by David Grann

The story of a murder spree in 1920s Oklahoma that targeted Osage Indians, whose lands contained oil. The fledgling F.B.I. intervened, ineffectively.

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5 positive comments

16 neutral comments

1 negative comments

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What people are saying on Twitter (sample)

  • @DavidGrann I liked your previous book: Killers of the Flower Moon, so I think White Darkness will also be great.
  • 4 (book from childhood) - any Amelia Bedelia, 5 (classic novel) still catcher in the rye, 6 (book that broke your h…
  • Book recommendation. I just finished 'Killers of the Flower Moon' by @DavidGrann this weekend. Sad but fascinatin…
  • February’s Book Club Pick: ‘Killers of the #FlowerMoon,’ by #DavidGrann
  • Soon to be a major motion picture with @LeoDiCaprio, a @nytimes notable book of the year, and a @nationalbook Award…
  • 5 positive comments

    8 neutral comments

    17 negative comments

    # of reviews over time


    What people are saying on Amazon (sample)

    • Well written true story of the The Reign of Terror, several years in the 1920's when numerous members of the Osage Nation were murdered for their mineral rights.SYNOPSISThis is a three part story. Part one follows the murders of many members of a prominent Osage family, part two, is the story of the early FBI agents who investigated the murders and the trial, part three is the author, David Grann's investigation of the story and the aftermath of these murders; the effect it still has on their families almost one hundred years later.WHAT I LOVEDBoth informative and interesting. Some historical nonfiction authors tend to make a fascinating story dull by adding in the most banal details, I often wonder if it's to fill pages or show off to their colleagues how well they researched their subject. Grann avoided that altogether and stuck to the facts which would interest a broader audience. He made history come alive.The story itself is both shameful and very interesting. It's amazing that one hundred years ago, outright murder and embezzlement would go mostly unpunished due to a person's race. The estimate was somewhere between 26 and 100 Osage murdered in one decade. Only a very few perpetrators were prosecuted.WHAT I DIDN'T LOVEThis book covered some ugly truths. The subject matter was hard to read at times but otherwise, there wasn't a lot to not like.OVERALLI think this is an important book to read to help us understand the past and it's effects on the present and future.
    • I am part Osage so this book was incredibly fascinating to me. The research is very thorough. I especially enjoyed hearing what happened to the major players after it was over. The last part of the book is the author describing how he ended up solving another of the murders during his research. It's hard to believe it was real life and not a made up story. Very well done.
    • This is a story of greed, death, and evil. The book starts out slow as the author describes several mysterious deaths involving members of an Osage Indian family. Keeping track of the many characters and untimely deaths makes the early goings a little hard to follow. But once Federal Investigator Tom White arrives on the scene, everything starts to come together.While many of the deaths trace back to a single individual, there are more than enough bad guys to go around. Is a mass murderer at large? Are the deaths connected? The answers to these questions become apparent as Tom White conducts his investigation. Along the way, the author gives a lot of background on the Osage Indians, mineral rights, and J. Edgar Hoover and the beginnings of what would become the FBI.The string of deaths recounted in this story take place in the 1920s, but the root cause of the murders is one that has occurred throughout history as well as present time: a belief that an entire class of people are expendable.If you're a fan of true-crime dramas, you will enjoy this historical whodunnit. The book is a detailed account of the machinations of more than one individual to acquire wealth at the expense of others.
    • Well researched and written. Sadly a true story. A testimonial to greed and arrogance. Well worth reading.
    • This is an important book. Like others who have written, I grew up in an area not far from here, in a landscape dotted with oil wells, yet knew nothing of the murders detailed in this book. I am glad for the sake of the victims of this tragedy that this terrible injustice is now being brought to light.At the same time, I have some concerns about the way this book has been written. In an attempt presumably to maintain the reader’s interest, David Grann has chosen to write this non-fiction account as if it were a crime novel. Sometimes this leads to overwrought prose. As but one of many examples, he says of one character that he “would disappear into the streets with his gleaming English Bulldog.” The reference is not to a canine, but to the type of revolver the individual was reputed to own. It is difficult to imagine that this black gun was “gleaming” in the darkness of night, especially since there was no reason for him to have it drawn.More significantly, the decision to write in the manner of a sensational novel has affected the structure of the book. He begins with the story of two murdered individuals, setting forth a host of clues that, like in a good detective novel, one expects eventually to lead somewhere. For the most part, they don’t. As the story broadens, additional crimes and more characters are introduced so that to a large degree the events with which the story began fade into the background and some facts that appeared to be clues get dropped altogether. Perhaps this reflects the author’s own journey, as the book he set out to write turned into something else with the broad nature of the crimes uncovered through additional research. If that is the case, one can only wish he had taken the time to rewrite and give this story its proper frame.