When the Devil Whistles (Paperback)

By Rick Acker

Abingdon Press, 9781426707674, 343pp.

Publication Date: October 1, 2010

Other Editions of This Title:
MP3 CD (8/2/2016)

List Price: 14.99*
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"I didn't have a choice. I didn't." That's what Allie Whitman tells herself every night as she lies awake. Sometimes she even believes it. But mostly she knows deep down that her inability to make a hard choice has put millions of lives at risk, including her own. Now the only one who can help her is her lawyer, Connor Norman. Unfortunately, Allie's actions have destroyed Connor's trust in her--and may destroy much, much more.

Conversation Starters from ReadingGroupChoices.com

A central theme in the book is how the characters react when they face hard choices. How did Allie respond? How did Connor?

Have you ever been in a situation where you were tempted to say that you didn’t have a choice when the truth was that you didn’t want to pay the price for making the right choice?

Late in the book, Connor refl ects that “by the time we reach a critical decision, we’ve already made it. Maybe all the little decisions in life are like bricks, and those bricks pile together into walls over time. And when some crisis comes, those walls force us along whatever path we’ve already chosen.” Do you agree or disagree? If you agree, will that affect how you make “little” choices in the future?

How does Allie change over the course of the book? What changes her?

How does Connor change? What changes him?

Was Allie’s father right to tell her to blame the crash on him? If you think he was wrong, do you blame him for doing it?

As described in the following Author’s Notes, the federal and state False Claims Acts allow whistleblowers to sue on behalf of the government and keep part of anything the government recovers. Had you heard of these laws before? If not, did their existence surprise you?

Advocates say that the False Claims Acts are important tools for fi ghting fraud. Opponents say they encourage frivolous lawsuits by disgruntled former employees. Who do you think is right?

Did you think Max Volusca was a good public servant? Why or why not?

Did Cho’s true allegiance surprise you? Before reading the Author’s Notes, were you aware of how much spying goes on between North and South Korea?

Early in the book, Connor says, “If you commit a crime, you should pay the price. Every. Single. Time. No excuses, no compromises.” Do you agree with that statement? Is it fair? Is it merciful?

Does Connor’s Christian faith aff ect his actions? Are there places where it should have aff ected them more?

Connor, like a lot of Northern California Christians, drinks alcohol. Did that bother you? Why or why not?