Winter Counts (Hardcover)
Ecco, 9780062968944, 336pp.
Publication Date: August 25, 2020
An addictive and groundbreaking debut thriller set on a Native American reservation
Virgil Wounded Horse is the local enforcer on the Rosebud Indian Reservation in South Dakota. When justice is denied by the American legal system or the tribal council, Virgil is hired to deliver his own punishment, the kind that’s hard to forget. But when heroin makes its way into the reservation and finds Virgil’s own nephew, his vigilantism suddenly becomes personal. He enlists the help of his ex-girlfriend and sets out to learn where the drugs are coming from, and how to make them stop.
They follow a lead to Denver and find that drug cartels are rapidly expanding and forming new and terrifying alliances. And back on the reservation, a new tribal council initiative raises uncomfortable questions about money and power. As Virgil starts to link the pieces together, he must face his own demons and reclaim his Native identity. He realizes that being a Native American in the twenty-first century comes at an incredible cost.
Winter Counts is a tour-de-force of crime fiction, a bracingly honest look at a long-ignored part of American life, and a twisting, turning story that’s as deeply rendered as it is thrilling.
About the Author
David Heska Wanbli Weiden is an enrolled citizen of the Sicangu Lakota Nation and received his MFA from the Institute of American Indian Arts. He’s a MacDowell Colony Fellow, a Tin House Scholar, and the recipient of the PEN/America’s Writing for Justice Fellowship. He lives in Denver, Colorado.
Praise For Winter Counts: A Novel…
— Benjamin Percy, author of Suicide Woods and Red Moon
“Winter Counts is a gripping, richly textured thriller and an urgent dispatch from Indian Country. Weiden writes with impressive authority and insight in this entirely original, enlightening, cliché-destroying novel.”
— James McLaughlin, Edgar Award-winning author of Bearskin
“Weiden announces himself as a formidable new voice in crime fiction. The images haunt, the action crackles, and Virgil Wounded Horse makes a lasting impression. Winter Counts is a heartfelt page-turner with compelling characters, keen cultural insight, and a climax unlike any I’ve read before.”
— Steph Cha, author of Your House Will Pay