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  • Vinicius Monteiro

Killers of the Flower Moon Book Review

Killers of the Flower Moon Book Review

This text may contain possible SPOILERS.

Synopsis: In the United States in the 1920s, the people with the highest per capita income in the world were members of the Osage Indian people of Oklahoma. Until, one by one, the Osage began to be killed. The first victims were Mollie Burkhart's family. And that was only the beginning, because soon more and more murders against Native Americans would take place, always under mysterious conditions.

Review: David Grann delivers a meticulously researched account of a terrible, widespread conspiracy against the Osage Indian nation in Oklahoma. The author centers the story of the book on an Osage family, who had their family members cowardly killed from causes ranging from the strange and ambiguous to the obviously violent.

The Osages were much in the news at the time. In the 1870s, they were expelled from their ancestral lands to a reservation in Oklahoma deemed unfit for cultivation or anything else. Decades later, the Osage discovered that the reservation sat atop some of the largest oil deposits in the US, a fluke that, in the 1920s, would have yielded more oil money than the combined value of all the gold rushes of the Old West. The Osages were in the news as the richest people in the US.


Greed knocked on the door of the first American people. This is where the terrible story of America's original sin, the systematic oppression and murder of its first people, turns dark. For if whites hoped to inherit land rights, they would have to marry someone from the tribe and then wish their rich spouse dead. Or have them die, often after having lived with the Osage husband or wife for years. The Osage began to be poisoned, cruelly murdered, mysteriously killed and their houses blown up out of the blue. The news at the time began to drip with blood, the extermination of the first North American people was out of control.

When a white oilman, Barney McBride, was recruited by Osage to ask the federal authorities to investigate these killings, he too was killed: stabbed and beaten, then stripped naked. By 1925, none of the murders had been solved and the death toll was rising enough for the rest of America to start paying attention. National newspapers reported what was called the "Reign of Terror", the "Black Curse" of the Osage.


"Killers of the Flower Moon" brings a very important, but extremely strong, slice of American history to life. As I read the book, I was shocked by the limitlessness of greed and the extent to which the Osage nation was usurped by it all. The book delivers an almost crime thriller reading, at various times I forgot that the book was about a real story. The whole plot of the investigation is interwoven with the story of Mollie Burkhart's Osage family. Reading the book was magnetic, I couldn't stop reading.

The book sounds like the plot of a detective novel, thanks to the brilliance of David Grann. The author was able to deliver a real mystery full of layers. As a reporter, he is dogged and demanding, with a unique ability to uncover and incorporate obscure diaries, testimonies and books, without ever letting the plot get bogged down. As a writer, he is generous of spirit, willing to give even the most obscure characters the benefit of the doubt.


David Grann shines a light on a forgotten chapter of American history, and with the help of contemporary members of the Osage tribe, brings to life in the pages of his book a sick conspiracy that goes much deeper than those four years of horror.

"Killers of the Flower Moon" is a frightening true story of greed and racism in the development of the American West. Here is one of those truths that is hard to read and accept. It's hard to explain the depth of this read, I felt so much anger and incredible injustice. If you like to learn about history or true crime, this book is worth it.

Rating: 10

The official text of the website is Portuguese (Brazil). Any discrepancies or differences created in the translation are not binding and have no legal effect for compliance or enforcement purposes. If any doubts arise regarding the accuracy of the information contained on the translated website, please refer to the Portuguese version of the website, which is the official version.


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