The Mystery, Crime, and Thriller Group discussion

178 views
Group Read Discussions > July 2018 Group Read -- Killers of the Flower Moon, by David Grann

Comments Showing 1-50 of 170 (170 new)    post a comment »
« previous 1 3 4

message 1: by Nancy, Co-Moderator (new)

Nancy Oakes (quinnsmom) | 9333 comments Mod
Join me here in discussing David Grann's Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI. There is a separate spoiler thread just in case you're worried about giving too much away.


RJ - Slayer of Trolls (hawk5391yahoocom) | 581 comments I'm just finishing this one for a different group. Excellent book!


message 3: by M.L. (new)

M.L. | 365 comments I'm looking forward to reading it.


message 4: by Jan C (new)

Jan C (woeisme) | 36379 comments My copy came today.


message 5: by Nancy, Co-Moderator (new)

Nancy Oakes (quinnsmom) | 9333 comments Mod
We don't officially start until tomorrow, but I will say that I loved this book. And don't rush through it!!


message 6: by Nancy, Co-Moderator (new)

Nancy Oakes (quinnsmom) | 9333 comments Mod
I would like to divide this book up for discussion, meaning instead of reading it all at once and talking about it as a whole right away, the author's divided it into "chronicles." Let's start with Chronicle One, that runs through page 89, to give everyone a chance to catch up.

If you can't contain your thoughts and enthusiasm about things past Chronicle One, there's a spoiler thread to go along with this main thread.


message 7: by Meg (new)

Meg | 1 comments I loved this book and agree that one shouldn’t speed through it. It requires thought and reflection.


message 8: by Russell (new)

Russell Atkinson | 98 comments As a retired FBI agent I was pleased to see a fair portrayal of the FBI in this book. That doesn't happen often in modern books. Agent White was perhaps exceptionally dedicated, but not atypical of the people I worked with. Of course that was a different era. Hoover wasn't shown particularly sympathetically in the book, but bear in mind that the investigation would never have happened and been pursued so vigorously without him. The story in the book is shocking and discouraging, even heartbreaking, but it isn't really what I'd call enjoyable reading. I read it for another book club and probably wouldn't have finished it otherwise.


message 9: by Tom (new)

Tom Mathews | 985 comments I am looking forward to listening to the audio version of this book as soon as I finish what I am currently reading. It's not often that I read nonfiction books about the FBI but having just finished A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership, this will be my second in a month.


message 10: by M.L. (last edited Jul 01, 2018 05:45PM) (new)

M.L. | 365 comments For Chronicle One, will there be spoilers here in this thread? Just so I don't accidentally run into one. :)


message 11: by Nancy, Co-Moderator (last edited Jul 01, 2018 08:39AM) (new)

Nancy Oakes (quinnsmom) | 9333 comments Mod
I'm thinking that anything goes in talking about the book up to page 89 until we move on; if for some reason people want to divulge things that happen after Chronicle I while we're still talking about it, I've set up a spoiler thread for the book.


message 12: by ALLEN (last edited Jul 01, 2018 12:31PM) (new)

ALLEN | 4532 comments Nancy wrote: "I'm thinking that anything goes in talking about the book up to page 89 until we move on; if for some reason people want to divulge things that happen after Chronicle I while we're still talking ab..."

I think p. 89 is more than generous, Nancy; that takes us all the way up to the beginning of Chapter 7.
I didn't know about your thread here until just a moment ago. Perhaps I should "plight my troth" in with your thread rather than the one I am stirring around with at Buddy Reads? KILLERS OF THE FLOWER MOON is a fine book but too many discussions all at once might spread the participant base too thin.


message 13: by Shanequa (last edited Jul 01, 2018 12:56PM) (new)

Shanequa (cameoutbesotted) Reading this right now. I think it is really well written. I don't typically read true crime (so thank you to this group for getting me to read something I wouldn't ordinarily read) but I like David Grann's writing style and it is keeping me interested and invested.

The deaths that are detailed in Chronicle One (particularly the Smith house being blown up) and how the Osage are treated (things like not even being able to handle their own money) are so sickening and disgusting and it is hard to believe I'm not reading a work of fiction.


message 14: by Nancy, Co-Moderator (last edited Jul 01, 2018 12:36PM) (new)

Nancy Oakes (quinnsmom) | 9333 comments Mod
ALLEN wrote: "Nancy wrote: "I'm thinking that anything goes in talking about the book up to page 89 until we move on; if for some reason people want to divulge things that happen after Chronicle I while we're st..."

