KILLERS OF THE FLOWER MOON by David Grann
Kirkus Star

KILLERS OF THE FLOWER MOON

The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI
BUY NOW FROM
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

Greed, depravity, and serial murder in 1920s Oklahoma.

During that time, enrolled members of the Osage Indian nation were among the wealthiest people per capita in the world. The rich oil fields beneath their reservation brought millions of dollars into the tribe annually, distributed to tribal members holding "headrights" that could not be bought or sold but only inherited. This vast wealth attracted the attention of unscrupulous whites who found ways to divert it to themselves by marrying Osage women or by having Osage declared legally incompetent so the whites could fleece them through the administration of their estates. For some, however, these deceptive tactics were not enough, and a plague of violent death—by shooting, poison, orchestrated automobile accident, and bombing—began to decimate the Osage in what they came to call the "Reign of Terror." Corrupt and incompetent law enforcement and judicial systems ensured that the perpetrators were never found or punished until the young J. Edgar Hoover saw cracking these cases as a means of burnishing the reputation of the newly professionalized FBI. Bestselling New Yorker staff writer Grann (The Devil and Sherlock Holmes: Tales of Murder, Madness, and Obsession, 2010, etc.) follows Special Agent Tom White and his assistants as they track the killers of one extended Osage family through a closed local culture of greed, bigotry, and lies in pursuit of protection for the survivors and justice for the dead. But he doesn't stop there; relying almost entirely on primary and unpublished sources, the author goes on to expose a web of conspiracy and corruption that extended far wider than even the FBI ever suspected. This page-turner surges forward with the pacing of a true-crime thriller, elevated by Grann's crisp and evocative prose and enhanced by dozens of period photographs.

Dogged original research and superb narrative skills come together in this gripping account of pitiless evil.

Pub Date: April 18th, 2017
ISBN: 978-0-385-53424-6
Page count: 352pp
Publisher: Doubleday
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15th, 2017




12 EXCELLENT SUMMER READS BEFORE THE SUMMER IS OVER :

NonfictionAMERICAN FIRE by Monica Hesse
by Monica Hesse
FictionFIERCE KINGDOM by Gin Phillips
by Gin Phillips
FictionMRS. FLETCHER by Tom Perrotta
by Tom Perrotta
FictionWHAT WE LOSE by Zinzi Clemmons
by Zinzi Clemmons

OUR CRITICS' TAKES ON MORE BESTSELLERS

See full list >
Cover art for MILES MORALES
VERDICT:
BUY IT
Cover art for REFUGEE
VERDICT:
BUY IT
Cover art for MRS. FLETCHER
VERDICT:
BORROW IT
Cover art for THE LYING GAME
VERDICT:
BUY IT

SIMILAR BOOKS SUGGESTED BY OUR CRITICS:

FictionA PIPE FOR FEBRUARY by Charles H. Red Corn
by Charles H. Red Corn
NonfictionTHE TEAPOT DOME SCANDAL by Laton McCartney
by Laton McCartney
ChildrenMASTER OF DECEIT by Marc Aronson
by Marc Aronson