Lois Duncan (Steinmetz Arquette)

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Last Updated on June 7, 2022, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 163

Selfish, smooth-dressing, pot-pushing Larry [protagonist of They Never Came Home], balking at discipline from Dad, decides that he can vanish (presumed dead) with the $2000 he's embezzled from his dope ring by pushing handy Dan off a cliff during their camping trip. Dan is sturdy (in spirit and body) and survives the fall with only a case of amnesia…. [Masterminded] by Larry, the two (as brothers Lance and Dave) reach the California coast where recuperating "Dave" works six days a week while "Lance" makes hay with pot. When Dan learns who he is and how he's been had, his revulsion and refusal to play along cause Larry to lunge at him, but this time it's Larry who goes over the balcony rail…. There'll be no embarrassing questions: in terms of the story, Larry's an enemy of society, fair game for extermination. Shallow, slick, sick.

A review of "They Never Came Home," in Kirkus Reviews (copyright © 1969 The Kirkus Service, Inc.), Vol. XXXVII, No. 5, March 1, 1969, p. 245.

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