Indian Killer

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Indian Killer
First edition
Author Sherman Alexie
Country United States
Language English
Publisher Atlantic Monthly Press
Publication date
September 1996
Media type Print (Paperback)
Pages 420
ISBN ISBN 0-87113-652-X

Indian Killer is a novel written by Sherman Alexie, featuring a serial killer in the city of Seattle, Washington, who scalps white men. Because of this technique, he is called the "Indian Killer" and rising fear provokes anti-Native American violence and racial hostility.


A serial murderer terrorizes Seattle, hunting and scalping white men. The crimes of the so-called 'Indian Killer' triggers a wave of violence and racial hatred. Seattle's Native Americans are shaken and confused.

John Smith, born Indian and raised by whites, desperately yearns for his lost heritage and seeks his elusive true identity. He meets Marie, an Indian activist outraged by people like Jack Wilson, a mystery writer who claims to be part Indian. As a bigoted radio personality incites whites to seek revenge, tensions mount and Smith fights to slake the anger that engulfs him.[1]


Publishers Weekly wrote, "this novel offers abundant evidence of a most promising talent extending its range." The editorial review on said, "Alexie's new novel is a departure in tone from his lyrical and funny earlier work" and that "Alexie layers the story with complications and ancillary characters".[2]

Sherman Alexie said his novel is "a feel-good novel about interracial murder".[3]!--Expand with reviews from major newspapers and critics-->


Major characters[edit]

  • John Smith
  • Marie Polatkin
  • Jack Wilson
  • Clarence Mather
  • Truck Schultz

Minor characters[edit]

  • Reggie Polatkin
  • Mark Jones
  • The Foreman
  • Aaron Rogers
  • David Rogers
  • Olivia Smith
  • Daniel Smith


  1. ^ " Indian Killer". Retrieved 2010-12-13. 
  2. ^ "Indian Killer (9780446673709): Sherman Alexie: Books". Retrieved 2010-12-13. 
  3. ^ [1], City Arts[dead link]