This book offered both. America which prides itself on being the beacon of democracy with an incorruptible judiciary was not always that way. Has it changed? Have to ask the countless innocent people who were sent to jail because of prosecutorial overreach.
This book reads better than any mystery novel but the events were culled meticulously from investigative records about the Osage murders. Murders that were committed for that ancient reason - greed and coveting for somebody's wealth. All made possible by the implicit and tacit support of the federal government. Because no one other than the white man is considered capable enough to take care of their own affairs. Each Indian with rights to oil in Osage County is appointed a caretaker and had to ask permission from them for spending any of the money. The murders and unexplained killings were the result. Why? the caretakers themselves wanted to control the money. But how can this be made possible? By getting rid of the wards obviously.
The corrupt local and state officials were all in the buy so the FBI team - the fledgling bureau that was being assembled by Edgar Hoover had to come in. But did they solve all of them?
Subtler subtext also explores the slow killing of a culture and the devastation that is being wrought on them by the settlers for whom the wealth is more important than an Indian life. I will not give the plot but if you want a good read and in the process learn something about the not so great past of this country you should be reading this book.
David Grann is a mastery story teller. His writing is evocative and clear minded. You will not be disappointed I promise.
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