Science Fiction and Fantasy Association of New Zealand

Dont Look Behind Don't Look Behind
by Lois Duncan

Supplied for review by Hachette New Zealand

Reviewed By: Jan Butterworth

This is a reissue of a book I enjoyed as a teenager. I wanted to see if the story was still as gripping as I remembered. I’m happy to say it is. It’s been updated with pop culture references, but ignores the social media prevalent in teenage life.

April is 17, a star tennis player and has a normal, happy life. Then her father testifies in a trial against a drug dealer and her world explodes. The family must temporarily hide while the trial is in progress. April’s attempt to contact her boyfriend causes the death of the agent guarding them. The trial ends, the bad guy is behind bars, normal lives can ensue. Until the drug dealer appeals the court’s decision.

The family is in danger and relocates as part of the Witness Protection Program. Their names are changed; they must sever all ties to the past; April must stop playing tennis; her mother must give up a lucrative career as a children's author. They move far away and have no contact with their old life. Or try to.

April’s life turns upside down and the whole time she is being watched by a notorious hitman out to get her and her family... She goes on a high speed cross country chase with her grandmother when the hitman finds them, in a vain bid to hide her family.

This is an excellent book, it held my interest the whole time and the plot kept moving forward. There was never a dull moment and it has a very satisfying ending with all loose ends tied up. It is very realistic, all of the characters easily come to life, and it has ironic situations with an overall very interesting story.

The author interview at the back is worth a read. It’s sadly ironic how she wrote about character with her daughter’s traits who is pursued by a hitman. A few months later life imitated art.

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