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Don’t Look Behind You. Lois Duncan By: Heather McGovern. Lois Duncan . Other Books by This Author. I Know What You did Last Summer Summer of Fear Killing Mr. Griffin Stranger With My Face Daughters of Eve Down a Dark Hall Ransom Locked in Time The Third Eye The Twisted Window

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don t look behind you

Don’t Look Behind You

Lois Duncan

By: Heather McGovern

lois duncan
Lois Duncan

Other Books by This Author

  • I Know What You did Last Summer
  • Summer of Fear
  • Killing Mr. Griffin
  • Stranger With My Face
  • Daughters of Eve
  • Down a Dark Hall
  • Ransom
  • Locked in Time
  • The Third Eye
  • The Twisted Window
  • They Never Came Home

Born on April 28, 1934, Lois

Duncan who has made 51 works including novels, movies, picture books, and children's books. Duncan grew up in Sarasota, Fl and attended Duke University for 2 years. She has 3 children and now lives in Albuquerque, NM at the age of 76.

About the Author

lois duncan interesting fact
Lois Duncan: Interesting Fact

Lois is most famous for her horror novels for teens, but most people would be interested to know that one of the stories Who Killed My Daughter? is based on a real life event. Lois’s youngest daughter, Kait was murdered in Albuquerque, NM and the novel is based on the Duncan’s and their real life, unsolved horror story.

about the book
About The Book

-Published: 1989

-Genre: Thriller

-Pages: 192

-Author: Lois Duncan

-Movie: Made into a television movie in 1999

-Awards: Tennessee Volunteer State Book Award1991 and 1993, Iowa High School Book Master List1992, Virginia Young Readers Program Award1992,Indiana Young Hoosier Award 1992, Texas Lone Star Reading List1991. was nominated for Washington Evergreen Young Adult Book Award 1992, Colorado Blue Spruce Young Adult Book Award 1991 and 1992, Illinois Rebecca Caudill Young Readers Award 1995.


April thinks that her world is over when she is forced to leave her comfortable home, join the witness protection program, and move to Florida. While the Corrigan family thinks that their Dad is working for an airline service, they soon discover that he really is an FBI agent dealing with a dangerous drug case. When things with the case get out of hand the family is set up with new identities and looks, and sent to live in a rural town in Florida. April is crushed when she must leave behind her friends, Grandmother, and most importantly her boyfriend. After missing prom and graduation April has to refrain for many months from calling her friends and boyfriend. But decides one day to leave Florida and go back home. But when Vamp (the man tracking down the Corrigan family) finds April and her grandmother it is all they can do to try to stop him from reaching the rest of the family to keep them all from getting killed.


The Corrigan's must assume new identities after they leave their old lives. The government places the family in the witness protection program to start their new lives. This involves changing names, looks, jobs, location, and friends.

united states federal witness protection program

Run by the United states Department of Justice and the United Marshals Service, the Witness protection Program was started in 1970. it is designed to relocate people and families to new locations so that they can be safe from any organized crime or offenses.

United States Federal Witness Protection Program

Changes for the Family

In the WPP they usually try to keep the witnesses first name the same, and the same first initial of their last name. In “Don’t Look Behind You” they get completely new names, and April is very unhappy about being Valerie, her least favorite name.



Changes for the Family

  • April- must cut her long blonde stand-out hair.
  • Bram- Bram has a very unusual characteristic, he has one blue eye and one brown eye. When they join the program he has to wear contacts so that no one with notice his eyes.

Witnesses in the program mat sometimes have to change unique looks about themselves. This is so that they are less noticeable and will not be picked out in a crowd as strange or unique and won’t draw attention to themselves.



Changes for the Family

  • George- In his former life George was a worker at airport baggage claim, and he does secret work with his buddy Max smuggling drugs over the border, ect.
  • Elizabeth- She was a nationally known author, but know that her life is changed she is no longer allowed to publish books because of the attention it will draw.
  • New Life- When the family moves to Florida they acquire a photo developing shop called ZIP-PIC, which does not make them very much money.

The families in the WPP are given money and supplies to help them start up and survive in their new lives. The Corrigan's are given a new business, though it doesn’t bring in nearly enough to compare with their past financial situation.



Changes for the Family

  • Old Location: Norwood, Virginia. A suburb in Virginia were the family is very happy with their lives and the people involved in them.
  • New Location: Grover, Florida. A rural small town in FL were it will be very hard to track the family.

The strange thing about moving the family to Florida is that is has the highest rate for drug deals. But the program thinks that it will make their location even harder to find. The witnesses in the WPP must find a place to live that nobody will expect or be able to find in order be safe from whatever danger they are running from.


friends and family
Friends and Family

Changes for the Family

  • Friends- April and her family must drop all of their friends in Virginia without even saying goodbye. One they get to FL April meets some kids from her school and has no problem finding new people to hang out with, although she still wishes she wasn’t in FL.
  • Family- When the Corrigan’s leave VA their Grandmother Lorelei decides not to go with them. This means that is the last time they will ever see her because of the loss of contact they must have with everyone. But with the turn of events in the story she eventually comes to live with them after they get into the fight with their attempted killer.

Once a family joins the WPP they are no longer allowed to have any contact with old friends or family to keep them safe. Just like in the book anything can be traced, phone calls, letters, ect. This gets April into a lot of trouble when she doesn’t listen to instructions and is sending calls and letters to her boyfriend and grandmother. This is to keep the witnesses from being tracked from whatever crimes are being aimed at them.



To enter the Witness Protection program you must have either committed a crime, or witnessed a crime of some sort. After the crime was committed someone is out to get the individual or the family, and it is necessary to change identities to keep them safe from being found.


Over 7,500 witnesses have entered the program along with their 9,500 family members since the WPP was first established. Of those people around 14% of witnesses who have committed a crime prior to entering the program will be caught committing another crime. This is compared to the almost 41% of parolees who will convert back to crime.

in the end
In the End..

In the end of the novel April and her Grandmother get chased to Florida by there killer. After he locks them in the house April sneaks out and goes after him, killing him with a tennis racket.


The family moves again.

  • April finds a new perfect boyfriend, and works part time at Burger King
  • Lorelei works in a boutique
  • Liz is a secretary
  • George works in a sporting goods store
my thoughts on the book
My Thoughts on the Book
  • Attention grabbing
  • Suspenseful
  • Well shown emotions
  • Mysterious
  • The book kept me interested throughout the whole story
  • I would recommend “Don’t Look Behind You” to people who are looking for a thrilling novel that will have them waiting and anxious to see what’s coming next.