Virgil Wounded Horse is a man residing tentatively between worlds. On the one hand, he feels an duty to his Lakota upbringing. On the other, the tragic deaths of his mother and sister have brought about him to drift far from this heritage. But when his 14-year-vintage nephew, Nathan, almost dies after a heroin overdose, Virgil’s loyalties are positioned to the test. A getting better alcoholic, Virgil vows to protect his circle of relatives and his tribe as best he can via searching out those bringing the drugs into his network and exacting his revenge.
The police aren't any help on South Dakota’s Rosebud Indian Reservation, so it falls to men like Virgil to mete out the tribe’s own logo of justice when necessary. When the path leads off reservation, however, and into the purview of the FBI, Virgil’s fingers are tied. The most effective manner around it could be by using permitting the Feds to use Nathan as a personal informant in a pair of drug buys, or else Virgil can also see his nephew imprisoned in an adult institution for distribution of narcotics.
Virgil’s quest for justice is further complex when he is reunited with his former girlfriend, Marie, who nonetheless embraces tons of their heritage. The daughter of Ben Short Bear, who's strolling for tribal president, she is torn with the aid of the opportunity to wait medical school off campus, which can suggest leaving the reservation and Virgil behind.
On the surface, David Heska Wanbli Weiden’s debut novel, Winter Counts, is extremely traditional for its genre: Bad men disrupt the reputation quo once they muscle into the community, pushing bad capsules on an unsuspecting and rather susceptible youngster population, until a vigilante or detective pushes back. The difference right here is the placing on the Lakota reservation, the clash of rules among the U.S. government and Native American life, and the inner conflicts of the novel’s essential characters.
Weiden, who's a member of the Sicangu Lakota Nation, elevates an otherwise routine crime novel with Native American tradition and traditions, political differences and organized crime. His well-rendered, emotionally charged characters do the rest.