This is a story of a mass murder.
The murdered were members of the Osage tribe of Native Americans, who, for a host of complex reasons tied to U.S.’s horrific treatment of Native Americans, ended up inexplicably wealthy owners of extremely valuable land rights. Their murderers were members of the white community around them, people who befriend them, even married them, and then systematically went about killing them to gain their wealth and land titles.
This book is also about the early days of the FBI, when Hoover was trying to turn a little known group of law men into a feared national surveillance and enforcement unit. They solved at least some of the Osage murders, but for their own reasons.
It all makes for some dark, sociopathic, racist, stuff. Its also deeply compelling, extremely well researched, and written in a style that keeps the pace of the story high, without descending into sensationalism.
This one will be on a lot of best of the year lists and for good reason. It’s a compelling, heartbreaking story, long overlooked and its excellently told.