Crime writer J.B. Stevens takes a closer look at Audible True-Crime original “My Lost Family”.
I recently finished reading The Quiller Memorandum by Adam Hall. If an author writes British Cold-War espionage they better bring their A-Game. The bar is high. Whether or not Hall cleared that bar is covered in detail here, by the great Phillip Margolin (see here).
To wash the taste of spy-craft out of my mouth, I decided to consume a true-crime story about child abduction in 1950s London. If you think pursuing refreshment by going from Nazis to kidnapping was a bad plan, you would be correct.
My Lost Family is an audible-originals true-crime two hour long audiobook by Danny Ben-Moshe and Dasha Listisina. It is narrated by Ben-Moshe and concerns the abduction of his two half-siblings.
The story begins focused on Ben-Moshe’s delightfully Jewish-Yiddish Mother, Lillian. Lillian grew up in a working class neighborhood of London around World War 2. Modern-day Lillian is charming in a befuddled grandmother kind of way.
The story’s conflict starts when Lillian and a man named Raymond meet one another. She is fifteen and he is twenty. Raymond is from a prominent Iranian Jewish family. Lillian is from poor Eastern European immigrants. The two fall in love and get pregnant. They have a baby and a courthouse wedding. In the meantime, Lillian’s widowed mother re-marries. All five people move into a small apartment together.
Another child is born. Soon the home is too crowded. Raymond moves out and comes to visit once a week. One day Raymond takes the children and never returns.
Lillian is devastated, but feels there is nothing she can do as an 18 year old in 1950s London. She moves on, gets remarried, and has more children. Fifty years later, in the recent past, the abducted daughter writes a letter to Lillian and reestablishes contact. The kidnapping victims had a life of boarding school and financial privilege. They lived comfortably, but their lives were devoid of love.
The story grabbed me, but left me sad. Ben-Moshe’s narration is clear. The audio quality is outstanding. This was a well put-together production.
During the whole production Lillian makes it very clear that life “just happened” to her. Lillian feels she is the real victim. But, she never went to the police, or the Iranian Embassy, or any authorities. She never made any effort to find her children.
Raymond is interviewed and is offensive. He explains that he’d loved “many women”. He comes across chauvinistic, selfish, and unconcerned. He feels there are no victims present, at all, and everyone is better for having known him.
The subjects were engaging. The story grabbed me, but left me sad. Ben-Moshe’s narration is clear. The audio quality is outstanding. This was a well put-together production.
I fully recommend this audio book. It will affect the consumer, as only the most enthralling stories do.
Mystery Tribune’s collection of reviews covering notable books in crime, mystery, and thriller genre is available here.