Book Club Discussion Questions – The Sixth Wicked Child

  1. The phrase “Father, forgive me” shows up repeatedly throughout this book. Discuss the significance of this phrase as it relates to the case?
  2. Porter’s amnesia casts suspicion upon his true character causing people to question whether he is the real 4MK. How did you feel when the identity of 4MK was suddenly in doubt? Did it add suspense to the story?
  3. Discuss what you think the book’s title means: “The Sixth Wicked Child”.
  4. Each chapter of the book is told by a different point of view. How does this style of writing enhance a reader’s experience?
  5. In one of the diary entries, young Anson Bishop tells Libby that “all actions have consequences.” Do you think that is what motivates his behavior? Discuss what the world would be like if everyone took it upon themselves to ensure consequences were enforced.
  6. The Diary gives the reader a glimpse into Bishop’s life during his stay at the Finicky House for Wayward Children. Does this insight, in any way, make you sympathetic toward Bishop?
  7. People are not always what they appear to be, and Anson Bishop is no exception. While there is no doubt he has evil tendencies, there must also be reasons why his friends remain loyal to him. What does that say about him? What does that say about them? Discuss the complexity of human relationships.
  8. Were you surprised to learn the true identity of “The Kid”? How did you feel when you found out who he was?
  9. Porter’s former partner, Detective Hillburn, committed suicide 6 years earlier, which was just before the 4MK killings started. A note was found near him that said “Father, forgive me”. Do you think he was coerced into killing himself? If he killed himself without coercion, then who left the note that said “Father, forgive me.”? Could he have been murdered?
  10. This book focuses on many dark sides of human nature (human trafficking, child pornography and prostitution, among others). Do you think Bishop believed he was performing good deeds by ridding the world of evil people? Discuss the difference between ‘revenge’ and ‘retribution’ and whether either one is ever acceptable.
  11. In one of the diary entries, Bishop says: “I suppose everything is normal when you don’t know any better.” Is normality simply perception? Discuss how normality can differ from person to person depending on the environment in which they were raised.
  12. Some books are more character driven while others are driven more by plot. How do you think the author did in developing each aspect in this book? Did either one overshadow the other?
  13. Discuss your favorite character(s) from this book. Did your feelings change at all throughout the story?
  14. We see the symbol of a Figure 8, or Infinity symbol, come up often in this series. The symbol was tattooed on several victims, and it was also drawn on the pages of the poetry book found in Porter’s house. What do you think this symbol signifies? (Could the symbol represent the eight children from the Finicky House?)
  15. There is a longstanding debate about whether certain aspects of behavior are influenced by heredity [Nature] or whether they are acquired/learned [Nurture]. Do you think Bishop could have turned out differently if he was raised in a different environment, or by different parents?
  16. Bishop misunderstood Porter’s involvement with Ms. Finicky and the other “corrupt” police officers. Do you think he felt bad when he read Hillburn’s letter and ultimately realized the truth? If he had known the truth about Porter, how do you think events would have been different?
  17. There is a quote at the beginning of this book by Pink Floyd: “Daddy what else did you leave for me? Daddy, what’d’ja leave behind for me?” What significance, if any, do you think this quote has as it relates to this book?
  18. What do you think Kloz meant when he said: “We’re all 4MK, Brian. Remember that.”?
  19. Do you think the author intentionally left the ending vague? Discuss what you think happened in the final scene? Are there any other possibilities?
  20. There were many twists and turns in this book. What surprised you the most? Is there anything that you are still trying to “puzzle out”?


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