The Past Came HuntingLibrary and Bookclub questions for The Past Came Hunting

  1. Why do you think Joe had such a strong bias against Melanie?  Was it
    a) because she was his first violent arrest?
    b)  In prison she had an opportunity to become further corrupted
    c) Do you think police officers have this strong bias in general?
    d) Other?
  2. Melanie develops a special interest in prison.  Do you think the Department of Corrections does an adequate job of rehabilitating convicts?
    Why or why not?
  3. As a result of her conviction, Melanie loses the right to vote, to possess firearms and to hold a teaching license.  What do you think of those penalties inflicted upon ex-convicts?
    Do you think these penalties serve to deter criminals?
    What would see changed or left the same?
  4. Do you feel the book accurately reflects the Colorado Springs law enforcement community?
    Why or why not?
  5. Do you think the book accurately reflects two middle class families involved in athletics and raising high school teens?
    Why or why not?
  6. How did you feel when Joe paid a visit to the warden to research Melanie’s past?
    If you were in his position, what would you have done?
  7. In The Past Came Hunting, the author shows police agencies banding together to defeat gang activity.  Do you feel this was a good representation of agency resources?
    Why or why not?
  8. What character do you feel shows the most growth, Joe? Melanie? Other?
  9. To write Drake Maxwell’s character, the author’s editor asked her to read The Sociopath Next Door by Martha Stout.  Do you think Drake Maxwell reflected a sociopathic personality?
    Why or why not?
  10. What would you say was the overall theme of this novel?
  11. How did you feel reading a book set in Colorado Springs?
    Do you feel the author did an effective job in describing Colorado and the surrounding communities?
  12. Did the author show a good representation of conflict between a police officer’s home life and a police officer’s career?
    Why or why not?
  13. In light of Drake Maxwell’s release from prison, did the warden’s scheme to relocate Melanie and Luke to from one city to another close by work for you?
    Why or why not?
  14.  Did you ever wonder how Joe and Melanie, given their conflict, could end up together?


BetrayedBook Club Questions for Betrayed by Donnell Ann Bell

  1. In Betrayed, Irene Turner is a trap shooting champion and Kinsey Masters is a world class soccer player. Do you think an inner spirit is required to make a champion? Did you see this spirit reflected in these two women?
  2. When Irene sees the file on Kinsey, she immediately knows she’s been betrayed. Instead of seeking civil action, she heads to Denver to meet her daughter for the first time. Knowing she will be up against a powerful Denver family with resources, was she right to go to the Denver police? Or should she have gone through the court system to meet Kinsey? What would you have done?
  3. Detective Nate Paxton has been in love with Kinsey since they were teenagers. He also is committed to his job. Two issues separated Nate from Kinsey. What do you think they were?
  4. Betrayed addresses black tar heroin, a deadly drug making its way through all Colorado schools including the elementary school system. Were you aware of black tar heroin, and did the book provide an accurate picture?
  5. There were two strong antagonists in this book. Did you sympathize with the antagonists in any way? Why or why not?
  6. Betrayed is a single-title suspense with romantic elements, meaning it has more than one thread. In addition to threads, the novel has several characters. Did the threads appeal to you, or would you have preferred the novel focus on one or two characters? Which characters were the most compelling?
  7. What other books have you read that have a mentor to the protagonist? Irene and Nate both have a mentor in Betrayed. What function do the mentors serve in this novel?
  8. Kinsey has siblings. One of the challenges was to get them to accept Kinsey’s biological mother in the course of the storyline. Do you think the author accomplished this goal? Did the siblings add to the conflict, and, in effect, the story? Why or why not?
  9. The author used several area landmarks in Betrayed. Do you like to read stories based in familiar locations and referencing current events?
  10. In addition to physical traits, Irene and Kinsey share an emotional fear. Do these traits and character flaws add to the story in your opinion?
  11. In addition to all the evidence Norma Mitchell presented to Irene at the story’s beginning, what one element convinced Irene that Kinsey was her biological daughter, and was revealed near the end of the story? Would that element have convinced you?
  12. A federal agency is called into play in Betrayed and assists the Denver Police Department with Kinsey’s kidnapping. Additionally, two unlikely characters participate in a sting operation in Rodrigo’s office. What was special about these two characters?
  13. In the end, two potential love interests develop and the protagonist at last finds happiness. Do you prefer happy endings?