Reading Groups

These are questions to stimulate discussion about Cold Light. For questions about A Kind of Intimacy, click here.

Gustave Dore: Red Riding Hood in bed with the wolf.

The first time we meet Chloe she is avoiding the lens of a security camera. Why are cameras, film and photographs so important to this novel? Who is watching who?

Each character has a slightly different idea about Chloe and who she was. Whose do you think is the most accurate?

Why is Chloe such an important symbol for the City? What does she mean to people who never knew her?

Terry is more interested in telling a thrilling story with a neat ending than he is in giving the City the truth because he thinks this will help him get ahead in his career. Donald knows he needs to make his ideas about bioluminescence commercially viable before he can get anyone to help him save the girls. If Cold Light is partly about telling stories, why are these two characters important?

Lola does not witness many of the events she describes and much of Cold Light is a ‘reconstruction’. What effect does this have on the reliability of the story?

One of the mysterious flasher’s victims is a young girl in a red coat, attacked on her way to see her grandmother. What other second hand stories and improbabilities can you find in Cold Light?

You can kill someone without touching them.’ How far do you hold Lola responsible for the deaths in this book?

Is Barbara a good parent? Is Amanda? What about Nathan and Donald? How responsible are they? Why are parents so important to Cold Light?

What about Patsy the nurse and Shanks the school teacher? Are they responsible for any part of what happens?

Why does Emma decide she doesn’t want to be in touch with Lola any more after they travel to Morecambe? Were you surprised by this?

How does the story really end?