Wednesday, June 17, 2015

One to the Wolves by Lois Duncan

Basketball coach Jim Valvano is known for saying, "Don't give up. Don't ever give up." That could be author Lois Duncan's motto. One to the Wolves is her second book to recount her ongoing, heartbreaking story to uncover the truth about her daughter's murder. Duncan is best known for her suspense novels for young adults. But none of those books had the twists and turns of the true account of her search for answers and justice.

In July 1989, Duncan's eighteen-year-old youngest daughter, Kaitlyn Arquette was killed in a "drive by shooting" in Albuquerque, New Mexico. In her first book about that tragedy, Who Killed My Daughter?, Duncan discussed the search for answers. Duncan and her husband trusted the police department to find the killer, but when the case went unsolved, she and her husband turned to investigative psychics, informants, and anyone they could find to help. Now, in her latest book, she reports everything she and her husband have done while continuing to plea for help.

Author Ann Rule wrote the introduction, saying "Mothers seeking justice for their murdered children are not a rarity." In this case, though, Lois Duncan was a successful author who set aside her career to search for answers. As she gathered statements and articles, she began to see that her daughter was targeted. Her book is a powerful account of an investigation, still unfinished, that points to wrongdoing within the Albuquerque Police Department, not only with Kait's murder, but with the deaths of numerous other young people who accidentally fell in with the wrong people. And, Duncan points to lies, cover-ups, disappearing evidence, scare tactics, threats and scandals that reach into high places in New Mexico. She and her husband were forced to move from their home, their family was scattered, and Duncan herself suffered from a stroke and seizures as a result of the ongoing investigation.

One to the Wolves is a follow-up to Who Killed My Daughter?, but it stands alone. Duncan uses newspaper articles to re-introduce the story of Kaitlyn's killing, so the reader new to the story can easily understand the background. Twenty-six years after Kaitlyn Arquette died, Lois Duncan has found a network of survivors, but also continues to build a network of people who are searching for the truth. It's a heartbreaking, frightening account of broken trust, lies, cover-ups, and murder.

Followup - Lois Duncan left a comment that her daughter's case is being investigated by the Cold Case Investigative Research Institute. The following link takes you to an interview with the founder of that institute, an interview that mentions the Arquette investigation.

Lois Duncan's website is

One to the Wolves: A Desperate Mother on the Trail of a Killer by Lois Duncan. Planet Ann Rule. 2015. ISBN 9781940018515 (paperback), 212p.

FTC Full Disclosure - The author sent me a copy of the book, hoping I would review it.


Kay said...

Wow! I had no idea. I have read several of Lois Duncan's books for young people and liked them a lot. What a tragic story. I think I'd like to read this book and thanks for sharing about it.

Lesa said...

You're welcome, Kay. It is a tragic story, and the parents' dealings with law enforcement makes it even more tragic.

Lois Duncan said...

Lesa, thank you for reviewing my bk, ONE TO THE WOLVES. New news: The Cold Case Investigative Research Institute has now launched their personal investigation.The CCIRI is a collaboration between over 20 colleges & universities across the country with approximately 2000 criminology students & over 600 experts in an assortment of areas including forensic specialists, attorneys, crime scene analysts, specialists in drive-by shootings, etc. A group of those experts is headed for Albuquerque next month to meet with our private investigator, tour the crime scene, & start interviewing witnesses and suspects the police didn’t talk to. So maybe I'll have an ending to Kait's story after all.

Lesa said...

Oh, Lois. I hope you do have an ending to this story. It's good news that the Cold Case Investigative Research Institute has launched an investigation. Your book does say the investigation has to come from on high. A collection of all those students, experts, and universities, is certainly on high.

Clea Simon said...

Wow, chilling!!

Lesa said...

Isn't it, Clea? I don't usually read suspense novels, but this true crime book is even scarier.

True Crime Charlotte said...

This case has touched me like no other. I can only hope and pray the person /ppl responsible will finally be held accountable!

Lesa said...

I agree, Charlotte. I hope the family finds answers, and, eventually, peace.