Top positive review
Not your typical true crime fare
January 25, 2018
I purchased a copy of this book because of the theme. This is not just an off-the-shelf true crime. It has a potent twist. It is a story of the sibling of a victim and his dogged pursuit of his brother’s killers for three decades. That angle is potent and intriguing and makes this book stand out.
I won’t ruin the plot much for you in this review. My Brother’s Keeper is a gnarly story of a typical entrepreneur who collides with the wrong people – heinous individuals out to rob and murder him. It is more than that though. The brother of the victim, Ted Kergan, finds himself thrust into the role of private investigator. He doesn’t just accumulate information about his brother’s untimely demise, but takes a hands-on role with the pursuit of the killers.
I found myself glued to the text, unable to put the last five or so chapters down. This is not a book where you are wondering who did it – but instead you see the victim through his brother’s memories, intertwined with the gritty detective work that Ted undertook to bring the killers to justice.
As a true crime author I interact with family members who carry the mantle of memories of their lost family members. Many cradle a box of reports and newspaper clippings, or printouts of emails from would-be tipsters. Only a rarified few go to the extent that Ted Kergan did bring murderers into the light of justice. In this respect, the book rang true to me as few true crime books do.
I found myself angered and frustrated that the killers were not tried decades earlier. The evidence that was in the hands of police was staggering, right down to diary entries and maps. This is a classic example of where justice damn-near failed. I found myself re-reading the chapter where they were let go, just so I was sure I fully understood the reasoning. It was a decision that drove this case into the frigid icebox of cold cases, almost forgotten, except by a handful of people.
My Brother’s Keeper is not a remarkable crime, not one that tattoos itself into your memory. The killers were not stunningly cunning in their evasion of law enforcement. What makes this book stand out is the relationship between Ted and Gary Kergan and the extent which Ted rolled up his sleeves and stalked the killers, ensuring they went to prison. While it is not a crime that you will remember, it is a book you cannot ignore or put down – especially near the end. Chris Blackwood is an author to watch.