book cover of Winter Counts
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Winter Counts

(2020)
A novel by

 
 
PRE-ORDER WISDOM CORNER, THE THRILLING NEW DAVID HESKA WANBLI WEIDEN NOVEL NOW.

WINNER OF THE ANTHONY, BARRY, THRILLER, LEFTY AND MACAVITY AWARDS FOR BEST FIRST NOVEL

‘Harrowing and heartfelt, assured and highly accomplished. One of the standout thrillers of the year' CHRIS WHITAKER

If you have a problem, if no one else can help, there’s one person you can turn to.  
 
Virgil Wounded Horse is the local enforcer on the Rosebud Native American 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 onto the reservation and finds Virgil’s nephew, his vigilantism becomes personal. Enlisting the help of his ex-girlfriend, he sets out to learn where the drugs are coming from, and how to make them stop.
 
Following a lead to Denver, they 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 - but 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.

'An incredible novel . . . where hope and heartbreak are found in equal measure' S. A. COSBY


'A terrific debut – tight and tense, hard-eyed and big-hearted' LOU BERNEY

'Eye-opening, enlightening and entertaining, it's one hell of a good read!' AMER ANWAR 

'Enthralling from the first page to the last, this is a heartfelt and harrowing tour de force' JON COATES,
S MAGAZINE

'Virtuoso fare'
FINANCIAL TIMES, BEST CRIME BOOKS OF THE YEAR

'A fascinating insight into an often overlooked world, and draws the reader into a satisfying mystery'
GUARDIAN, CRIME AND THRILLER PICKS OF THE YEAR

Genre: Mystery

Praise for this book

"Winter Counts is a terrific debut--tight and tense, hard-eyed and big-hearted. David Heska Wanbli Weiden's main character, Virgil Wounded Horse, is as compelling, complex, and sharply observed as the world he inhabits." - Lou Berney

"I've been waiting most of my life for this book without realizing it. Winter Counts is a knowing, authentic, closely observed novel about modern-day Lakotas that rings absolutely true, warts and all. The sense of place is breathtaking and raw. It's a hell of a debut." - C J Box

"David Heska Wanbli 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 as he knuckles his way through a heroin ring that threatens life as he knows it on his South Dakota reservation. WINTER COUNTS is a heartfelt page-turner with compelling characters, keen cultural insight, and a climax unlike any I've read before." - Steph Cha

"Winter Counts is both a propulsive crime novel and a wonderfully informative book. David Heska Wanbli Weiden has written the first of what I hope is a series of books about life on Rosebud Reservation. Virgil Wounded Horse, his nephew Nathan, and Marie Short Bear are more than characters; they brim with intrigue and authentic life." - Louise Erdrich

"One part gritty procedural, one part hard-edged literature, Winter Counts is more than a novel--it's a testament in napalm you won't be able to put down because it burns and holds fast." - Craig Johnson

"Winter Counts drops the hammer on page one and never lets up, until you're not sure if that's the drums in the story or your heart in your chest pounding." - Stephen Graham Jones

"WINTER COUNTS is a gripping, richly textured thriller and an urgent dispatch from Indian Country. Crimes are solved, violence happens, and Virgil Wounded Horse, a hard-fisted, big-hearted, irresistible Lakota enforcer, guides us through the complicated realities of contemporary Native life on and off the reservation. Weiden writes with impressive authority and insight in this entirely original, enlightening, cliché-destroying novel." - James A McLaughlin

"WINTER COUNTS is a hell of a gripping debut, perfectly plotted, and David Heska Wanbli Weiden is a major new voice in crime fiction, indigenous fiction, and American literature." - Benjamin Percy

"A stone-cold thriller with a soul and a politics--compelling and complex. A gripping crime story perfectly married to bigger questions about race and place and American violence." - David Treuer


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