SPOILER WARNING: These book discussion questions are highly detailed and will ruin plot points if you have not read the book.
Title: The Hard Bounce
Author: Todd Robinson
Page Count: 301
Tone: Gritty, Darkly Humorous, Violent
1. What did you think of “the Boy” as a character? Who was “the Boy” a part of? When did he appear in the story?
2. Did this feel different than other mysteries you’ve read? Why or why not?
3. What books does The Hard Bounce remind you of? Are there any writers that Todd Robinson reminds you of?
4. Who would you recommend this book to? Why?
5. What words would you use to describe this book when talking about it to friends?
6. Would you consider this book too graphic? If yes, why? If not, are there any books you consider too graphic?
7. Boo is the main character. Did you like him? Why or why not?
8. What did it say about Boo that he owned only 1 plate and 1 set of cutlery?
9. What can you tell about Boo as a person that he still has a beeper and doesn’t own a cell phone until Kelly Reese buys him one?
10. How do Boo and Junior know each other?
11. Do you think the author is making a statement about juvenile detention facilities?
12. What is 4DC? Who owns it? Who wants to hire 4DC? Why?
13. Boo and Junior have a common man’s approach to detective work – given the same task, how would you have accomplished solving this crime? Would you have done anything differently?
14. Why did Cassie run away from home? Who did she run to?
15. Did you believe that Cassie was capable of all the things she did at 14-years old? Did she want to be saved?
16. A main plot point of The Hard Bounce involves a snuff film. How did this make you feel? How do you think the author wanted you to feel?
17. Boo wants to immediately kill Snake/Derek. Who talks him out of it and why?
18. Do you believe Snake/Derek when he later tells Boo that he truly loved Cassie and wanted to run away with her?
19. Why didn’t Boo go to see his sister Emily? Would you have gone to see her?
20. Why don’t Boo and Junior trust cops?
21. Do you think multiple points of view about law enforcement (both positive and negative) are given? Do you think it is the author’s responsibility to give multiple points of view on this issue?
22. Who is Underdog? What went wrong with Underdog’s career? Does he fix it by the end of the book?
23. Did all of the musical references add to the setting or distract you?
24. What did you think of the dynamic between Kelly and Boo? Did you think they would fall into a relationship? Why do you think they like each other? Do you think it will last?
25. When does the break in the case about Cassie come?
26. Who was Sid and what did you think of her occupation?
27. How was the mafia involved in the case?
28. What ultimately happens to Cassie? Who kills her? Why?
29. Boo goes into a depression by the end of The Hard Bounce. Why? Does he shake out of it?
30. Does The Hard Bounce have a happy ending? Did it end where and how you wanted it to?
Lit Reactor interview with Todd Robinson
MPPL interview with Todd Robinson
Todd Robinson reading from The Hard Bounce
Crimespree Magazine review of The Hard Bounce
Mystery Scene Magazine review of The Hard Bounce
If you liked The Hard Bounce, try…
Crimes in Southern Indiana by Frank Bill
The Killer Inside Me by Jim Thompson
The Deep Blue Good-by by John D. MacDonald