In May of 2007, in a small, quiet town in the South Moravia region of the Czech Republic, a technical glitch - a simple, accidental crossing of signals - revealed a terrible case of child abuse, and an entire nation watched transfixed with horror as the grisly extent of the perversion of the maternal instinct was revealed. Two small brothers named Jakub and Ondrej, nine and seven years old respectively, were revealed to have suffered confinement, mutilation, psychological brutality, and cannibalism at the hands of several people - foremost among them their own mother and her sister.
The ensuing investigation and trial captivated the country as a web of secrecy and manipulation was laid bare. That entire nation's attention was transfixed as the disappearance of a teenage girl revealed a daring case of concealed identity and international intrigue, culminating in a 1,000-mile chase in the depths of a Scandinavian winter.
The allegations that were levelled would keep any parent of a young child awake at night. A secretive cult operating in close proximity to children: stealing, forging medical records, and possibly attempting to create a new messiah were in full swing. All the while its members appeared, on the surface, to be models of excellent caregivers.
This is the story of the infamous Kuřim Case, an investigation that engrossed the public and media of a whole country for two years. It is a story of intense cruelty and sadism, inflicted on the most vulnerable members of society.
If you are especially sensitive to accounts of the suffering of children, you may find it advisable not to listen any farther.
If, however, you seek to understand the darker side of human nature by coming face to face with it, then this audiobook is for you.
©2016 Ryan Green (P)2016 Ryan Green
I wasn't sure what to expect from the description of this true crime book, given that it involved children, cults, cannibalism and abusive parents. So I went into it almost wincing in anticipation of the horrors that I knew were coming. Make no mistake, they came, and kept coming. But within a few minutes I could tell I was in the hands of a seasoned reporter who was focused on making the reader understand this incredible case and all it's many twists and turns, rather than exploiting the horrors themselves like many true crime authors and tabloids tend to do with cases like this. It became clear after the 3rd or 4th astonishing twist that the simple, unadorned facts in this bizarre case were shocking and surprising enough without any exaggeration or pulpy flourishes, and I was glad to see none of that in this account. I also appreciated that the author underplayed the actual abusive acts; he tells what happens without lingering too long on them.
I finished listening to the entire book in one goggle-eyed gulp, and I will surely be reading it again at some point. While the case is interesting all by itself, I credit the author's writing style and presentation of the facts -- along with the narrator's under-wrought, professional delivery -- with making an already compelling story into a thrilling audiobook experience.
I found it particularly interesting that the family members who committed these unthinkable acts on their own kin were apparently not abused themselves as children. Most abusers tend to be former victims themselves, links in one long, never-ending chain of misery that is passed from generation to generation. The author touched on that fact, but I wish he had delved deeper into what made them start doing these things. I was hoping for a better understanding of the dark spark that begins these generational chains of misery and abuse, but I can't say I came away with a satisfactory explanation. Perhaps there just isn't one.
Still, true crime fans should love this book --- it's exactly what the genre is all about. But I also think anyone who is interested in human nature and the shocking ways that it can be twisted into something dark and unrecognizable will find this a fascinating way to spend a couple hours. I was provided a free copy of this audiobook in exchange for an unbiased review, and I'm glad I got past my initial reticence and took them up on the offer.
I'm a reviewer and blogger at The Life (and Lies) of an Inanimate Flying Object. I review on Amazon and make YouTube videos.
This book outlines the story of the Kurim Case, a case taking place in another country, and it reads like a report or a professional document. It is not a novel, but the story is still written with the intention to get the reader's attention, ask questions, bring to to a climax, and leave with a conclusion.
In the beginning of the work, he warns the reader that there are some details that someone with sensitivity should be cautious of. This warning was only mildly warranted; there were only a few instances where the torture endured by the victims was outlined in such graphic detail, and in the scheme of things, by a fluent reader of crime novels, it was some of the less violent and disturbing that I've read. That being said, if you can't get through your typical crime novel, or a James Patterson torture scene, best leave this one off your list.
All in all, I tore through it very quickly (it's short, so I listened at work, and read it in one sitting). It kept me engaged and interested, and I'm very satisfied with the work as a whole. I would have liked just a little more detail and breakdown of the mental disorders and psychological influence that happened (I love that kind of stuff) but for a fan of true crime who wants a quick engaging read, this is a great book!
The narrator was also very good. Narrators can make or break an audiobook production, and E. Sprance definitely made it.
Special thank you to the author for a free copy of this book. A free book does not equal a positive review. Don't believe me? check my profile. Review copyright Haley Mathiot, and is also featured on The Life and Lies.
While the subject matter is horrific, it has sadly become all too common. However, this review is on the audio book and not the subject matter.
The narrator gave a flawless reading, and his voice is very pleasant. But as chilling as the subject matter is, the book failed to keep my full attention, and that is only the third time this has happened. It seemed to me to be just the culling of media stories without any interviews, without any thorough descriptions. I could not visualize any of the actors in this melodrama, I could just as well have been reading directions on how to knit a sweater.
I'm sorry, I wish I could have given this a better rating. The first few chapters seemed very promising, but the book did not live up to the expectations. Perhaps other listeners will not have the same reaction.
“This audiobook was given by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review via Audiobook Boom.”
I love audio books.
True crime is my favorite genre to read/listen to so it’s no surprise that I absolutely loved this book. If you’re sensitive to the harming of children then this book probably isn’t for you. Ryan Green does a fantastic job of carrying the reader expediently but carefully through this tale of torture and mental illness. An interesting look into the minds of those who commit unimaginable atrocities; I would recommend this book to any readers interested in a terrifying and true story. Ernie Sprance does a lovely job narrating this sad tale.
This audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review courtesy of Audiobook Blast.
LOOKED LIKE A GOOD LISTEN BUT TOO MUCH BORING DETAIL NOT ENOUGH ABOUT THE ACTUAL STORY.
STOPPED LISTENING AFTER A FEW CHAPTERS.
It was very interesting, but short of any of my "top" lists
The details around the case, so basically the entire book...
Solid performance all around, I was fully engaged the entire time
The dog cages...
I received this title in exchange for an honest review
I have never heard of this case and was so surprised by every turn. There is so much information…This was a excellently executed true crime audio book. This book was really informative and interesting to listen to. I would highly suggest.
"This audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review courtesy of Audiobookboom”
This story was astonishing, thrilling, sickening and heartbreaking. This story was hard to finish, but a must finish. Very well written, gripping and tastefully done.
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