Shocking would be the word, if countless cases hadn’t proven how terrible people can be to each other. Monstrous might be better. Evil. Horrific. For fans of Erik Larson, Jon Krakauer, or Grann’s previous book, The Lost City of Z, Killers of the Flower Moon exposes a little known saga of American history, and the previously unknown extent of the conspiracy which spiraled out from those events. In an ironic turn, massive oil deposits were found on the remote reservation that the Osage tribe had been forced onto, making them the wealthiest people per capita in the world. Then, one by one, the Osage began to be killed off. Based on original research and primary sources, Killers is a nonfiction thriller that ranks in the absolute best of the genre.
— Sara, Atlanta
This is a sordid story from America’s history that I had never heard before. The Osage Indians were hustled off their land onto a small piece of Oklahoma scrub land that white men didn’t want. That is, until oil was discovered. After tribe members became immensely rich, many died in unexpected and unnatural ways. Local law enforcement couldn’t come to any conclusions so in comes a group of undercover agents from the Bureau of Investigation, later becoming the FBI, in one of the earliest uses of national law enforcement. This thrilling, infuriating true crime story uses the stories of individuals like Mollie Burkhart to examine the larger tale of greed and murder. Officially 24 died in this “reign of terror” but the story is much broader and its impact is still felt today. This is non-fiction that I wish weren’t true but it reads like a fantastic conspiracy tale from the best of our fiction story tellers.
— Sydne, Atlanta
May 2017 Indie Next List
“One of the most horrific chapters in American history is brought back to the national consciousness with alarming detail in Killers of the Flower Moon. After the Osage Indian Nation strikes oil, its members become rich beyond their wildest dreams, only to encounter a vast and murderous conspiracy that will leave more than 60 members of the nation dead. David Grann reconstructs those murders and the subsequent investigations with astonishing care and reveals the depths of a conspiracy that stretched from Oklahoma to Washington, D.C. This story will certainly be one of the most important books of 2017.”
— Steven Shonder, Anderson's Bookshop, Naperville, IL
Summer 2018 Reading Group Indie Next List
“Killers of the Flower Moon by David Grann (The Lost City of Z) is a page-turner that reveals a part of American history long forgotten. In the 1920s, the Osage Indians of Oklahoma were some of the wealthiest people in the world. They were also being poisoned and murdered. Grann covers all the sordid details, brings the principal characters to life, and just when you think it’s all figured out, reveals new information. It’s a compelling story of greed, betrayal, J. Edgar Hoover, the Wild West, and murder, still resonating with the Osage today.”
— Alison DeCamp, Between the Covers, Harbor Springs, MI
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER - NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FINALIST
"Disturbing and riveting...It will sear your soul." —Dave Eggers, New York Times Book Review
SHELF AWARENESS'S BEST BOOK OF 2017
Named a best book of the year by Wall Street Journal, The Boston Globe, San Francisco Chronicle, GQ, Time, Newsday, Entertainment Weekly, Time Magazine, NPR's Maureen Corrigan, NPR's "On Point," Vogue, Smithsonian, Cosmopolitan, Seattle Times, Bloomberg, Lit Hub's "Ultimate Best Books," Library Journal, Paste, Kirkus, Slate.comand Book Browse 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, they rode in chauffeured automobiles, built mansions, and sent their children to study in Europe. Then, one by one, the Osage began to be killed off. The family of an Osage woman, Mollie Burkhart, became a prime target. Her relatives were shot and poisoned. And it was just the beginning, as more and more members of the tribe 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 like Al Spencer, the “Phantom Terror,” roamed—many of those who dared to investigate the killings were themselves murdered. As the death toll climbed to more than twenty-four, the FBI took up the case. It was one of the organization’s first major homicide investigations and the bureau badly bungled the case. In desperation, the young director, J. Edgar Hoover, turned to a former Texas Ranger named Tom White to unravel the mystery. White put together an undercover team, including one of the only American Indian agents in the bureau. The agents infiltrated the region, struggling to adopt the latest 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. Based on years of research and startling new evidence, 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 American Indians that allowed the murderers to operate with impunity for so long. Killers of the Flower Moon is utterly compelling, but also emotionally devastating.
About the Author
David Grann is a staff writer at The New Yorker and the best-selling author of The Lost City of Z, which was chosen as one of the best books of the year by The New York Times, The Washington Post, and other publications and has been translated into more than twenty-five languages. He is also the author of The Devil and Sherlock Holmes. His work has garnered several honors for outstanding journalism, including a George Polk Award.
"The best book of the year so far." —Entertainment Weekly
“A marvel of detective-like research and narrative verve.” —Financial Times
“A shocking whodunit…What more could fans of true-crime thrillers ask?” —USA Today
“A master of the detective form…Killers is something rather deep and not easily forgotten.” —Wall St. Journal