Yellow Bird: Oil, Murder, and a Woman’s Search for Justice in Indian Country

Random. Feb. 2020. 384p. ISBN 9780399589157. $28. CRIME
With this debut, essayist Murdoch (The Atlantic, VICE) has written a story that expertly blends true crime, environmental drama, and family saga. For a first nonfiction work, Murdoch has outdone herself by telling the story in a beautifully narrative way, allowing readers to watch the scene unfold as Lissa Yellow Bird investigates the disappearance of Kristopher “KC” Clarke from his work site on Lissa’s tribal reservation. Murdoch’s own experiences lends perspective; her account offers no easy answers and causes readers to face the moral questions involved: resource mining on Native land, hardships caused by the signing and breaking of treaties, and the difficulties faced by everyone during an economic recession. Fans of Michelle McNamara’s I’ll Be Gone in the Dark will appreciate the accessible style, precise details, fast pace, and lyrical prose.
VERDICT Required reading for all fans of true crime, particularly those interested in the intersections of poverty and environmental justice, along with Native studies.
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