The Lost Brothers

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 06 Nov 2019

Member Reviews

Once upon a time there were four brothers. One ordinary day in 1951 three of them went on an ordinary trip to the park. By that evening there was just one brother left and his three siblings were never seen again. No traces, no clues, no leads, nothing. Just three lost boys.  The disappearance remains a mystery to this day. This re-examination of the case by journalist Jack El-Hai makes for some riveting reading. He doesn’t give any answers but his account is well-researched and thorough and I found it compelling. The fate of those three lost little boys, just 8, 6 and 4 years old, will continue to haunt me.
Was this review helpful?
A story of 2 missing found boys from Minneapolis. Long lost but forgotten by the family with a yearly ad in the local papers. A sad true crime novel. Must read.
Was this review helpful?
3 little brothers left their home to go to the park a few streets away and were never seen again. Their parents had to live their lives not knowing whatever happened to their little boys.
This is such a sad story. Me being a parent could not imagine what these parents went through not knowing what happened to their children. 
This story was written in a nice flowy way and did not drag on. If you are interested in true crime or nonfiction, I would recommend this book. It is a very quick read.
Was this review helpful?
The Lost Brothers is a fascinating re-examination of the disappearance of the Klein brothers from Minnesota - Kenneth Jr, 8; David, 6; and Danny, 4. On a Saturday afternoon in 1951, the three brothers set off for the park. They were never seen again. After a five day search, the investigating officers concluded that the brothers must have drowned and the search came to an end. But their bodies were never found, and their parents Betty and Kenneth always believed this conclusion to be false and the investigation to be flawed. They never gave up hope that one day their boys would be found, but despite placing ads far and wide and a close examination of the evidence by police officers many years later, to this day, there are no leads, no physical evidence found and no bodies. Betty and Kenneth are both now deceased and it is unlikely that the case will ever be resolved but perhaps keeping it alive in people's minds may just provide the one link that leads to its resolution. A heart-breaking but fascinating account of one family's tragic story.
Was this review helpful?
This is a heartbreaking true story about the Klein brothers that disappeared on November 10, 1951 in Minnesota.  Kenneth Jr., 8; David, 6; and Danny, 4 left their house that afternoon to walk to a nearby park and never came home.  Their older brother, Gordon, 9, agreed to meet up with them shortly, but when he showed up at the park they were nowhere to be found.  He was the first to raise the alarm knowing his brothers wouldn’t have wandered beyond the park.

Investigators did a search of the area and quickly concluded the boys must have drowned in the Mississippi River.  There was absolutely no evidence that the boys drowned, no bodies were ever recovered despite countless boat/plane searches.  The parents pushed for the police to keep looking for their missing sons, but their local police department wouldn’t budge.  This family never gave up hope that their sons were out there somewhere- they still bought them Christmas gifts and made them birthday cakes. The oldest brother blamed himself because he didn’t walk with them to the park that day and the parents carried a deep sadness.  

About 60 years after their sons went missing, Kenneth and Betty Klein received a visit from two sheriff deputies who wanted to reopen the case.  This is the story of how the investigation panned out and the toll it took on the Klein family.  I read this book in an hour and it was so interesting to know that sixty-eight years later, there are still no answers.  This is one of those cold cases that will haunt you.  I am looking forward to the upcoming Long Lost podcast. 

Thank you Netgalley and The University of Minnesota Press for this advance reading copy.  This book will be published 10/22/19.
Was this review helpful?
In 1951, 3 young brothers go missing. Their parents never lost hope that they would be found. 
In 1998, writer Jack El-Hai answered a classified ad, pleading for more information about the missing boys. He was writing a feature article on the missing boys. 

The Lost Brothers is a true-crime book that goes beyond heartbreaking. A soon to be podcast - this book is a good way to start reading about the case that will soon fascinate the 'true-crime fanatics. Police corruption and family heartbreak are the only thing left in this case and Jack El-Hai is determined to bring this to a resolution. 

Thanks to NetGalley and the publishers for the opportunity to read and review this book.
Was this review helpful?
This book was very interesting and makes me want to learn about about the case. I do wish it had more detail, but I can't fault the author for the lack of detail as it was explained that the case itself was lacking. I can't imagine the pain the parents had felt over so many years of not know what happened to their 3 boys. Books like this make me wish I could give half stars has I would have rated this one a 3.5
Was this review helpful?
I love resolution in stories, but in real life, we don't always get answers. This is the story of the disappearance of three young boys in 1951, and their family's lifelong search for them. We get to feel the family's struggle and pain as the search goes on, and this book hopes for resolution still, almost 60 years after the event. This was short and got the message across, a quick read.
Was this review helpful?
While it is certainly startling to know that three little brothers could "go to the park" in late 1951 Minnesota and completely disappear, the book as it's written does not deliver the hoped-for story. Mostly the author dwells on the sadness and frustration of the parents. There is nor development to the case or the story. Many pieces of evidence have disappeared over the years. Many memories have failed. 
At times possible suspicious characters are mentioned by former neighbors etc, but it's way too late to investigate said suspects. They are either dead by now, as the boys' parents are, or they are beyond locating.
With a situation like this there has to be some movement forward in the telling of the story, even if there's no certain conclusion. This story does not move.
Was this review helpful?
Very interesting read, quit short but easy to follow with a few un-answered questions tho? The story follows 3 brothers who went missing and never found. Done. (Scratching head)
Was this review helpful?
Absolutely fascinating true story of three missing brothers. Heartbreaking but tells the facts that span years and years. The family never have up even til their deaths. Definite must read. 

