Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI

Finalist, National Book Awards 2017 for Nonfiction

Killers of the Flower Moon by David Grann book cover
ISBN 9780385534246
Doubleday / Penguin Random House
David Grann author photo, credit: Matt Richman
David Grann

David Grann is a staff writer at The New Yorker and the bestselling author of The Lost City of Z, which was chosen as one of the best books of the year by The New York TimesThe 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. More about this author >

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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.

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Killers of the Flower Moon tells the story of the brutal murders behind white settlers’ attempted dispossession of an Osage family’s Oklahoma lands, under which lay some of the world’s most valuable oil fields. That this conspiracy of theft, terror, and genocide helped launch J. Edgar Hoover’s FBI deepens the narrative’s moral complexity. Structured taut as a noir, researched like an indictment, and written with hard-boiled empathy, the book leaves us to wonder at the unresolved and unrecorded crimes against Native Americans.