I love the opportunity to visit book clubs, either in person or by phone. I love the whole idea of book clubs! I'm an agreeable and generally well-behaved guest (two years and counting without any serious breakage!), and I'll happily answer questions, discuss writing in general, and reveal which of my friends are mad at me for naming characters after them. If you have a book club and want me to participate, just drop me an email.
(1) Shake knows that saving Gina from Dick Moby will create a world of trouble for him. So why does he do it?
(2) We don't really know who Gina is until after Shake has saved her. How would your attitude toward her (and Shake) be different if you had a full picture of her character right from the beginning of the novel?
(3) Why does Shake agree to go to Panama with Gina? What about her does he find most attractive? What about him does she find most attractive?
(4) Shake has been a professional getaway driver for many years. In what ways has that prepared him for what's happening to him now? In what ways has it not prepared him at all?
(5) In Panama, a minor character suddenly becomes a major part of the story. How is this character different than anyone else in the novel? How is he similar?
(5a) Time to take a break with the discussion and have a glass of wine. What? You've been drinking wine all through the discussion so far? Fair enough. Please continue.
(6) Does your opinion of Gina change over the course of the novel? How? Does she become more or less sympathetic?
(7) Jasper will eventually track down Lucy and tell her that he loves her -- count on it. But do you think they'll live happily ever after? Why or why not?
(8) A "gutshot straight" is a poker term for an inside straight draw -- a risky, not very smart gamble. In this novel, several of the characters take risky gambles. What are some of those gambles, and do they pay off?
(9) There are a lot of against-the-odds coincidences in this novel. How might this pattern of coincidences relate to the overall theme of the story?
(10) GUTSHOT STRAIGHT is not a mystery novel per se, but do you think it shares any characteristics of that genre? How so? How not so?