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, the Osage rode in chauffeured automobiles, built mansions, and sent their children to study in Europe.
Then, one by one, they began to be killed off. One Osage woman, Mollie Burkhart, watched as her family was murdered. Her older sister was shot. Her mother was then slowly poisoned. And it was just the beginning, as more Osage 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 such as Al Spencer, “the Phantom Terror,” roamed – virtually anyone who dared to investigate the killings were themselves murdered. As the death toll surpassed more than twenty-four Osage, the newly created F.B.I. took up the case, in what became one of the organization’s first major homicide investigations. But the bureau was then notoriously corrupt and initially bungled the case. Eventually the young director, J. Edgar Hoover, turned to a former Texas Ranger named Tom White to try unravel the mystery. White put together an undercover team, including one of the only Native American agents in the bureau. They infiltrated the region, struggling to adopt the latest modern 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. 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 Native Americans that allowed the murderers to operate with impunity for so long. Killers of the Flower Moon is utterly riveting, but also emotionally devastating.
I received this book from Net Galley several months ago and read it quickly. I was stunned and upset with this story, and found it really disturbing. The narrative nonfiction format makes it very readable, but the story is so sad and upsetting when you realize how terribly the Native Americans were treated who were involved in these events in the 1920’s. Once again I have to wonder why I’ve never heard of these events?
Recommended for those who want narrative non-fiction; I would use it in high school history as well.
My contacts at Touchstone (Simon and Schuster) sent me a copy of THE SNIPER AND THE WOLF to read several weeks ago. Scott Mc Ewen also co-authored AMERICAN SNIPER. It’s been a while since I’ve read an action-packed military adventure, so I looked forward to reading this one – even though it is number three in the series, it can stand alone.
This was 400 pages of non-stop action and excitement! In this installment, SEAL Team sniper Gil Shannon is outed by a higher up, and he must try to protect his identity and survive a whole host of events throughout Europe as various people try to take him out. He joins up, in part, with some sketchy Chechens, and they discover a terrorist network whose sights are set on the US government. Will Gil be able to take them down or will this be his last assignment?
Well – you get the idea! As I was reading I could totally see this book as a movie – and my publicity letter said that this is in the works – a movie based on all three of the books (I hope it’s three movies because I got tired just reading this one as it’s non-stop action!).
Here’s an interesting You Tube video of Scott McEwen speaking about his books:
If you like military adventure, don’t miss this one! Look for all three books and eventually the movie, too. Thank you for my review copy!