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

Sierra Crane Murdoch. Random House, $28 (384p) ISBN 978-0-399-58915-7
Investigative reporter Murdoch debuts with a powerful portrayal of an unusual sleuth whose dogged pursuit of a missing person inquiry led to justice. Lissa Yellow Bird received a degree in criminal justice from the University of North Dakota, “though rather than working for the police, she spent much of her adult life evading them.” Despite that checkered background and a history of substance abuse, Lissa became an advocate in tribal court and a go-to resource when people went missing on Native American lands. After Kristopher Clarke, who worked for a trucking company based on the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation, vanished in 2012, Lissa became interested in the mystery. Her investigations contributed to the arrest and conviction, in 2016, of James Henrikson, who had feared that Clarke was going to start his own trucking firm and steal Henrikson’s employees. Murdoch deepens her narrative with a searing look at the deficiencies of law and order on Native American land, corruption, and the abrogation of responsibility by the federal government. Admirers of David Grann’s Killers of the Flower Moon will be drawn to this complex crime story with similar themes and settings. Agent: Kent Wolf, Neon Literary. (Feb.)
Reviewed on : 12/09/2019
Release date: 02/25/2020
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 400 pages - 978-0-399-58917-1
Pre-Recorded Audio Player - 978-1-0942-5906-2
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Audio book sample courtesy of Penguin Random House Audio
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