Fiction, Mystery/Thriller

Kayla’s Book Review: WINTER COUNTS

Rating: 5 out of 5.
  • Author: David Heska Wanbli Weiden
  • Genre: Thriller
  • Pages: 336
  • Warnings: Violence

This is hands-down the best thriller I’ve read all year (and I read a LOT of thrillers). I have a hard time believing that this is David Heska Wanbli Weiden’s first novel because it’s just that good, but I’m getting ahead of myself.


Virgil Wounded Horse is an “enforcer” living on the Rosebud Indian Reservation in South Dakota. In other words, he is a vigilante hired to dole out justice when justice is denied by American law enforcement.

When his nephew is dragged into the heroin problems facing the reservation, Virgil takes it upon himself to investigate who is selling the dangerous drugs to children on his reservation. What he finds is absolutely twisted.

My Take:

Virgil Wounded Horse is my new literary boyfriend. I love him, and it’s not because of his “bad boy” streak. It’s because he is a super complex character with his own complex moral code. Sure, he’s not afraid to beat the mess out of a bad guy for money, but it’s how he makes money to hopefully send his nephew to college. He’s a family-man, raising his nephew on his own while balancing his own Lakota identity. I was so attached to Virgil that I read this book in two days and I’m not a fast reader!

If a great protagonist is not enough reason to read this novel, then read it for the culture. Although I am part Cherokee and know a bit about that culture, I knew virtually nothing about Lakota culture. This book was a real eye-opener for me about the current state of Lakota people living on reservations and the difficulties they live with every day.

Have you read this yet? Let me know your thoughts in the comments.


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