Grann is a first-class narrative writer in the same category as Erik Larson, Hampton Sides, and Candice Millard. Killers of the Flower Moon is equally spooky, educational, and riveting. Wealthy Native Americans are dying one by one in a small community in Oklahoma. The first half has the reader wondering who's responsible, while the second is the mystery of whether or not justice will be done. Recommended By Jeffrey J., Powells.com
Equal parts murder mystery and scathing exposé of the US treatment of Native Americans, David Grann has crafted a true crime history that entertains even as it forces the reader to confront the evils of our national past and the uncomfortable parallels visible today. Recommended By Rhianna W., Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
New York Times Bestseller - National Book Award Finalist
From New Yorker staff writer David Grann, #1 New York Times best-selling author of The Lost City of Z, a twisting, haunting true-life murder mystery about one of the most monstrous crimes in American history
In the 1920s, the richest people per capita in the world were members of the Osage Indian nation in Oklahoma. After oil was discovered beneath their land, they rode in chauffeured automobiles, built mansions, and sent their children to study in Europe.
Then, one by one, the Osage began to be killed off. The family of an Osage woman, Mollie Burkhart, became a prime target. Her relatives were shot and poisoned. And it was just the beginning, as more and more members of the tribe began to die under mysterious circumstances.
In this last remnant of the Wild West--where oilmen like J. P. Getty made their fortunes and where desperadoes like Al Spencer, the "Phantom Terror," roamed--many of those who dared to investigate the killings were themselves murdered. As the death toll climbed to more than twenty-four, the FBI took up the case. It was one of the organization's first major homicide investigations and the bureau badly bungled the case. In desperation, the young director, J. Edgar Hoover, turned to a former Texas Ranger named Tom White to unravel the mystery. White put together an undercover team, including one of the only American Indian agents in the bureau. The agents infiltrated the region, struggling to adopt the latest techniques of detection. Together with the Osage they began to expose one of the most chilling conspiracies in American history.
In Killers of the Flower Moon, David Grann revisits a shocking series of crimes in which dozens of people were murdered in cold blood. Based on years of research and startling new evidence, the book is a masterpiece of narrative nonfiction, as each step in the investigation reveals a series of sinister secrets and reversals. But more than that, it is a searing indictment of the callousness and prejudice toward American Indians that allowed the murderers to operate with impunity for so long. Killers of the Flower Moon is utterly compelling, but also emotionally devastating.
"A master of the detective form…Killers is something rather deep and not easily forgotten." Wall St. Journal
"Disturbing and riveting…Grann has proved himself a master of spinning delicious, many-layered mysteries that also happen to be true…It will sear your soul." Dave Eggers, New York Times Book Review
"[C]lose to impeccable. It’s confident, fluid in its dynamics, light on its feet….The crime story it tells is appalling, and stocked with authentic heroes and villains. It will make you cringe at man’s inhumanity to man." The New York Times
"A masterful work of literary journalism crafted with the urgency of a mystery....Contained within Grann’s mesmerizing storytelling lies something more than a brisk, satisfying read. Killers of the Flower Moon offers up the Osage killings as emblematic of America’s relationship with its indigenous peoples and the 'culture of killing' that has forever marred that tie." The Boston Globe
About the Author
DAVID GRANN is a staff writer at The New Yorker and the bestselling author of The Devil and Sherlock Holmes and The Lost City of Z, which has been translated into more than twenty languages. His stories have appeared in many anthologies of the best American writing, and he has written for The New York Times Magazine, The Atlantic, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, and The New Republic.