Plight away! I chose to break up this discussion precisely because there's so much going on here. But I have made an error -- it should be p. 108 at the end of Chronicle 1. That seems like a good breaking point and gives people time to read without rushing.


message 15: by Nancy, Co-Moderator (new)

Nancy Oakes (quinnsmom) | 9333 comments Mod
Shanequa wrote: "Reading this right now. I think it is really well written. I don't typically read true crime (so thank you to this group for getting me to read something I wouldn't ordinarily read) but I like Davi..."

I'm not big on true crime myself, but like you, a fan of David Grann's work.

And yes, it does read like fiction, so it's all a bit mind blowing once you realize that these things actually happened.


message 16: by Nancy, Co-Moderator (new)

Nancy Oakes (quinnsmom) | 9333 comments Mod
And I'm so glad you brought up the Osage not being allowed to handle their own money. I think that this fact not only sets the stage for all that will happen in Chronicle One and beyond, but also says something about how the powers that be in government at the time felt about the Native Americans in general. And frankly, it made me angry to learn about the so-called "guardianship." Like they're small children without a clue.


message 17: by Patty (new)

Patty | 3079 comments As part of the It's a Small World Category, chapter 3, page 27, references Dr. H. H. Holmes, the Devil from Erik Larson's book, Devil in the White City. I read that book right before opening this one. It seems like an odd reference, but one I was proud to know.

I'm enjoying the matter-of-fact voice of this book. I find it much more chilling when the story unfolds this way. Creative Nonfiction--like In Cold Blood--reads too much like fiction to me.


message 18: by Nancy, Co-Moderator (new)

Nancy Oakes (quinnsmom) | 9333 comments Mod
That's Grann's style. He is an amazing researcher and builds on fact. I just recently reread his The Lost City of Z: A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon, and was blown away by his research.


message 19: by Shanequa (new)

Shanequa (cameoutbesotted) Nancy wrote: "And I'm so glad you brought up the Osage not being allowed to handle their own money. I think that this fact not only sets the stage for all that will happen in Chronicle One and beyond, but also s..."

Yes, it made me angry too. If some of the Osage really did have issues handling money that is something that should have been governed among themselves in my opinion. That probably wouldn't have completely eliminated the abuse of power but I don't think it would have gotten to the extent that it did.

You are so right that it set the stage for the events that follow in the remainder of the book. It definitely set the tone that the powers at the time put little to no value on the Native American life so what was to stop people from murdering them in cold blood...


message 20: by ALLEN (last edited Jul 01, 2018 01:16PM) (new)

ALLEN | 4532 comments That's one way the marginalized are kept marginalized: treat them like children, 'administer' their money requiring a chain of well-paid government agents (incl. social workers), thus leaving the coast clear some years later for a different gang of bureaucrats and lawgivers to proclaim them "passive and dependent" with "welfare costs that are sky-high."

It's kind of the same rap going on today, isn't it? It gives one a feeling how "blaming the victim" got its start.


message 21: by Nancy, Co-Moderator (new)

Nancy Oakes (quinnsmom) | 9333 comments Mod
On the other hand, I thought the Osage people were clever in securing all of the rights to "oil, gas, coal, or other minerals covered by the lands" in their initial dealings with the government. (Chapter 4)


message 22: by ALLEN (last edited Jul 01, 2018 01:50PM) (new)

ALLEN | 4532 comments Oh, yes, I think that's the irony: "If [name any despised minority group] would just comport itself according to (pick any one: middle-class, white, respectable, citizen) norms, then American society would work for them too . . . in the land of opportunity, success is denied no one."

Turns out to be B.S., I think it's no spoiler to go that far.


message 23: by PattyMacDotComma (new)

PattyMacDotComma | 502 comments No spoilers in my review, and I'll link it here and follow the discussion after.

Compelling true-crime. If it weren't so well-documented, it would be hard to believe.
Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI by David Grann reads like a novel with an outrageous plot that will outrage YOU!
Killers of the Flower Moon The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI by David Grann 5★
https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...


message 24: by Patty (new)

Patty | 3079 comments Allen, even when the Osage people comported themselves as others--i.e., whites--they were looked down on.

For example, having domestics. Some of the Osage had white domestics; they could afford them. Yet, for them to have help, was seen as wrong. Also, having large homes, cars, etc. White millionaires had these and more; yet it was looked at as being unseemly for the Osage to have these.

