Don't Look Behind You
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Don't Look Behind You

4.5 134
by Lois Duncan

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April Corrigan's life is turned upside-down when she when she learns that her father has been working secretly undercover for the FBI. When his testimony convicts a notorious drug dealer, the whole family must relocate and enter the Federal Witness Security Program. April's entire way of life changes--not just her name. And when she attempts to communicate with her


April Corrigan's life is turned upside-down when she when she learns that her father has been working secretly undercover for the FBI. When his testimony convicts a notorious drug dealer, the whole family must relocate and enter the Federal Witness Security Program. April's entire way of life changes--not just her name. And when she attempts to communicate with her boyfriend, an agent is killed. With thrills, chills, and a high-speed cross-country chase, master suspense writer Lois Duncan will leave readers breathless!

Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 6-9-- Undoubtedly a master of suspense, Duncan has written a spellbinding tale of uniquely contemporary horror. Seventeen-year-old April Corrigan's life ends abruptly when she learns that her airline executive father has been working secretly undercover for the FBI. Now his testimony against a notorious drug dealer has placed the whole family in danger, and April and her family are quickly relocated under the Federal Witness Security Program. What begins as a temporary measure soon must become a way of life. April, an ace tennis player, has to stop playing tennis; her mother must give up a lucrative career as a children's author; their names are changed; and April's naive attempt to communicate with her boyfriend causes the violent death of an agent. The entire book is fast-paced and enthralling, but the conclusion will have readers on the edge of their chairs. April and her grandmother get involved a high-speed cross-country chase which culminates in the death of a hit man. Although some readers will not be able to imagine having to sever completely all ties with their past, they won't be able to put this book down. Don't Look Behind You is filled with booktalk potential. --Jeanette Larson, Mesquite Public Library, Tex.

Product Details

Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.10(h) x 0.70(d)
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

Read an Excerpt

Rita was back again in five days. This time she brought some official-looking papers in a folder that contained among other things four birth certificates and a marriage certificate.

The name on my father's birth certificate was "Philip Weber," and my mother's was "Ellen Paul." The marriage certificate was made out to show their true wedding date.

"At least we can celebrate our real anniversary," said Mother.

Bram's new birth certificate gave his name as "Jason Weber," and mine showed me to be "Valerie Weber," a name that I instantly hated. Not that I had ever been any too crazy about my real name. I'd always thought it sounded like an ingenue on a soap opera. But I knew there was no way I could ever be comfortable as "Valerie." When I heard that name the picture that leapt into my mind was of Steve's old girlfriend draped all over my own date, Bobby Charo, at Sherry's Christmas party.

"I will not be a 'Valerie,'" I said. "That name has bad vibes for me. Why can't we choose our own names?"

"Names are the least of our worries," Rita said shortly. "Our main concern is to get you people relocated. A major effort is being made to find you, and we want to get you transferred as quickly as possible."

"What's happened now?" Dad asked warily.

"Your mother-in-law had a phone call. The man identified himself as Mrs. Corrigan's editor. He told Mrs. Gilbert a movie producer wanted to buy the film rights to one of her daughter's books."

Mother's face lit up with the first real smile in weeks. "Did he say which book they want? What studio is it?" When Rita didn't reply, her excitement faded. "I take it you don't believe the call was legitimate."

"We know it wasn't," said Rita. "We called your publisher. The editor who was supposed to be trying to reach you was away on vacation. Nobody in the office knew a thing about a movie offer."

"Of course not," Mother said with quiet acceptance. "I can see now that the whole thing had to be a setup. A movie offer would have come through my agent, not my publisher, and neither of them would have tried to reach me through Lorelei. I don't think they even know what my mother's name is."

"A man like Vamp knows all the angles," said Rita.

"I don't like this," said Dad. "How soon can we get out of here?"

"You leave tonight," Rita told him. "It's all taken care of. I have you booked on a six P.M. flight to Florida."

"Florida!" Dad exclaimed. "That doesn't make sense. The drug trade in that state is the highest in the country."

"Vamp knows that too," said Rita. "It will work in your favor, because it will be the last place he'll expect us to send you. You'll land at the Sarasota-Bradenton Airport, but your final destination will be Grove City, fifty miles east of there. You're to travel in pairs, and your reservations have been made in the names of 'Freeman' and 'Gross.' That way, your tracks will be covered. Neither 'Corrigan' nor 'Weber' will appear on the passenger list."

