by Sierra Crane Murdoch, 2020

Yellow Bird: Oil, Murder, and a Woman’s Search for Justice in Indian Country caught my interest for about five different reasons: 1) it’s a true crime story about a murder… 2) in the oil industry… 3) in North Dakota where I grew up… 4) involving a native Indian reservation and how they were exploited by the oil industry… and 5) exploring the broader topics of addiction and recovery in native Americans, and their history of exploitation by our government. I was in!

I listened with a keen, attentive ear, not only for slip-ups regarding how the oil industry was portrayed (outsiders never seem to get it right), but also North Dakota itself. I was pleasantly surprised at the accuracy, right down to the last technical details and the pronunciation of the names of local towns and cities. I emailed the author as much, congratulating her on a fine body of work. I could not put this book down; it was a true crime story written as a riveting novel. It was awarded Amazon’s Best Book of March 2020, and was a Pulitzer Prize finalist.

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