My take on the intrusion of the white man/government is that they are always looking for a way to take things away, and the best way is by keeping the Osage dependent on them.


message 25: by ALLEN (last edited Jul 01, 2018 06:37PM) (new)

ALLEN | 4532 comments Absolutely. It just BOTHERED nearby whites that the Osage, having suffered numerous re-locations and privations, happened to sit upon vast mineral wealth. All of a sudden they were uncomfortable with the kind of luck oil had also brought to white inhabitants of the region, with which there had been no problem.
[comment redacted -- it can wait]
Envy much on the part of the majority?


message 26: by Nancy, Co-Moderator (new)

Nancy Oakes (quinnsmom) | 9333 comments Mod
okay... I'm not at all about censoring people's thoughts, but my moderator self says let's please try to keep the discussion germane to the book itself and not beyond, at least for now. Feel free to voice any and all thoughts toward the end when we wrap it all up.


message 27: by Patty (new)

Patty | 3079 comments So far, through Chronicle One, I'm seeing more of an Osage female presence, and white male presence. I'm curious as to where the Osage males are.


message 28: by ALLEN (last edited Jul 01, 2018 06:31PM) (new)

ALLEN | 4532 comments Nancy wrote: "okay... I'm not at all about censoring people's thoughts, but my moderator self says let's please try to keep the discussion germane to the book itself and not beyond, at least for now. Feel free t..."
Okay, Nancy, I'm sorry. Will redact above remark and save editorializing for the wrap-up, as you suggest.


message 29: by Nancy, Co-Moderator (new)

Nancy Oakes (quinnsmom) | 9333 comments Mod
ALLEN wrote: "Nancy wrote: "okay... I'm not at all about censoring people's thoughts, but my moderator self says let's please try to keep the discussion germane to the book itself and not beyond, at least for no..."

no apologies needed, nor redaction. I'm just used to keeping people on target from my IRL reading group and I can't help myself. We'll just move on.


message 30: by Nancy, Co-Moderator (new)

Nancy Oakes (quinnsmom) | 9333 comments Mod
Patty wrote: "So far, through Chronicle One, I'm seeing more of an Osage female presence, and white male presence. I'm curious as to where the Osage males are."

Given that the first part of the story takes place among one family, in which Osage women married white men, I think it's appropriate that we're hearing more about the women than the Osage men.


message 31: by Gretchen (new)

Gretchen Tom wrote: "I am looking forward to listening to the audio version of this book as soon as I finish what I am currently reading. It's not often that I read nonfiction books about the FBI but having just finish..."

I decided to read this because I recently finished higher loyalty. I have high regard for the FBI agency and employees. (I won't go into my feelings about the thrashing they are taking now...). I am also native, and though I was not raised on a reservation, we didn't have one, I am always interested in the often very sad history of our native people. Thanks for letting me share


message 32: by Patty (new)

Patty | 3079 comments Nancy, that's one part of it. They aren't marrying them, or showing up as any of the menfolk (business owners, workers).


message 33: by M.L. (new)

M.L. | 365 comments Russell wrote: "As a retired FBI agent I was pleased to see a fair portrayal of the FBI in this book. That doesn't happen often in modern books. Agent White was perhaps exceptionally dedicated, but not atypical of..."

The historic view of the FBI is one of the reasons I want to read this, so glad to hear that it is a good representation.


message 34: by Corban (new)

Corban Ford (corbanford) Nancy wrote: "Join me here in discussing David Grann's Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI. There is a separate spoiler thread just in case you're worried about..."

I really enjoyed reading this one and am very much looking forward to this discussion!


message 35: by Corban (new)

Corban Ford (corbanford) David Grann does a simply amazing job taking history and putting it in front of you chapter after chapter in such a gripping, edge of your seat style. In some ways it read like a fiction novel, as Grann showed smoothly flowed from one chapter to another in a way that mesmerized me, making it almost impossible to put down.

The content obviously was serious in nature and sad, but I appreciated the depth and attention to detail throughout, especially having never heard or read about this historical travesty before. I definitely enjoyed reading this one, and I think it is the best non-fiction book I've had the privilege of reading this year.


message 36: by Nancy, Co-Moderator (new)

Nancy Oakes (quinnsmom) | 9333 comments Mod
Corban wrote: "David Grann does a simply amazing job taking history and putting it in front of you chapter after chapter in such a gripping, edge of your seat style. In some ways it read like a fiction novel, as ..."

