This reading group guide for Present Darkness includes an introduction, discussion questions, and ideas for enhancing your book club. The suggested questions are intended to help your reading group find new and interesting angles and topics for your discussion. We hope that these ideas will enrich your conversation and increase your enjoyment of the book.
From behind his desk in the Johannesburg major crimes squad, Detective Sergeant Emmanuel Cooper is counting the hours until his holiday in Mozambique. Then a call comes in: a respectable white couple has been assaulted and left for dead in their home. The couple’s teenage daughter identifies the attacker as Aaron Shabalala—the youngest son of Cooper’s best friend. Though others in the office aren’t interested in hearing evidence to the contrary, Cooper knows the boy is innocent and is determined to ensure justice for Aaron. With the help of Shabalala and their friend Dr. Daniel Zweigman, Cooper sets out to find the truth. Their investigation uncovers a violent world of Sophiatown gangs, thieves, and corrupt government officials who will do anything to keep their dark world intact. Topics & Questions for Discussion
1. Race is incredibly important in the highly structured world of apartheid Johannesburg, but Emmanuel, a white kaffir, seems to almost float between the races. How does his past allow him access to the