a small but key role in the book. What did you think about him? Was he justified in cutting off his father? Should forgiveness have played a role in that relationship?
17. By contrast, the relationship between Kelly and her father was solid. Why do you think they were so close? What qualities are essential for a strong parent/child relationship?
18. Identify the motives of the key characters in this book --- Cole, Kelly, Vincentio, Alan and Mark. Did you find that some of the motivations, though positive, led to negative or misguided actions? Have you seen examples of this in your experience?
19. Did you think Vincentio had any regrets? If he had his life to live over, would he change anything? If so, what? And if he had changed that element, do you think his life would have ended any differently?
20. Who was the most interesting character for you? Why?
21. Did you find Lethal Legacy suspenseful? Did you think the plot was well constructed and credible, and the characters believable? Why or why not? Talk about your impressions of the book from a literary standpoint --- its strengths and weaknesses. If you were the author, would you have done anything differently?