Killers of the Flower Moon by David Grann
|Killers of the Flower Moon by David Grann|
|Category: True Crime|
|Reviewer: Megan Kenny|
|Summary: Killers of the Flower Moon is a tale of Machiavellian evil, as black as the oil at the heart of this story of greed, murder and betrayal. Grann has produced a hard hitting, yet sensitive, account of the Osage tribe and the unscrupulous, devious attempts to destroy them. This is an honest account of one of the most shameful periods of American history and deserves to be read by all.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 352||Date: April 2017|
|Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK|
|External links: Author's website|
Killers of the Flower Moon tells the story of the Osage tribe, forced to settle in the rocky, uninhabitable wilds of Oklahoma in what would become Osage County. In an unexpected turn of fortune, prospectors struck oil, instantly catapulting the Osage into unimaginable wealth and fortune making them some of the richest people in the world. Then members of the tribe start to die, slowly at first of apparently natural causes then in increasingly violent ways. Investigation into the matter stalls and is beset by incompetence and a general lack of interest in the fate of the Osage until the FBI becomes involved and draws together a team of battle scarred, unorthodox agents led by former Texas Ranger Tom White. As pressure on White increases, from both the FBI and the increasingly angry Osage, the race to find the truth becomes increasingly difficult, with more twists and double crosses than any murder mystery.
It is difficult to read Killers of the Flower Moon without feeling outraged at the treatment of the Osage. Grann meticulously details the injustices metered out by those who resented their good fortune, from refusal to allow them to access their wealth without approval from a guardian to the systematic attempts to steal their land, wealth and heritage. During this time, the ever-increasing number of suspicious deaths were part of a wider malignant social force, a movement designed to decimate not only the wealth of the Osage but their culture and way of life as part of a nationwide systematic gentrification.
It is obvious that Grann has meticulously researched Killers of the Flower Moon and has drawn on a staggering range of sources to provide a vivid, detailed account of one of the darkest periods in American history. Grann travelled extensively to speak to surviving members of the Osage tribe and mined through countless records and accounts; the result of these undoubtedly frustrating endeavours is a rich and passionate portrayal of a nation of people striving to survive in a rapidly changing landscape.
It is difficult to say that I loved Killers of the Flower Moon given the dark subject matter, however it is an important book. Its importance stems not only from the telling of such a shocking period of history but also by demonstrating the importance of this case on the development of one of the most recognised organisations in the world- the FBI. This is a must read for anyone with an interest in 'true crime', although the scale of the evil contained within Killers of the Flower Moon is too vast to be reduced to a sensationalist account of murder and it is to Grann's credit that at no point does Killers of the Flower Moon feel exploitative. Instead it is a story told with great compassion and empathy, which shows the human face of tragedy and the cost of greed and corruption.
For those interested in reading more about the history of the American West I would implore you to read the meticulously moving Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee by Dee Brown. For those interested in reading more from David Grann, you could try The Lost City of Z: A Legendary British Explorer's Deadly Quest to Uncover the Secrets of the Amazon.
You can read more book reviews or buy Killers of the Flower Moon by David Grann at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy Killers of the Flower Moon by David Grann at Amazon.com.
Like to comment on this review?
Just send us an email and we'll put the best up on the site.