Up until then, life had seemed to be stopped in a holding pattern like a frame of a broken movie reel. Now, abruptly, the film was running at triple speed, and in one brief moment we were jerked into frantic motion. For the next ten minutes we dashed about, grabbing up clothing, unplugging the hair dryer, and tossing our scattered belongings into suitcases.

We were ready to walk out the door, when Rita said, "Wait a minute. Something has to be done about Valerie's hair."

At first I didn't take in who it was she was talking about. Then, with a start, I remembered that I was Valerie.

"What's wrong with my hair?" I asked nervously.

"It's much too eye-catching. The color and length will make you stand out in a crowd. We're going to have to cut it before we leave here."

"No!" I cried. "I've been growing my hair for years!" My hands flew up protectively to cover my head. "I'll wear a wig or a scarf, but I'm not going to cut it!"

"It's much too long to fit under a wig," said Rita. "As for a scarf, nobody wears scarves in the summertime. Most physical characteristics can't be changed, but we can change the length of your hair, and it's important we do it."

"Mother!" I cried in anguish. "You aren't going to let her?" But even as I spoke, I knew it was hopeless. Mother had never worried about appearances, and her own short hair was cut in a blow-dry style that Lorelei and I had always agreed looked terrible.

I wasn't given time to argue my case. Within minutes I was standing in the bathroom with a towel draped over my shoulders and my eyes screwed shut so I wouldn't have to watch in the mirror as Rita hacked off my beautiful hair with fingernail scissors and Mother gathered it up and put it in the waste basket. Then we piled into Rita's car, a compact too small for five people, and sped back along the freeway toward the Richmond airport. The wind stroked the back of my neck with alien fingers, and despite the heat of the day, I found myself shivering.

"I don't understand," I said.  "Why would anyone think Dad—"

"April, please, don't ask questions," said Mother.  "There just isn't time for that.  Go up to your room and put some things in a suitcase.  Max is going to put us up in a hotel tonight."

After I'd finished my packing, I carried my bag downstairs.  Everybody else was gathered in the hallway.  Mother had a suitcase, and Bram, his backpack.  A stranger looking in on us at that moment would have thought we were setting off on a family vacation trip.

"I don't want you contacting anybody," said Max.  "This is a secret getaway, like you see on television.  No one can even make one phone call.  We don't want a single person to know where you're going."

"Call me tonight so I'll know where you are," said Lorelei.

Mother shook her head.  "You heard what Max said."

"He didn't mean that you couldn't call me!" Lorelei protested.  "For the love of heaven, Elizabeth, I'm your mother!"

"I'm sorry, but Liz is right, Mrs.  Gilbert," Max told her.  "She and the children are not to make calls to anyone.  I'm sure you'll agree that their safety must make top priority right now."

He got into the driver's seat and started the car.  As we pulled out into the street, I impulsively turned around in my seat and looked back through the rear window.  Our house was positioned in the center of the glass like a painting in a frame, and the whole front yard was ablaze with the brilliance of springtime.

I stared for a moment, implanting the scene in my memory.  Then the car rounded a corner, and the picture was gone.

"Now can you tell me what's going on?"  I asked Mother.  "It can't be possible somebody meant to kill Dad!  How much of a threat is the manager of an air freight office?"

"Dad is more than an office manager," said Mother.  The light was too dim to allow me to see her expression.  "There's a reason we haven't seen Max for over a year now.  He's deliberately kept his distance to downplay their friendship.  Ever since the last time Max was at our house for dinner, your father has been working secretly for the FBI."


Meet the Author

Lois Duncan is an acclaimed suspense author for young adults. She has published nearly 50 books for children, including I Know What You Did Last Summer, which was adapted into a highly-successful horror film, and Who Killed My Daughter?, a non-fiction book about the harrowing experience of her daughter's murder.