He's very, very good at what he does both in terms of writing and research. And if you ever have the chance to hear him speak, go for it.


message 37: by ALLEN (new)

ALLEN | 4532 comments I can believe it! Have you ever had that pleasure, Nancy?


message 38: by Nancy, Co-Moderator (new)

Nancy Oakes (quinnsmom) | 9333 comments Mod
Once. It was a great experience.


message 39: by Patty (new)

Patty | 3079 comments Mollie's family is not fairing well through Chronicle I. Neither are any of the people trying to get some answers:

• Barney McBride--a wealthy oilman who went to Washington to ask for federal authorities to investigate--is murdered.

• Governor Walton sends an investigator--Herman Fox Davis--to Osage county. Davis eventually is sent to prison for bribery, and Walton is so dirty he's removed from office.

• W. W. Vaughn--an attorney working to help solve the Osage murders--is himself murdered and valuable papers are stolen.

So far, to me, it appears that there are some influential people not wanting this to be looked into.


message 40: by Corban (new)

Corban Ford (corbanford) Oh yes..Grann does an amazing job setting the stage and really fleshing out the characters as he weaves them into the narrative.


message 41: by ALLEN (last edited Jul 02, 2018 04:46PM) (new)

ALLEN | 4532 comments I agree with you both. This history reveals itself in Grann's capable hands as mystery. In a way, we're getting the best of both worlds. If this book can be acceptably classified as "True Crime," I think it's bound for the top ranks of that subgenre, along with such recognized entries as Columbine, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, and the much-maligned but sublime In Cold Blood.


message 42: by PattyMacDotComma (last edited Jul 03, 2018 06:07AM) (new)

PattyMacDotComma | 502 comments I haven't watched/heard this yet, but "Thomas" commented on my review and said we could hear the author on CSPAN and I found the link.
https://www.c-span.org/video/?427931-...


message 43: by ALLEN (new)

ALLEN | 4532 comments Nice talk! Thank you, Thomas and PattyMac.


message 44: by Nancy, Co-Moderator (new)

Nancy Oakes (quinnsmom) | 9333 comments Mod
I've been rereading the first part of this book, and I came this on p. 43 where Grann talks about settlers massacring "several of the Osage..." He quotes an Indian Affairs agent as saying "The question will suggest itself, which of these people are the savages?"

I bring this up because the idea of "savage vs. civilized" is one I've been reading a lot about lately in nonfiction about European explorers and rubber barons in the Amazon. It's a great question and maybe one to think about as we're talking here.


message 45: by ALLEN (last edited Jul 03, 2018 10:11AM) (new)

ALLEN | 4532 comments I recall a scene from MAD MEN, the TV series, in which the ad agency had commendably opened itself up to minority hires, which at that time (early Sixties) was unknown on Madison Avenue.

Well, the "boys" (putative adults who worked at the agency) cut all kinds of capers on hiring day, peek-a-booing the job applicants, acting like jerks and sometimes animals. One young black woman at the event said to another, "And they call US the savages??"

Makes one think, doesn't it?


message 46: by Patty (new)

Patty | 3079 comments The Savages vs. The Civilized: Whom is Whom?

According to Western Civilization, it appears to depend on the amount of clothing you wear, the color of your skin, how far removed you are from relying on/appreciating nature, how the men view the men (as equal to or as lesser than), and how the men view the women (to be raped or to be married). Oh, can't forget God.


message 47: by Nancy, Co-Moderator (new)

Nancy Oakes (quinnsmom) | 9333 comments Mod
I actually meant the phrase more as it pertains to this book (since it was specially used here) in particular -- as in attitudes for the first section, and then later when things are revealed. But you did remind me, Patty, re religion, of how these women were equally at home in native and Christian beliefs.


message 48: by Patty (new)

Patty | 3079 comments Nancy, in a way, I meant it to pertain to this book.

One think about the religion and the women. I think it was said someway like this in the book that they had one foot in each culture once they went to the Catholic school (a separate savagery). The old ways of the Osage culture and the new ways of the Catholic Church. Molly went to church, but it seemed as if only as a habit. The old Osage prayers stayed dear to her, but those seemed to be getting lost.


message 49: by Cindy Jones (new)

Cindy Jones | 1 comments This is not my usual choice for reading. After seeing it in the discussion board, I opted to get it. I am not disappointed in choosing it. Wow.. I can't even imagine having to be forced to relocate and then blamed for the wealth that came with it. It seems a no win situation for the Osage. Such tragedy.


message 50: by Sandy (new)

Sandy Mcculloch | 1 comments I read this book and it was a good read but to say I enjoyed it, no indeed. I would read a little and then I had to stop as I would be a mixture of angry, sad, and despair for the human race. The information was well researched and I feel there was a good attention to keeping balance. An important book. Lessons still to be learned today.


« previous 1 3 4
back to top