Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Review: The Lost Brothers by Jack El-Hai

The Lost Brothers
by Jack El-Hai

Publisher: Univ of Minnesota Press
Pages: 112
Format: eARC
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  On a cold November afternoon in 1951, three young boys went out to play in Farview Park in north Minneapolis. The Klein brothers—Kenneth Jr., 8; David, 6; and Danny, 4—never came home. When two caps turned up on the ice of the Mississippi River, investigators concluded that the boys had drowned and closed the case. The boys’ parents were unconvinced, hoping against hope that their sons would still be found. Sixty long years would pass before two sheriff’s deputies, with new information in hand and the FBI on board, could convince the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension to reopen the case.

This is the story of that decades-long ordeal, one of the oldest known active missing-child investigations, told by a writer whose own research for an article in 1998 sparked new interest in the boys’ disappearance. Beginning in 2012, when deputies Jessica Miller and Lance Salls took up the Kleins’ cause, author Jack El-Hai returns to the mountain of clues amassed through the years, then follows the trail traced over time by the boys’ indefatigable parents, right back to those critical moments in 1951. Told in brisk, longform journalism style, The Lost Brothers captures the Kleins’ initial terror and confusion but also the unstinting effort, with its underlying faith, that carried them from psychics to reporters to private investigators and TV producers—and ultimately produced results that cast doubt on the drowning verdict and even suggested possible suspects in the boys’ abduction. An intimate portrait of a parent’s worst nightmare and its terrible toll on a family, the book is also a genuine mystery, spinning out suspense at every missed turn or potential lead, along with its hope for resolution in the end.

Kritters Thoughts:  A little book that made me think about all the true crime tv shows that I love to watch and wouldn't mind an episode or two to continue this story.  This story is completely true and because of that it makes it almost that much sadder.   

In a town in Minnesota on a November day in 1951, three boys go out to play like they typically did on any other day.  Their older brother decided to stay back on this fateful day and it would set their lives on a course that no one intended.  These three boys never came home and nothing has ever come from any investigation.  This family continued to grow, but the older brother always felt a bit different because he remembered the days where the boys were in their lives.  

This book was so heartbreaking.  Each time I reminded myself that this was true I was so beyond sad for this family and those affected by this story.  I couldn't imagine in one afternoon losing not just one child, but three and to die not knowing anything at all or having anyone take responsibility would have broken my heart.  This was a little book, but so worth every page.

Rating: definitely a good read, but can't read two in a row

Ebook 2019 Challenge: 40 out of 100

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from Little Bird Publicity  I was not required to write a positive review in exchange for receipt of the book; rather, the opinions expressed in this review are my own.

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