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Don't Look Behind You 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 134 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was the best suspense book I have ever read! Although I wish there were more to it. Anyways, it's a MUST read to those who love suspense books Later folks :D
his2797 More than 1 year ago
This was an awesome book. Lois duncan is a great author!! I love her books!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love it
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very suspenseful
Josh Hughes More than 1 year ago
This book is really good my teacher recomended it and said it wuz. Really good and she wuz right :D
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a very good book our teacher was making us read it silently so we all thought it was boring but it was one of the best books I've read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am eighteen years old now, but I remember reading this book one summer when I was younger and it was the first book that I've ever read in one sitting. The greatest book I have ever read still to this day. I was hooked. I could not put this book down. It is a real page turner. I promise you will not be disappointed by this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great and full of suspense.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read this book in first grade (i was a very advanced reader and just found ot again i always remembered the plot not the title! I am so excited to read it again! I remember it as a action filled novel. You can really relate to it it is told so realistically. Love this book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book i recently read this book for a book report in school and it was a very suspensefull book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this book! I could not puut it down. Would reccomend this to someone who likes mystery/thriller kind pf book. A couple of murders so I would say its for olderish ten and up. -A
Lora Million More than 1 year ago
i really enjoyed this book. i could read it over and over.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a very good book that I would recommend to anyone who enjoys good mysteries or books by Joan Lowery Nixon.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is awsome. i recommended it to all of my friends. Its great right from the start too. It kinda goes through a little bit of a rough patch in the middle, but the end makes up for that majorly. The action in the last 50 or so pages is amazing. I couldn't put it down
Guest More than 1 year ago
I think Lois Duncan's book Don't Look Behind You was the best book I have ever read. I would recommened it to anyone. If you want a good thriller that you won't be able to put down read this book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It took me a while getting ovver her book summer of fear itt was so good.I love lois because she makes it seem like she went through this in real life. She puts so much thought into her book where you can see a vidual picture in you head. All I have to say is well done Mrs. Lois Duncan and I cant wait to read the rest of your books THANK YOU
8384740BL More than 1 year ago
I choose  “don’t look behind you” I choose this book because it sounded like a good book but it was a ok book because to me it was sort of confusing to me and this isn't the best book I have read. One reason I don’t like is that it was confusing to me need, I sort of understand it when I finished I know that you might be thinking that I might suck at reading but I like reading mystery, adventure, and more. Then something that I dislike is the beginning because to me it was all confusing. I think that you should read it  if you are in mystery and it was not exactly turn page action but you should read it. 
Baxter0 More than 1 year ago
April Corrigan is an average popular teenage girl. She has many friends, an amazingly handsome boyfriend, she is great at tennis. You could say she has a perfect life. Until she finds out she has to leave it all behind. Her family must go into the Federal Witness Security Program. She has to leave and live somewhere else living as some other person who she does not want to be. She can’t tell anyone about this new life. All she wants is to be with her boyfriend and be happy. Unfortunately she can’t do that. She can’t leave behind this perfect live that she has in Virginia. She also doesn’t want to get killed. Could her new life be better than the life that she had before? Does she have to live this way forever? 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I like pie
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Is this a good book????? PLZ PLZ ANSWER
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The book Don’t look behind you by Lois Duncan is a great novel that is full of suspense. April is a teen girl that’s life seems to be going great, until her world gets turned upside down. April’s family is forced to enter the Federal Witness Security because of the danger her family was put in after her dad’s testimony. Are April and her family safe? Read the book to find out! Lois Duncan is an amazing writer. The book has many strengths, like the suspense, thrills and chills you get while reading. For instance, the novel states, “ with my arms stretched high in the air, I turned the racket on it edge and brought it slicing down with all my strength directly into the face of the man in front of me.” This illustrates one the many suspenseful moments in Don’t look behind you. This novel also has many weaknesses, such as it takes too long to get to the point and it had a terrible ending. For instance, the novel states. “That evening, when I got home, I hung up my prism. This illustrates the ending doesn’t reveal any moments that you were waiting for while you were reading. The book is the best in my opinion. The book offers many moments where you wanted to stop reading but you couldn’t because you needed to know more. The book itself was fantastic it had many moments when you thought you could guess what happened but you can’t. Which makes me love the book because I like irony. For instance, The novel states “you think that man may have gotten into our motel room? “ This shows that what happen next will surprise you. This book review tells all the many reasons why I love this book and why you should read it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you like FBI stories you will almost never find a book so exciting and you don't know what is going to happen next!!!!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It is a GREAT suspense book, and this was one of the 1st books that i found in my lexile (1000-1050) that was actually not boring and an awesome pick for my class reading project :) Totally would recomend it for the suspensful type, and for the ones that just cant find that one "right" book ;)