Winter Counts (Compact Disc)

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Staff Reviews

WINTER COUNTS is one hell of a debut. It's a grungy and grounded crime noir that I flew through in two sittings. Like most, the Rose Bud Indian Reservation in South Dakota exists in a kind of suspended lawlessness, where it falls under federal jurisdiction but the feds can't be bothered with anything less than murder. So most crimes must dealt with internally, with vigilantes like Virgil who solve problems with his fists. But when heroin makes its way to the reservation and Virgil's nephew seems to be involved, Virgil must find his allies and conquer his enemies if he is to stop the flow of poison entering the reservation. WINTER COUNTS is proof you don't need fast car chases, helicopter- jumping, or any Michael Bay -esque CGI to have your pulse pound and your blood run hot. It's a serrated thriller that captures the true heart of the American West, in all its beauty and ugliness. You also get to peek inside a community rarely represented but devastatingly crucial in this country. WINTER COUNTS is a read you will neither regret nor forget. 

— Conner (Assistant Book Manager)

September 2020 Indie Next List

“Weiden’s book is a thriller with an important social and political message. Following a Lakota ‘enforcer’ who enacts extrajudicial punishment to fill the gaps in the legal system, Winter Counts is a twisty new addition to the growing Indigenous literature canon. While some of the action may fall into somewhat predictable territory, Weiden’s exploration of the injustices of reservation life are vital.”
— Ashley Baeckmann, Briars & Brambles Books, Windham, NY


An addictive and groundbreaking debut thriller set on a Native American reservation and hailed by CJ Box as a hell of a debut Winter Counts is both a propulsive crime novel and a wonderfully informative book. --Louise Erdrich

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.

Product Details
ISBN: 9781094167503
ISBN-10: 1094167509
Publisher: HarperCollins
Publication Date: August 25th, 2020
Language: English