Winter Counts

Winter Counts Review

Winter Counts is a marvel. It’s a thriller with a beating heart and jagged teeth. This book is a brilliant meditation on power and violence, and a testament to just how much a crime novel can achieve. Weiden is a powerful new voice. I couldn’t put it down.”  
—Tommy Orange, author of There There


A Recommended Read from:
Buzzfeed * Electric Literature * Lit Hub * Shondaland * Publishers Weekly

A groundbreaking thriller about a vigilante on a Native American reservation who embarks on a dangerous mission to track down the source of a heroin influx. 

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 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.

Title:Winter Counts
Edition Language:English

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    Winter Counts Reviews

  • Chelsea Humphrey

    "Winter counts were the calendar system used by the Lakota, but they weren't like modern ones. I'd loved the little pictures in the calendars, each image showing the most significant event from the pa...

  • Elle

    A fast-paced crime thriller that has just as much grit as it does heart, Winter Counts had me flying through the pages up to the end. I’m very impressed by this debut by David Heska Wanbli Weiden.Le...

  • Fran

    Lakota winter counts are documents of recorded history. "Usually drawn on buffalo skins or deer hide, Lakota winter counts are comprised of pictographs organized in spiral or horizontal rows...Waniyet...

  • Michelle

    Wow, wow, wow. This was an excellent debut! From reading the summary of this book and previously reading There There, I thought I had an idea of what would be in these pages. I was wrong. No matter wh...

  • Melanie

    This is our November 2020 pick for the Dragons and Tea Book Club! 🐉☕ ➽ dates & breakdowns:November 9th. chap 1 – 6November 10th. chap 7 – 12November 11th. chap 13 – 18November 12th. chap...

  • Barbara

    “Winter Counts” by author David Heska Wanbli Weiden is a special thriller suspense novel because it takes place on South Dakota’s Rosebud Indian Reservation and it involves the Lakota Sioux Indi...

  • Linda

    "Become the spark that lights the fire and then burn, burn with intensity and purpose because only as ashes shall you rise." (Bernice Angoh Lakota)Winter Counts encompasses those embers that smolder f...

  • Dani

    I don’t read much crime fiction (hint: it’s closer to none.) There’s no particular reason other than it just has never been a drama I turn to and I think I know why: there is not a lot of Indige...

  • Anna Luce

    3 ½ stars “Winter counts. This was the winter of my sorrow, one I had tried to elude but which had come for me with a terrible cruelty.” Winter Counts is a compelling debut novel. Although this...

  • Jessica Woodbury

    I often start my reviews of crime novels by identifying the type of protagonist. It tells you a lot about the book, and a lot of books use the same handful of tired tropes. WINTER COUNTS has the "toug...