Book Review: Killers of the Flower Moon by David Grann
One-sentence summary of Killers of the Flower Moon:
While the Osage strike oil and hit it rich, thereâ€™s a killer among them, explored in this nonfiction book.
Killers of the Flower Moon takes us through the history of the Osage Indian tribe, following Mollie.
Through Mollie, we see the Osage get rich off of the oil on their land. Suddenly, theyâ€™re rich simply by being Osage.
During the boon, Mollie marries a white man of leisure (he later says, â€œI married an Osage. I donâ€™t work.â€) and has babies.
And trouble visits the land. One by one, Osage people are found dead; murdered.
The newly formed FBI, with a spirited Edgar J Hoover at the helm, investigates the murders while bolstering their bureau, building it to higher levels of respectability and control.
Aside from the FBI investigation, the outsider intrusion on the Osage is unjust. They were considered incapable of managing their own money by the very virtue of not being white, and often lost control over their own property and bank accounts.
And then they get to the bottom of the mystery and a whole new heartbreak is revealed.
The book elicits a range of emotions: shock, indignation, sympathy, even sheepish jealousy. I mean, who wouldn’t want to be on the financial gravy train the Osage enjoyed for many years? (Which isnâ€™t to say they had it easy by any means – reading the book shows you that).
Killers of the Flower Moon is that fascinating mix of historical intrigue and important events. It shows a granular occurrence and its impact on the country as a whole.
Itâ€™s evocative of Devil in the White City, another book that follows dual historical events and immerses the reader in history with a personal touch.
Sometimes the detail is so exhaustive itâ€™s, well, exhausting. While interesting overall, the book occasionally drags. Especially in the final part.
And then there are parts that only whet the appetite. Up next: find an in-depth look at J. Edgar Hoover. The book by Curt Gentry looks like a good bet.