Echoes of Evil

When her entire family dies suddenly in a tragic car accident, psychology graduate student Susan McNealy is alone in the world. Five years later, now a respected psychologist, Susan meets and marries charismatic Steven Holmgren and becomes pregnant—on the outside, their life is a picture of domestic perfection.

But when Susan unearths a morbid and horrific pattern with children in Steven’s family, she begins to question her life with him. Is Steven part of the pattern? Will Susan have the strength to save her family . . . or will a sinister family legacy destroy the life they’ve built?

Loosely based on a bizarre real-life crime, Echoes of Evil tells the story of a tempestuous family and a deadly tradition.

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Book Club Discussion Questions

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  1. In what ways did the loss of her family influence Susan’s life choices?
  2. Who in past generations of Steven’s family knew of - or surmised - the families’ predilection?
  3. Although Steven wasn’t consciously aware of his family history, was the decision he made about Susan and the baby inevitable?
  4. What are your thoughts about whether or not our family patterns and those of our ancestors influence each of us today
  5. Dr. Keith Ablow, a Forensic Psychiatrist wrote a book entitled “Inside the Mind of Scott Peterson.” In that book he stated that Scott Peterson’s empathy for others was shattered by a three-general “bloodline” of childhood loss and abandonment. There were numerous events in the lives of Scott Peterson’s parents, grandparents and great-grandparents that indicated a pattern of abandonment. For example, his mother and her siblings were sent to an orphanage because her mother was emotionally unable to take care of them after her husband was shot and killed and Scott’s mother gave up two children for adoption before giving birth to Scott – one of those children is Scott’s half-sister. What do you think about Dr. Ablow’s theory?