Discussion Guide for Silent Partner

Silent Partner's Cover

Silent Partner’s Cover

The Influence of Michael Connelly

The author has written about the influence crime novelist Michael Connelly has had on his writings. In fact, Schatt published Michael Connelly: A Reader’s Guide with Anaphora Literary Press. In it he covers Connelly’s police news reports as well as his novels. Schatt likens Frankie Ryan to Connelly’s Harry Bosch because both are loners, both are dedicated to a personal mission to battle evil, and both are deeply scarred by their personal histories. Both characters frequently are matched up with partners who lack their dedication. Both detectives also generally are in police departments but not really part of them. If you have read a Harry Bosch novel, comment on any other similarities or any differences you see between the two detectives?

Discussion Questions

  1. What do you think the root cause is of Frankie Ryan’s focus on her “mission”?
  2. What qualities in others does Frankie value?
  3. Frankie exists in an almost all male world. How does that fact shape her?
  4. Discuss gender identity as a major theme of Silent Partner. Is Gender fate?
  5. What role does fate play in this novel? What about the role of free will?
  6. How does the relationship of Frankie and Josh change over time?
  7. In retrospect, what clues do you see to identify the double homicide killer?
  8. In addition to trusting his gut, what other lessons does Andy teach Josh?
  9. Does Silent Partner have anything to say about Astrology?
  10.  Compare the Midnight Whisperer to some real tabloids.
  11.  Could the novel’s title be interpreted two different ways?
  12. What does Josh come to realize about the responsibility of being psychic?
  13. A classic mystery/detective novel requires the detective to solve the case using logic and good police work. Does Frankie solve her cases without having to rely on Josh’s psychic ability?
  14.  Is it true that every major character in Silent Partner has at least one major flaw? If so, does that make them more believable?
  15. The book’s structure includes chapters that alternate characters’ points of view. Did you like this approach? Did you find it confusing?
  16. What does the book’s opening chapter tell you about Frankie?
  17.  Discuss how class differences are another theme in Silent Partner.
  18. “Different roads can take you to the same destination.” Discuss the relevance of this saying to Silent Partner.
  19.  What can you learn about Silent Partner from its cover?
  20.  Research the concept of a guardian angel. What does the novel get right? What  key differences do you find?
  21. Some reviewers have identified Josh Harrell as the major character protagonist of Silent Partner? What evidence is there for that view?
  22. Schatt has said that he thought of TV sitcoms such as The Mary Tyler Moore Show when he described the Midnight Whisperer’s newsroom. If you think of sitcoms that you enjoy, what characteristics do they share with the characters working at the Midnight Whisperer?



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