Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI by David Grann (Doubleday), immerses readers in a devastating episode in U.S. history in which dozens of members of the Osage Indian Nation were systematically murdered for their oil wealth. Grann is dazzling in his painstaking research and skillfully constructed narrative, which incorporates the parallel story of the conception of J. Edgar Hoover’s FBI. Here are three other books that represent the best of historical true crime.
At the End of the World: A True Story of Murder in the Arctic
by Lawrence Millman
Millman investigates a disturbing series of murders, in which both victims and perpetrators were Inuit, that occurred in Canada’s remote Belcher Islands in 1941. Digging deeply into both the historical record and the memories of witnesses, he explains how the resulting investigation revealed an epic amount of cultural confusion and collision and analyzes the tragedy’s lingering trauma.
Death in the City of Light: The Serial Killer of Nazi-Occupied Paris
by David King
In Nazi-occupied Paris, respected doctor Marcel Petiot tortured and dismembered tens of victims, many of them Jews who came to him seeking refuge from the Gestapo. King follows Petiot’s insidious crimes and the ensuing homicide investigation with the immediacy of a top-notch thriller.
The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair That Changed America
by Erik Larson
Larson’s masterpiece, which intertwines the tales of sadistic serial killer H. H. Holmes and the development of the Chicago World’s Fair of 1893, the busyness of which Holmes exploited for cover, remains a widely read classic of the genre.
Donna Seaman is Adult Books Editor for Booklist, a recipient of the Studs Terkel Humanities Service Award, a member of the Content Leadership Team for the American Writers Museum, and a frequent presenter at literary events and programs. Seaman’s new book is Identity Unknown: Rediscovering Seven American Women Artists.