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Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI Hardcover – April 18, 2017

4.6 out of 5 stars 7,069 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

The Amazon Editors' Pick for the Best Book of 2017: In the 1920s, the Osage found themselves in a unique position among Native Americans tribes. As other tribal lands were parceled out in an effort by the government to encourage dissolution and assimilation of both lands and culture, the Osage negotiated to maintain the mineral rights for their corner of Oklahoma, creating a kind of “underground reservation.” It proved a savvy move; soon countless oil rigs punctured the dusty landscape, making the Osage very rich. And that’s when they started dying.

You’d think the Osage Indian Reservation murders would have been a bigger story, one as familiar as the Lindbergh kidnapping or Bonnie and Clyde. It has everything, but at scale: Execution-style shootings, poisonings, and exploding houses drove the body count to over two dozen, while private eyes and undercover operatives scoured the territory for clues. Even as legendary and infamous oil barons vied for the most lucrative leases, J. Edgar Hoover’s investigation – which he would leverage to enhance both the prestige and power of his fledgling FBI - began to overtake even the town’s most respected leaders.

Exhuming the massive amount of detail is no mean feat, and it’s even harder to make it entertaining. But journalist David Grann knows what he’s doing. With the same obsessive attention to fact - in service to storytelling - as The Lost City of Z, Killers of the Flower Moon reads like narrative-nonfiction as written by James M. Cain (there are, after all, insurance policies involved): smart, taut, and pacey. Most sobering, though, is how the tale is at once unsurprising and unbelievable, full of the arrogance, audacity, and inhumanity that continues to reverberate through today’s headlines. --Jon Foro, The Amazon Book Review

From School Library Journal

In 1920s Oklahoma, many members of the oil-wealthy Osage Nation were dying untimely and suspicious deaths. The widespread crimes against the Osage and the inability to identify those responsible led to the establishment of what is now known as the FBI. Grann, author of the best-selling The Lost City of Z, makes a complex web of violence and deception easy to follow by keeping the focus on one Osage woman, Mollie Burkhart, whose family members were murdered one by one. This gripping title uncovers a baffling level of corruption. The author points his investigative lens at the perpetrators of the murders, reveals cover-ups by authorities all the way up to the national level, and illustrates that the deception continued almost a century later. There are plenty of curriculum connections: Native American and Osage tribal history, economics, law enforcement, and journalism. A varied selection of photographs help to set the scene for readers. End pages include comprehensive source notes, citations, and a bibliography. VERDICT This thoroughly researched, suspenseful exposé will appeal to followers of true crime programs such as the podcast Serial and the Netflix documentary series Making a Murderer, as well as to fans of Louise Erdrich's The Round House.—Tara Kehoe, formerly at New Jersey State Library Talking Book and Braille Center, Trenton

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Beyond your wildest dreams
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4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5
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Top international reviews

Siriam
5.0 out of 5 stars A well written story of a forgotten USA crime that ends up demonstrating a historical conspiracy againt Native Americans
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 22, 2018
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williamcani
5.0 out of 5 stars Really eye-opening explanation of a recent history.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 28, 2019
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thegreypanther
5.0 out of 5 stars A Fascinating, and Disturbing, Story
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 19, 2017
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Partick Potter
5.0 out of 5 stars A great read
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 27, 2017
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Pannonia
5.0 out of 5 stars but it is no worse for that - in fact a film should be ...
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on June 25, 2017
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Mrs. Edwina Bentley
4.0 out of 5 stars This was an interesting book. It gave an insight ...
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 17, 2017
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Paul Norton
5.0 out of 5 stars good book.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 7, 2017
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F.R. Jameson
5.0 out of 5 stars Destined to become a true-crime classic!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 22, 2018
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5.0 out of 5 stars Well researched tragic history
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 1, 2019
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Capb
5.0 out of 5 stars A book you must read.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 24, 2017
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CPJ
5.0 out of 5 stars What a wonderful read.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 14, 2018
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Ruju
4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating account of America's shame
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 14, 2018
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Unazukin
4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating story
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 12, 2019
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WMA
5.0 out of 5 stars Piece of History
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 6, 2019
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G. Smith
5.0 out of 5 stars Intriguing expose of the arrogance and duplicity of white Europeans against native peoples
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 13, 2018
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