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· There is a range of different hauntings in the book. What do you think about the role of ghosts in the story?

· The relationship between Mahony and Mrs. Cauley is central to the book. Why do you think this is? What bonds them so closely?

· The novel contains both violence and comedy. How do they work together? Do they mix, balance or cancel each other out?

· How does the small-town setting help the plot? Do you agree that the town is a character in its own right?

· In what sense is the supernaturally charged landscape important in the novel? What is the role of the forest in the story?

· In what sense is Himself a love story?

· How does Mahony’s upbringing affect his ability to take on the residents of Mulderrig?

· As well as being a crime investigation, the novel contains elements of magic realism (for example, Mahony can see the dead). How does this contribute to the investigation into Orla’s disappearance?

· Mahony is an outsider. How and why is this important?

· The book has a violent prologue. How does this color your reading of the rest of the book? Is there a change of tone between the prologue and following chapters and if so, what is the purpose of this?

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