Thanks to author,publisher and Netgalley for the chance to read this book. While I got the book for free,it had no bearing on the rating I gave it.
Was this review helpful?
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.
Was this review helpful?
As mum to a daughter and 5 sons, I found this story almost too heart wrenching to read....
An incomprehensibly tragic tale of the disappearance and as yet unsolved disappearance of 3 little brothers in 1950’s America.
Well written, with empathy and consideration, this book is short, to the point, and well researched.
I hope the answer is found some day and that the family find closure.
Really heart breaking stuff.
3.5 stars, I would have liked it to have been longer.
Was this review helpful?
I am not a big fan of reading, or even researching, crimes that are still unsolved. I find the unknown about them so frustrating, like an itch I can't stop scratching. I want to know all the answers to a case, and I was a little worried when requesting this, that it would irk me and I'd regret requesting it. I was wrong.

This book is written in such a compassionate and understanding manner, it felt like I was being told a story by an elder and I couldn't help but sit down and soak in all the information. I loved it. It's so respectful and full of emotions which is something you don't really find in true crime books, but the author did a brilliant job on writing it. I truly connected with the family despite never sharing anything in common with them.

I couldn't fault this book even if I tried.
Was this review helpful?
Interesting, but short book. Also unsatisfying, since the missing brothers were never found, and no one knows what really happened. The parents’ search for years, and in all that time, never giving up hope was heartbreaking to read. Well written.
Was this review helpful?
A tragic story about the disappearances of three young brothers in 1951 and their family's decades-long search for answers, The Lost Brothers is a heartbreaking introspection into the psychological damage that can be done to a family when there is no resolution to be found. Jack El-Hai did an amazing job of painting a sympathetic portrait of the Klein family - especially as the parents and police officers actions are almost incomprehensible to our modern (and some would argue much more unsafe) world. I knew going into the book that the disappearances were still unsolved, but I would've enjoyed it more if the book had been longer and fleshed out the suspects, although I understand that there's only so much information you can write about a cold case 70 years old.

A special thank you to Netgalley for providing me with a free advanced copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.
Was this review helpful?
I've liked Jack El-Hai's earlier work and this is also is well written and engaging. My complaint (and maybe I should have known this) is there is no resolution to this mystery.
Was this review helpful?
This is a very interesting case - three young brothers disappearing together one day, and never being found; but the book at present does not seem to offer anything new about the case, (it raises the spectre of familial DNA tracing but that goes nowhere) or engage as deeply as it could with the initial disappearance, the decades since, and the false claimant. If it's being written to raise awareness of the disappearance it will certainly do that, but as an open case in which nothing has happened in a very long time, the book feels either belated - too long after the disappearance, after the deaths of the primary characters involved - or too soon - before a break in the case.
Was this review helpful?
The heartache is that even if the answers are found, it's too late.

When three small boys harassed their mother on a Saturday morning to go and play in a park four blocks from home, their harried mother probably caved in to them with a sense of relief that she might be able to relax for an hour or two.

She never relaxed again for the rest of her life and with that single response she carried a lifetime of guilt. She died without ever finding out what happened to her babies.

Their father carried his own guilt, if only he was there, after all, he was the man of the family, the family was ultimately his responsibility. What did he neglect to tell his sons? He carried his guilt, responsibility and undying hope of their return to his grave. He too, never knew what happened to his boys and shouldered many considerations of what might have happened, alone.

Only one person who knew them is still alive, their brother, and he is in his seventies. He might not get answers or closure in his lifetime either.

The case is old and the trail is cold, the most uncomfortable aspect is that there might never be answers. In a world where we like order, we like answers, the prospect exists that we will not solve this. That makes me very uncomfortable.

A missing child is not a lost shoe.

At the very least, follow up the leads and make a presumptive finding. Give them that at least, give those little boys a place next to their parents if nothing else can be done.

Short, not sweet, with an unsettling end because there is no happy or unhappy ending. There is no ending. There is no closure. Like a half-broken heart or a half-stitched scar.
Was this review helpful?