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The True Story of a Mother's Search for Her Daughter's Murderer

by Lois Duncan

Pub Date: June 1st, 1992
ISBN: 0-385-30781-0
Publisher: Delacorte

 Snarled saga of a mother searching for her daughter's killer. On July 16, 1989, Kaitlyn Arquette, 18, was found slumped over the steering wheel of her car, shot in the head. Here, Duncan, her mother and a children's author, recounts her own efforts to find the killer. There were no clues except the recovered bullets, and no apparent motive (Kaitlyn, a ``shining teen,'' hadn't been robbed and was unlikely to have been mixed up in anything illegal). Unfortunately, Duncan offers only meager characterizations of her daughter and of the other principals in the case. As the Albuquerque Police Department pursues a ``tepid investigation,'' Duncan takes matters into her own hands, talking to Kaitlyn's friends and visiting psychic channelers. She discovers that Kaitlyn's boyfriend was involved in a bunko insurance-claim scheme, and, from a channeler, she learns that Kaitlyn is able to communicate murder clues from beyond the grave. Soon, channelers take center stage, filling page upon page with vague Delphic pronouncements; theories fly through the air (Kaitlyn was murdered in a love triangle/dope deal/insurance scam); and clues appear and vanish (was it a Ford Tempo, gold Camaro, beige VW, or repainted VW?). Although Duncan patiently instructs the APD detectives on her many discoveries, they remain hopelessly confused, stubbornly clinging to their own theories. Her psychic consultations yield other fruit, however--Duncan discovers that she was a teacher in Rome A.D. 325, and, one night, her daughter appears, aged three, in her arms. In 1991, a man is finally brought to trial for the shooting (a random drive- by, according to the APD), but the case is dismissed as too weak. The murder investigation remains open. Duncan's distress is evident, but the mazes of her obsession make for a most tortuous read. (Photographs.)