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)

  • 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…
  • This is the answer to a question I began wondering as soon as I started @DavidGrann's book: “Killers of the Flower…
  • KILLERS OF THE FLOWER MOON author @DavidGrann will join us on Wednesday as he presents his latest book THE WHITE DA…
  • @timcasteel and a sad but fascinating book, Killers of the Flower Moon- about the mistreatment of the Osage in Oklahoma.
  • 5 positive comments

    8 neutral comments

    17 negative comments

    # of reviews over time


    What people are saying on Amazon (sample)

    • 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.
    • Author David Grann spent years doing research and uncovering new evidence in writing Killers of the Flower Moon. Since I was a fan of his from reading The Lost City of Z, I expected this latest book to be the sort of non-fiction I love: the kind that reads like the best fiction. I was not disappointed. What I did not expect was just how infuriated I would become by reading it.Having been a huge horse racing fan when I was a teenager, I knew about the wealth of the Osage Nation in the 1920s. One of the Osage owned a winner of the Kentucky Derby. But that knowledge was just cursory. I had no idea how rich the Osage really were, and I certainly didn't have a clue that the government didn't trust them with all that money. I should not have been so naive. It had to madden many whites that, although they'd shoved the Osage onto a piece of land they deemed unfit for themselves, oil would be discovered and the Osage would turn out to be the wealthiest people in the world. The one way they had of trying to horn in on this wealth was by declaring that the Osage were not fit to use their own money wisely. In many cases whites were put in charge of the families' money, and they gave their wards allowances (and themselves large fees for their business knowledge).Why on earth should I be so surprised that this greed would escalate to murder? It is the natural progression after all. To this day, the Osage have trust issues, and who can blame them? They tried to get dozens of murders investigated, but instead the killings were covered up. What Grann did in Killers of the Flower Moon was to dig deeper and deeper and expose just how huge the problem actually was. As I read, words like horrifying, unspeakable, and several others flashed through my mind. This is an uncomfortable read for anyone with a conscience; nevertheless, it is a fascinating and important one.(Review copy courtesy of NetGalley)
    • I'll keep it simple.I'm horrified and ashamed of the atrocities people will commit to gain extra cash in their pockets. This story needed to be told, and it fascinating the amount of detail that went into describing the horrors of that period of time. Certainly a lot of jumping off points into further readings from history.Reads quickly, easily, and is highly thought provoking. Worth the time. I highly recommend it.One aspect that had it been included, would have really helped solidify some of the information is a time line with events and people. There are so many people involved, and so many connections and mysteries, that I was beginning to forget when something happened and who was involved, or how someone was related, or what their role was. Its not that I forgot, but I would love to refer back to that in conversations about the book. I suppose I could have taken notes, but that didn't occur until later. And so I just leave that as a suggestion. A couple of pages at end of book with a quick who's who.
    • This is an important story and a remarkable piece of reporting. Unfortunately, the prose was lackluster, sometimes to the point of distracting from the narrative. Scene-setting and artful detail aren't this author's strong suit, and his attempts to flesh out the characters and the setting often fell flat, in my opinion. I wanted to know more about the Osage and about life in Oklahoma in the 20s in general and so on; I mostly got two-dimensional, crudely sketched renditions, and that bothered me. There's color in this book, but it's painted using a frustratingly limited palette.Still, in a way, Killers of the Flower Moon is a real triumph of substance over style. That's because it manages to be a great piece of work despite its uninspiring prose and fairly wooden set pieces. It's fantastically well-researched. The bones of the story -- the procedural stuff -- is meticulously fitted together. The plot and pacing work beautifully. And, the outrageous injustice at the heart of the book is vital and relevant and deserves exposure to as wide an audience as possible. Despite my ambivalence, I was riveted.
    • 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.