Suspense thriller author Lois Duncan was one of the pioneers of young adult fiction, a genre that emerged in the 1960s and spoke to a uniquely teenage experience. It recognised its readers as neither children nor grown-ups, but people coming to terms with personal responsibility, learning right from wrong and finding their place in the world.
While her peers, like Judy Blume, tackled milestones including menstruation and young relationships, Lois conceived of kidnapping plots gone wrong, witchcraft, manslaughter and secret vows of silence. She was prolific, with several best-sellers, from I Know What You Did Last Summer (1973) to Summer of Fear (1976) and Killing Mr. Griffin (1978).
But in 1989, the novels stopped.
One of Lois' five children, Kaitlyn Arquette, was murdered in cold blood.
The fiction she had crafted for so many years had become, in her words, a "hideous reality".
The murder of Kaitlyn Arquette.
It was a Sunday night in July 1989.
Eighteen-year-old Kait Arquette, a recent high school graduate, was on her way home from a friend's house in Albuquerque, the largest city in the US state of New Mexico.
At around 10:30pm, two bullets pierced through the driver-side window of her Ford Tempo, and struck her in the head. Her car drifted across three lanes of traffic, uncontrolled, and came to a rest against a streetlight post.
A day later, on July 17, hospital doctors declared Kait to be brain dead, and her loved ones gathered to say goodbye.
"When I placed my hand on her chest and felt it rise and fall to the steady rhythm of the respirator, it was hard to believe she wasn’t alive," Lois later wrote. "'Sleep well, my baby,' I whispered. 'Go with God.'"
A police investigation into her slaying proved fruitless, to the despair of Lois and her family.
"I was so helpless, and I didn’t know what to do next," she told The Herald Tribune. "The only ammunition I have is the ability to write."