Skip to main content

Reading Group Guide

Discussion Questions

A Line of Blood

1. A LINE OF BLOOD is set in Finsbury Park, a London neighborhood. How does the neighborhood set the tone for the action, and what context does it provide for the characters?

2. Do these characters --- Alex, Millicent and Max --- take responsibility for their actions, and for how their actions affect each other? What role does guilt play in the story? How does each character rationalize his or her decisions?

3. How far does each character go to preserve the family? Would you make the same choices in similar circumstances? Is morality important in the story? Is it important to you as a reader? Do you think justice is ultimately served?

4. What do we know about the murder victim Bryce? What don’t we know about him? What do you think made him alluring to his neighbors?

5. Max feels he is defending his father and punishing his mother. Could he be described as ‘a bad kid’, or troubled, or is he simply a traumatized child? Can any of these excuse his actions? Do you have sympathy for him or for his parents? If you do or don’t, how does that reaction color your reading of the story?

6. What type of relationship does Max have with each of his parents? How do you imagine the family was different before Sarah's death and before Bryce came into their lives?

7. How would you describe this novel? Is it a thriller, a mystery, a family drama or something else? What aspects of the story make it difficult to categorize?

8. What impact does Alex's relationship with his father have on his relationship with Max?

9. What do you make of Millicent's personal history, and how do you think it might have affected her as a mother and a wife?

10. Discuss the roles and importance of the supporting characters Fab5, Arla, and Mr. Ashani. How do they help move the story forward?

11. What role does loss play in the novel? Loss is a common theme in psychological suspense; do you think it is used effectively here? What emotions and ideas do you think Ben McPherson was most concerned about expressing in A LINE OF BLOOD?

12. How do you feel about Alex, Millicent, and Max? Do you relate to them? How do you feel about their actions in the novel? Do you have to love characters in order to feel invested as a reader?

13. What surprised you most in this story?

14. What types of readers would you recommend read A LINE OF BLOOD and why? Does this novel remind you of any others you've read?

A Line of Blood
by Ben McPherson

  • Publication Date: October 11, 2016
  • Genres: Fiction, Mystery, Suspense, Thriller
  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
  • ISBN-10: 0062406116
  • ISBN-13: 9780062406118